An extraordinary journey to......our HOMES

Published: May 23rd 2020
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Wildebeest crossing that river. They simply have to.
“Like any other matter for public consumption, bullshit is meant primarily to satisfy the hunger of its manufacturer, for you have to believe in your own delusion in order to make people share in it.”- Lamine Pearlheart

Every single year almost two million wildebeest and other plains animals migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti to the south of Kenya’s Masai Mara region. The reason? They simply have to do this in search of lush grazing grounds across that river. There is little left on the side they are leaving. This is all dictated by the seasons and where the rains are falling. Its high risk and treacherous and covers almost 3000 kms. Just to make this all a bit more challenging, the river is infested with hundreds of crocodiles eagerly awaiting their opportunity to feast on some of the luckless wildebeest. This is Mother Nature doing what she knows best until some bright human being pitches up and in true bleeding-heart fashion trumpets forth about “saving the wildebeest.” So, what does this “genius” often in the disguise of a politician conclude? Let’s build a fence to prevent those poor wildebeest from crossing that river and getting eaten by those terrible crocodiles. Its

Governor Cuomo. Enough said!
what happens next that puts this into context. The wildebeest are trapped on the wrong side of the river in a wasteland with no grazing and they die in their hundreds of thousands.

The reality is those wildebeest understand that they simply have to cross that river to avoid dying of starvation. They accept that in the process of crossing the river, they will lose some of their buddies. So, what, you may ask, is the point of this migration story?

There are stark similarities with Covid-19 and the dramatic implications of the harsh lock down phenomenon. It is crystal clear that apart from allowing health authorities the opportunity to gear up hospital and medical infrastructure, a continued lock down does not prevent the spread of this virus. In many countries human beings are trapped, similar to the wildebeest, on the wrong side of the river. It is a certainty that people will be infected and a relatively small number will die but what is not being taken into account is the disastrous impact of being on the wrong side of the river which for us humans has consequences that will far exceed Covid-19 deaths. Economic implosion has

The lock down in South Africa is working well.
already resulted in hundreds of millions of people across the globe losing their jobs which impacts on their ability to put food on the table and will result in malnutrition and starvation in poorer communities. The treatment of a whole host of other deadly viral diseases has been put on hold e.g. TB, HIV. The focus on malaria has shifted. Medical procedures for millions of people have been suspended. Depression has escalated and already in the USA suicide rates are on the increase. This sounds grim. Well, it is! Covid-19 deaths will be far exceeded by the cocktail of destruction described above which, I suspect, is barely scratching the surface. There is a growing tidal wave of opinion which is shouting out that we need to be brave like those wildebeest, and cross the river by removing the harsh lock downs wherever they are in place. Eminent scientists, epidemiologists, medical doctors at the coal face, seriously intelligent people are advancing this advice based on what is now known about the virus. But we are faced with that conundrum described above where less than intelligent politicians have built a fence and despite overwhelming logic to remove it, they continue to bizarrely

The next generation settling into WFH.
put the entire herd at risk.

This is an analogy provided in a webinar I watched a few days ago. I have embellished it somewhat but sometimes Mother Nature is there to guide humanity. We seldom take note.

If ever proof were needed of the misguided thinking and behaviour of politicians, look no further than Governor Cuomo of New York. Here is a politician who fits the mould perfectly. On CNN most days telling New Yorkers how every life is precious blah, blah! Well, despite the Italian Covid-19 evidence that the virus struck mainly at the elderly, Cuomo signed an order in March that nursing homes must take patients back from the hospitals, even if they were still believed to be carriers of the disease. This was a disastrous order as senior citizens possibly carrying the virus went back into aged care facilities. There is always a consequence of crass stupidity! As of 21st May, a hugely disproportionate 5600 of New York’s 23000 deaths, occurred in nursing homes. As far as I know, this guy still has a job.

Here in South Africa that river simply has to be crossed. Daily we are witnessing our eminent scientific brains stating that the lock down will not prevent the spread of the virus. Some sit on the so called “Command Council” and have gone rogue by venting their frustration due to their input being largely ignored by a bunch of politicians completely out of their depth. Are we in trouble on the wrong side of the river? I leave that for you to decide.

On a lighter note, there are a number of “things” that are likely to disappear forever thanks to a little nudge from Covid-19. 1. Touch screens. Businesses will have to rethink touch screens and there will probably be a range of options e.g. special tap pens, phone apps, voice commands. Solutions will be critical otherwise we will avoid touching surfaces to authorise what has been standard practice. 2. Keys. In their traditional cut shape, they will disappear and be replaced by apps loaded onto smart phones which will open and lock home front doors and provide access to offices and places of work. Cars already have this remote locking feature. 3. Fast food workers. This is scary but the likes of McDonalds and other top fast food companies are working towards automation of many of the thing’s humans do in the fast food preparation environment. Sounds futuristic but there are major US corporations designing automated machines to load/unload dishwashers and flip burgers. 4. Re-usable bags. The wheel turns and there is a growing view that people should not bring their own bags from home as they could be carriers of the virus. Some states in the USA have already banned re-usable bags. The traditional plastic bag manufacturers must be ecstatic. 5. Mail collection boxes. Disappearing due to the thought of someone sticking a stamp on an envelope. The US Postal service is shutting down big numbers of suburban mail collection boxes. The declining usage trend has accelerated due to the virus.

There are undoubtedly many other “things” we did prior to Covid-19 which will simply disappear in the not too distant future. This, after all, is how “game changer events” alter our World as we knew it. A few more thoughts on how different things will be. 1. More work from home (WFH). This is a given but there are massive unintended consequences e.g. what happens to all those massive office tower blocks? The upside will be less traffic and air pollution. 2. Sports stars and billionaires may be less idolised. These are often the pariahs who evade taxes. 3. Air planes will have fewer seats. Not all bad for us poor souls crammed like sardines into economy class. But this will mean higher prices and less international tourist travel. Tourism will become home country bound. 4. Borders will be enforced. This is good for South Africa where our borders are porous and we carry the burden of millions of mostly, illegal immigrants. 5. Less reliance on imports. Could be a boost for economies as countries focus increasingly on producing stuff at home. “Buy South Africa” may finally carry some real weight. 6. China’s covert activities may be stalled. This includes their sinister “belt and road” initiatives in many countries and hopefully, they will finally abandon their appalling habit of eating every imaginable wild animal mostly sourced from willing and corrupt African countries. 7. Fossil fuel consumption. If there has been one seriously good silver lining in this Covid-19 nightmare it is the fact that shutting down industry dramatically reduces air and other forms of pollution. Just maybe this is the trigger for our climatologists to turn up the heat, so to speak. 8. Government transparency. In South Africa we live in a vortex of non-accountability. Witness State Capture and the fact that not one single thieving politician has been arrested and charged. Based on the wildebeest migration, we will have serious questions which political leadership will need to answer once the dust has settled and true extent of disaster is known given that it may be proven that we should have crossed the river.

Bottom line; Covid-19 is a huge disruptor and will force every single one of us to re-think the way we do things.

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung


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