Maybe the 'rona' can save our lost humanity if we let it

Image: Jozef Polc/

I don't get to watch a lot of television; my younger self would be horrified. In between reading manuscripts, worrying about book sales and trying to live, television has all but taken a back seat in my life.

I watch one or two things when I have the time, and lately I have been obsessively watching a show on Netflix called Masters of Sex - a fantastic fictional rendition of a gynaecologist and his assistant who revolutionised sex and sexual pleasure.

If you are going to be practising some social distance during these corona-scare days, I highly recommend it. In any case, I was watching this while I was trying so hard to avoid the corona hysteria, but it isn't possible is it? Especially now that it is coming thick and fast into our country.

In one of the episodes, the protagonist says this when asked a question about the absence of the word "love" in his sex study.

"Gravity is the shape of space itself; an apple falls to the ground because it is following the lines and grooves that gravity has carved into space. In the same respect, love is the very fabric of those bodies. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves. It can't be rendered into columns and graphs."

That statement stayed with me through every news bulletin and yet another update.

Why has it taken governments and businesses so long to close borders, to down tools, to elevate the lives of people before the economy?

We seem to have lost or forgotten what the grooves and the lines of the human experience are - humanity itself. Without it there is no economy. Is the economy itself not built on the backs of humanity?

Are our governments more worried about the loss of life or the loss of control over the economy? Would it not be better to let go of the economy and save human lives if humans are the very thing that build the economy?

My thoughts are: perhaps this is exactly what we need; the loss of life is, of course, regrettable, but we need to go back to basics. Sometimes things need to be completely broken so we can rebuild -and rebuild for the better - to remind us of what is important. And for us to remember to value that which we can't always put to scale.

If we or our governments go back to remembering what's really important here we could have a shot at a better way of life. This pandemic could have come as most disasters have come, as an attack on the most vulnerable members of society, the poor.

But it has chosen instead to first start with the haves and will not allow anyone to declare: "Let them eat cake". It has, I think, come to level the playing field. No one gets to be a hero and no one can be protected by money, social standing or office.

If economies must collapse so we don't see a rise in child-led households, then let it be. This is largely a governance issue, but it is not only governments that must be asked to observe and remember what the grooves of life are, it should be all of us.

As an employer in SA, you know what and who we are and the risks. No one should have to sit four-four in a taxi just so a garden somewhere can be kept in pristine condition.

Let your pools gather algae, allow children the opportunity to grow up with their parents. Allow breadwinners to have a shot at fighting this.

We are being forced to slow down, allow it, most of us are burnt out anyway. Spend time with your loved ones and do the things that bring you joy. Allow the "rona" to give you this much-needed break.

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