As we look back through the day, we see wholesome and somewhat humorous postings on Facebook, of families finding creative and exciting ways to keep occupied. We will watch in anticipation to see how the next 20 days results in new ways to beat the boredom – perhaps resulting in a little more weight gain by many, as the snack cupboard gets regularly replenished.

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The Strauss family enjoying breakfast together on Day 1. (As posted on Facebook Group: 21 Days of Isolated Entertainment)

Unfortunately, due to social circumstance, poverty, lack of education or whatever reason we associate with it – not everyone in our city is being quite so obedient to the lockdown requirements. Reports in both local and even national news are focusing on individuals and communities in George that seem to be oblivious to the dangers by continuing with their normal daily lives. Groups congregating on the streets as well public transport moving people to and from homes and the city center.

As a member of Lions Clubs International and identified as a group that offers critical aid in disaster circumstances, I have the privilege of being aware of the processes and front-line support structures that are in place for now, and for the future.

Our city is in capable hands! At a recent meeting we were briefed on what will happen if the situation spirals out of control – a worst-case scenario that we MUST prepare for. We do not want to be caught with our proverbial “pants down” and not have the infrastructure to cope with what could likely be hundreds or even thousands that need hospitalisation and quarantine in George. Although our own hospital can accommodate many, the need could arise for more beds – and for this reason, field hospitals are being planned and prepared.

The reason for this lockdown is not simply one that sounded like a good idea by our government, it comes from much research and learning from other countries who are ahead of us in their fight against COVID-19, and if these professionals ALL recommend and support the lockdown, then surely we have to do out bit on the ground, by staying home and abiding by the law.

Many have shared the viral hashtag, #Flattenthecurve – this does not mean we’re going to likely see the end of this pandemic soon, we are simply trying to control the infection rate, to give our hospitals and medical personnel the time needed to treat patients. A mass breakout of the coronavirus puts incredible strain on the professionals, whereas a slower, controlled rate gives even the patients a fighting chance with more focused attention.
The likelihood is that we will only see the peak of the infection in George in the next 2 to 3 months’ time – lets work together during this lockdown, before we see more strict measures put in place by government; we certainly don’t want to see martial law being implemented.

Well done to our George officials who are handling the preventative and control measures – this is unprecedented times and your work is one that can only be commended.

Carl van Blerk

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