Thursday 4 February 2021

The CoVID-19 mutations are not the problem

South Africa is doing well

I have just about had it with all this talk about the South African variant or mutation of the Coronavirus, especially in the UK where it seems to be driving the conversation with hysterical and histrionic abandon.

The virus was the same everywhere until its apparently unchecked spread led to mutations and that is what we have seen with variants in the UK, from Mexico, from Brazil, unfortunately for first a region in South Africa before it really caught on.

I was in South Africa for five weeks, on holiday and also to be with my partner who I had not seen for 11 months because of this global pandemic. We were under stringent restrictions with extensive CoVID-19 protocols that are literally absent in the UK.

The things they did

We had to wear masks in public, on entry to any premises we had our temperature taken, we sanitised our hands, social distancing was the rule with CoVID marshals in public places. There was a night curfew, an alcohol ban, beaches were closed, but the public parks were open, we could visit museums and travel a bit.

They brought it under some control that they could ease these restrictions and begin to chart a path to recovery. Sadly, I do not see either the resolution, will, or competence of our government in the UK to reach a point where this virus will be controlled.

South Africa had checks as we came to passport control, our tests were checked, vitals observed and where anyone did not meet the requirements for entry, they were to be whisked off to quarantine hotels for 10 days at their own expense.

To leave South Africa, I had to take a PCR test that needed to be negative, I could not board a plane without it and had to don a mask through the flight. My details and particulars were checked as I traversed Paris, yet, when I arrived in the UK, there was nothing in place, I walked through immigration without any hinderance and was only contacted over 24 hours after my arrival and then 4 days later to consider a CoVID-19 test, just in case I had returned with the South African strain.

We need better hands

This should have been checked at my entry into the UK, but here we are with well over 100,000 deaths because of the lackadaisical and moribund policies of this inept government. The variants and the mutations are not the problem, it is the ability to handle it and manage it whilst carrying the people along with convincing and competent governance that will bring this under control.

Let’s just say it as it is, the South Africans have been competent and efficient that in the midst of a pandemic, they opened for tourist and managed the situation, despite the variation or mutation, life is getting better.

The vaccines will work only to the extent that we remain vigilant, it will not be a talisman to wipe away the errors in managing this pandemic, we hope in time, the principals in this matter will be held accountable and responsible.

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