Coronavirus or not, life goes on ekasi

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
Passengers wearing protective masks arrive at Cape Town International Airport as the coronavirus cases spread in the country, mostly through international travel. /ESA ALEXANDER
Passengers wearing protective masks arrive at Cape Town International Airport as the coronavirus cases spread in the country, mostly through international travel. /ESA ALEXANDER

At the beginning of the week I was encouraged to consult a doctor by the sudden social trepidation over sneezes. His rooms are located right in the buzz of the same township I was born and bred in.

I cannot resist the urge of getting my healing from the guys who grew up in the same dusty streets.

And while it is cozy in the burbs, no amount of Netflix and YouTube can fill up that space for local gossip and greasy kota from the corner shop.

To kill the two-hour wait for a consultation, three old ladies had a very intense discussion about the novel coronavirus and its implications.

They were of course not short of conspiracy theories around it being a human construct and intentional biological weapon and something about Trump, Chinese takeover of Africa and World War III.

It was lit and confusing and hilarious. But I could not help imagining just how the regular person on the street would be affected by a significant spread of the virus if the number of infected cases grew to proportions equal to what we are seeing in Europe.

Kasi in the times of Corona! First of all, our homes are packed.

With six family members in one home, forget about self-quarantine. Nobody is getting the exclusive use of the entire bedroom in a four-room house. Even breadwinners share that with their spoilt kids. Imagine having to relinquish that much space to Malum' Tim so that he can sleep all day instead of looking for work. not gonna happen! So that Tembisa Hospital better have enough rooms for isolation.

Then there is the puff-and-pass coterie of lifetime besties under the tree on the daily. Not sure if they will tap into their creative sides on how to share a roll, but their brotherhood sure will take a knock if they are discouraged from sitting in squads. And you mean they can no longer grab any woman they fancy, profess their love and amplify their feelings with a tight grip? That should be devastating!

The taverns will not close down, they do not operate like Wuhan factories. Not in our townships! Unlike schools and community centres, taverns have stood the test of time. They have survived community protests, earthquakes, amaberete and all fallist and shutdown movements!

It will be business as usual. Maybe the regular patrons will show up wearing dusts masks, and whip out a straw each, so that they can still share a quart.

And I can't imagine how the politics in the Quantum will fare. I guess this will be a real quagmire for the office types who count fares and change with their iPhones - they read current news on the go you see. They will be avoiding any contact with monies touched by other, while also refusing to be cramped up in threes and fours when the recommended social distance is two metres. Then there will be more fights about that "don't tap me on my shoulder. Yini mara? The minister said no touching!" when folks want to pass their "two kwi hundred and one kwi fifty" offerings to the driver.

Of course, the birth register will have a Corona born this autumn.

Might even be a nickname for that cute kid from next door with "china eyes", or even a new informal settlement that will soon mushroom near a freeway.

Whichever way, there is no chance that our people will let this virus be forgotten in history. As for our healers. I don't think anyone will be eager to say Makhosi when the sangoma sneezes at random!

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