I don't know how lockdown is going where you live, but here in South Africa things have gotten a little strange and seemingly out of control.

What started well with apparently strong leadership has disintegrated in to a situation where lockdown is all but over - unofficially - whilst certain lockdown rules and regulations remain in place.

We moved to Level 3 on June 1 much to the relief of many, as now most non-essential businesses could reopen and the economy could start up again. This was desperately needed! Then on June 18 President Ramaphosa made one of his now rare appearances and told us we were entering Level 3 Advanced, in which a whole load more businesses could reopen.

So now one could go to a masseuse for a massage, but your hairdresser couldn't give you a head massage as part of the haircut. You can see where this is going...

After we entered Level 3 Advanced, it felt like life had almost got back to some semblance of normality, at least a quick drive out or a visit to the local mall would suggest as much. The traffic is back and the crowds are out. Some shops, well a few, have someone at the door taking temperatures and sanitising hands, most seem to have a more lackadaisical approach, leaving the hand sanitiser by the door for self-service.

So what's my point? My point is this; life has pretty much rebooted, but we're left with an irrational and arbitrary set of rules that make little sense other than punishing the population and hammering the economy. Tobacco sales are banned and the govt is losing millions in tax revenue, meanwhile the illicit sales of the stuff are soaring. Restaurants can open, but they can't sell a glass of wine with the meals they serve, but they can sell if for off premises consumption between 10am & 5pm. Neither can you BYO, but you can buy alcohol between Mon & Thur in a bottle store, though not on the weekend. Churches can reopen for up to 50 people with strict protocols in place such as no singing, cinemas can open but gyms can't and neither can the local nature reserve. Why not?

So much of what is going on now makes no real sense and none of this is helped by a President who appears to have gone to ground and left his militant acolytes to run things. Hence the chaos and the spiraling infection and death rates.

It's time to reopen the economy fully and let people take their chances or enforce lockdown properly and give it a proper chance to work. South africa can ill afford either option and so we find ourselves in a rudderless boat going around in futile circles.

I predicted this would all end when the economy crashed, and whilst there's an element of truth in this as the govt scrambles to allow this or that to reopen, the fact is that the mess we're in is beyond comprehension with no sign of any leadership.

I feel the sign above captures the chaos quite well, do we stay 2m apart or do we stay together?
Answers on a postcard please/


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