Covid-19 update #2

Covid-19 update #2

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic and chaotic for us.  We were initially leaning towards heading back to the states after several conversations with our families in the US and powers that be at P’s employer.  The more we thought about it the more sense it made to stay in SA.  By traveling we would be going through 3 airports, two airplanes, and need to drive through IL to northern WI. If we ended up needing to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days, there was an additional risk of exposure.  So, in the end, we decided to stay. Which was the right move because while we would have been able to fly out on March 28th, the President of SA announced a near-total shut down of the country beginning on the 27th.  This ultimately meant no passenger flights would be leaving. 

The lockdown means no restaurants, bars, or coffee shops are open.  You are allowed to leave your home to go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the doctor. You can’t go for a jog or walk your dog. All alcohol and cigarette sales have been suspended. Basically, the only things you can buy at the moment are food, medicine, and gasoline.  The police and Army have been deployed to maintain checkpoints and patrol to ensure compliance. The SA government is taking this VERY seriously. Which given the amount of vulnerable people living in SA I think this is the correct response. I read a report last night that Khayelitsha became the first township to have a confirmed case. Sadly, some of the folks in the townships weren’t complying with the lockdown rules and now the entire township is at a major risk.  This is heartbreaking because the lockdown order was meant to protect these very people.

As for our personal safety; we are a short drive to a smaller grocery store. When we need to venture out that is where we will likely go to restock. We also have the option of using grocery delivery services. We are trying one out that specializes in fresh meat.  (I’m really craving a steak).  Our main concern at this point is social unrest or rioting. I expect that any riots or protests that occur will start in the townships and work their way to the city center (or Central Business District) before they get to us. We are away from the city center and at the top of a very steep hill.  That being said the US embassy is sending us twice daily emails on the status of evacuations and P’s employer is keeping an eye on the situation as well.  If the situation turns, we have a couple of contingency plans in place to remain safe (I guess all that post-apocalyptic fiction I read a while ago has been useful).

Stay safe and healthy friends-

Bruler Travels.

Covid-19 in SA

Covid-19 in SA

Quick update

At this point, South Africa has less than 70 confirmed cases of Covid-19, so it’s a week or so behind the US, which is a week or so behind Europe. But the government has announced some pretty severe travel restrictions, so that should help slow the spread. There are still some things we are trying to get confirmation on (cancelation of visas, etc).   On the bright side of things, South Africa seems to be always prepared for some sort of crisis.  Most recently it’s been electricity shortages, water shortages, etc. South Africa has been able to somehow navigate those, so I’m hopeful the nation will be able to navigate Covid-19 as well. 

My main concern at this point is all the folks living in the townships/informal settlements.  They already have little to no sanitation, social distancing is not an option for them due to proximity, and access to healthcare is limited at best. In all likelihood, once the virus gets in there a lot of people will become sick and likely die. 

P has been ordered to work from home for the next few weeks. We are stockpiling food so that we won’t have to go out when things get bad. But this does make me miss our American sized fridge and stocked pantry. We have made plans to combine resources and shelter in place with friends if it gets really bad.  And in the event all-out anarchy happens, P’s employer will evacuate us.   So, we are very much taking a plan for the worst, hope for the best approach to this.  I guess reading “The Stand” and watching “The Walking Dead” did teach me a few things. 

I’m more concerned for our friends and family in The States at this point. Thankfully most folks are taking this seriously and doing all they can to prepare.  At this point none of my family and friends have been diagnosed with the virus that I know of, so that’s a relief.

Please check in on your loved ones to ensure they are ok.