Complacency has led us to third wave

This new variant will not threaten the existence of humanity on Earth, but it certainly has the potential to kill a lot of people and threaten our way of living.

A traffic police at Phumlani Plaza during the level 4 lockdown in Johannesburg. The third wave has stripped bare the illusion that the first and second waves prepared us for what we are encountering now, the writer says..
A traffic police at Phumlani Plaza during the level 4 lockdown in Johannesburg. The third wave has stripped bare the illusion that the first and second waves prepared us for what we are encountering now, the writer says..
Image: Antonio Muchave

We are now under adjusted lockdown level 4 for the second time. Because of our botched vaccination programme, our visionless strategy and our utter complacency, the third wave is assuming menacing proportions.

This new variant will not threaten the existence of humanity on Earth, but it certainly has the potential to kill a lot of people and threaten our way of living.

The Delta plus variant and a sluggish uptake of vaccines are fuelling the surge. SA is an inherently high-risk country for any epidemic due to our social and economic imbalance. Twenty seven years of democracy miserably failed to rectify these critical imbalances.

An article last year in the UK's Sunday Times said Covid complacency threatens SA. It said we looked like a candidate for death and illness on a grand scale.

The reality of emerging new strains is alarming. The third wave has stripped bare the illusion that the first and second waves prepared us for what we are encountering now.

Public complacency was at its highest levels after the second wave subsided; together with our leaders' ignorance and warning signs of new variants circulating in other countries.

The country is flying blind into what could be our darkest winter in modern history (Eskom notwithstanding).

The third wave reminds us of our arrogance of ignorance. Warnings and knowledge existed, but were largely ignored, and too little was done to prepare our economy and society for the potential impact.

The colder weather, drier air, people spending more time indoors, and overall weariness of lives disrupted by pandemic precautions, all make us more vulnerable. We need to enforce the use of masks and for people to act responsibly. The most important thing is that we do not want to catch up with the epidemic.

Farouk Araie, Actonville, Benoni

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