We are anticipating the worse

Unser heutiges Update zur Corona in Südafrika Pandemie kommt von Anthony H. unserem Freund und Kontaktpartner der Botrivier Education Stiftung in Südafrika. Gestern hat uns seine E-Mail erreicht in der er uns auch schreibt, dass die Ausgangssperre noch einmal um 2 Wochen verlängert wurde. Anders als bei uns in Deutschland dürfen die Menschen in Südafrika nur unter ganz bestimmten Gründen das Heim verlassen. Und wie schwierig das in den Townships von Botrivier einzuhalten ist, kann sich jeder, der einmal dort war, vorstellen.

Hier ist sein Bericht

The virus has slowly started to infiltrate our squater areas which house about 5 million people.

Corrugated iron structures are tiled like a puzzle with no spaces in between.

Even worse most of our immune compromised countrymen live in these areas. These are individuals on HIV antiretroviral medication. So how are we going to quarantine or isolate cases and contacts?

We are anticipating the worse.

My name is Anthony Hess. I am a family physician specialist who works in the Overberg District of the Western Cape Province in South Africa. I work in the primary care set up and also service two big prisons. My wife is a teacher in a large public school. We have a son of 19 years and a 16 yr old daughter.

While writing, South Africa is at day 13 of a 21 day lockdown period. We stand at 18 deaths and 1845 infections. Our goverment has acted in advance. However as medics we are observing ominous signs. The same signs preceding the calamity in Europe and America.  Is our lockdown going to keep the casualties down? Daily updates are scrutinized and discussed.

What were your first thoughts when you heard about COVID 19?

At first thought that it will be contained where it started. But subsequent developments absolutely petrified me. To see the healthcare systems in first world countries in dissaray sent cold shivers down my spine.

How does the current situation influence your life or your business?

I am extremely worried about my family. To distance yourself is not natural. And if – for how long? Despite taking precautions the risk remains. So many unanswered questions. Despite the danger I do realise my fellow countrymen needs me and will honour that as long as physically possible.Protected equipment has long been consumed by the other countries. So we make our own using engineers and craftmen. Even refuse bags are used when dealing with a possible case.

What is the biggest challenge?

To stop the virus consuming our townships. To keep social distancing of people living in the townships despite so much poverty. To be able to provide isolation for those infected in the townships.

Is there anything positive in the situation?

Goverment has shown strong leadership. Something that was missing in the past with other crises. We hope this decision making coordinated effort will be carried forward post COVID 19. Focus and planning to assist the most vulnerable is taking centre stage.  Violent crime and accidents has decrease dramatically the past couple of weeks. Something we never seen before.

What is your wish for this year?

To be able to witness the turn of 2020 with all my family members.

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