Coronavirus reveals our good and bad

The increases that are now bound to characterise every update of coronavirus cases shouldn't fuel anxiety and fear, but boost our determination to overcome, the writer says.
The increases that are now bound to characterise every update of coronavirus cases shouldn't fuel anxiety and fear, but boost our determination to overcome, the writer says.
Image: STR/AFP

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections in SA rose yesterday to 402 from 274 at the last announcement.

This has been the single biggest increase since the coronavirus outbreak was confirmed to have reached our shores.

It has been three weeks that has brought out both the worst and the best of South Africans as we grappled with perhaps the single biggest challenge ever to face our young democratic nation; we fumbled and we excelled our way through in the way only we South Africans can.

Many have sought to see the lighter side of the impending catastrophe without losing sense of the gravity of the matter at hand as it unfolded under our collective, if at times helpless, gaze as the virus first made news tens of thousands of kilometres away.

We do indeed live in a global village and it was a question of when rather than if the pandemic would come knocking at our door. Now it has.

What has transpired in the few weeks since has been largely admirable.

It has unlocked hitherto largely unrecognised talents most of us would otherwise have been oblivious to.

How many out there knew what a leader and soldier we have in health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize who has no doubt outdone himself as he sought to assure a nation that the government was on top of the situation?

Often the default labelling of government and the civil service, largely unwarranted, is that it is populated by the incompetent with little interest in serving the people as demanded of the offices they hold.

As the point man for the government's onslaught on Covid-19, Mkhize and his troops have rammed home the gravity of the matter at hand and driven home the message that this is a war we all need to fight, side by side with the government.

There is a sense that we are yet to see the worst of the outbreak on our shores and, given the weight of responsibility often placed on SA as the most developed country on the continent, we dare not fail.

The increases that are now bound to characterise every single update of the verified coronavirus cases shouldn't fuel anxiety and fear, but boost our determination as a people to overcome and emerge out of this relatively unscathed.

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