To drink or not drink
That is the burning question
We had a severe Lockdown at the start of the Corona pandemic in March, here in South Africa. At Level 5 we were not allowed out to exercise and many things were not for sale; including alcohol.
Level 4 provided some easement of the restrictions and we were allowed to exercise between 6 am and 9 am. Still no alcohol.
Finally Level 3 arrived on 1st June, bringing further easing; more freedom to exercise and more things for sale. Alcohol was permitted again. Hooray!
We quickly replenished our stocks of alcohol and relaxed a bit.
As can be seen from the photo above, I went a little overboard with my vodka purchase, but I can explain!
Obviously, there were long queues outside the booze shops once alcohol was on sale again, so I waited a few days before going. As I queued for my turn to enter the shop I saw notices stating there were limits on what you could buy. I selected a few bottles of whiskey for my husband and then went looking for my vodka. The shelf was bare! But I did find one plastic bottle right at the back, so put that in my basket.
Heading for the check out, I suddenly came across a shelf stacked full of glass bottles of Smirnoff vodka. Yay! I asked a shop assistant how many bottles of spirits I could take. She said, “You can have one!” I looked at the three whiskeys in my basket already and repeated to her, “I can only have one?”
“No,” she said, “You can have what you want!” Honestly, no-one can hear a thing anyone says in masks!!
And that’s how I ended up with so many!!
Just as well I over-stocked as it turns out, because –
Without warning, alcohol was banned again last Sunday night. There was no chance to stock up.
Now we are back to eking out our supplies until it’s legal again.
Other measures were also put in place, such as a curfew again, between 9 pm and 4 am. Taxis (most of ours are mini buses holding many people, which function as buses) can now run at 100% capacity for short distances and 70% for long distances. They are going on the theory that you can sit in a confined space for a short time and not catch the virus! Also gatherings of up to 49 people are now allowed for religious practices, and – get this – casinos!
So we can go gambling, but we’re still not allowed to see family members.
Why all the ups and downs with alcohol?
Some people abuse alcohol, causing an increase in drunk-related casualties and violence. The hospitals become overrun with alcohol-related cases, taking up doctors’ time and beds that could have been used for Corona cases. Sad but true.
So the majority of us have to do without our sun-downers, because of the irresponsible behaviour of a few.
Our severe Lockdown measures at the start of Corona in SA curbed the spread, giving us time to build extra hospitals and make other preparations for dealing with the pandemic.
Now, however, the numbers are rising at an alarming rate, despite all the mandatory wearing of masks and hand sanitizing. There are just too many people living in densely populated areas.
Today’s Corona Stats for South Africa –
Confirmed cases: 324221; Recovered: 165591; Deaths: 4669
Still, the death rate in SA is quite low compared to other countries. For example, though our total number of cases has now exceeded that of the UK, our death rate is only 10% of theirs, and we have the same number of total cases as Mexico, but only 12.5% of their deaths.
Also, because misery likes company, we are now having power cuts again! Of course we are. It is mid-winter, the Cape has just been battered by violent storms and there is snow on the mountains. Why would you need electricity to make a cuppa?
The power cuts are scheduled, so at least you know what time you’ll have yours. It is called Load shedding and naturally we have levels for that too.
But you may as well laugh about it all, as South Africans are wont to do. We are at Level 3 Lockdown and there’s a meme where our President says, “My fellow South Africans, we are going to Stage 2 . . . of Load shedding!”
And another meme which says, “I can’t believe it’s Load shedding season already. I still have my Covid-19 decorations up!”
However, like the rest of you, I’m fed up of 2020 already!