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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay
August 29th 2020
Published: August 29th 2020
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A lone Mountain Zebra. Spectacular.
“Every human has four endowments; self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom…. the power to choose, to respond, to change.” - Stephen Covey

Someone once said “Every sunset is an opportunity to reset” and if there is one critical step, we all need to take in these repetitive, exhausting Covid-19 times, it is the need to “reset.” Our minds have numbed as we struggle to remember when, why and how this unprecedented intrusion on our lives all started. 2020 is now almost at the three-quarter mark and most of us talk about writing off this year noting it as one of very little by way of personal achievement. Many dreams, plans, activities, adventures have simply vaporised and disappeared into the mists of time.

Against this backdrop, the past week turned into one of making a choice and responding positively to the unrelenting sense of being constrained by this spiky little virus. It seemed almost surreal to be on the open road with a destination some five hours from home. After all, we have been “locked down” in St Francis Bay since the end of February so this really was a big deal.
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Theft by ANC "politicians" on an industrial scale.
The destination early last week was Mount Zebra National Park but there was a sense of elation simply gazing out the car window at the endless flat plains and hilly outcrops which shape much of the area of the Karoo along the N10. It hasn’t rained in this region since last summer but there is a unique beauty to the array of earthy colours which accentuate the different grass types in their winter state. Just short of Cradock, the Great Fish river provides life giving water to farms which flank its banks and paint a tapestry of green fields which provide fodder to livestock. It just seemed so much more noticeable on this journey.

Mountain Zebra is a gem and what started out as a 1700 ha park in 1937 has through the years expanded to just over 28,000 ha. It is best known for its crucial role in saving the mountain zebra from near extinction and now has a herd of over 1000 of these unique animals. The terrain is spectacular, spanning grassy plains and deep valleys flanked by steep mountains decked with huge dolerite rock formations. It is extremely well managed and the quality of the different
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The daily diet of theft and corruption but a turning point has been reached. South Africans are seriously pissed off!
chalet and bungalow accommodation options are top class. Wild life thrives and the road trails which traverse the park ensure you see an abundance of the different animal species. The stand outs for our group included lion, cheetah and black rhino sightings. Bird life is prolific and some of our serious birder mates were ecstatic and chirping loudly about their “finds.” Evenings were spent huddled around camp fires regaling things that really mattered; what we had seen that day and inevitably, how soon could we get back there? Good for the soul and a timely reminder that the universe of nature survives despite humans doing their utmost to destroy so much of our natural heritage. The “reset” button was pushed and it delivered!

On the subject of “resetting”, this is how Alan Knott Craig sees it; The world is not dying. The world is resetting. It’s changing from old world to new world. From analogue to digital. From flying planes to Zoom. From brick classrooms to Google classrooms. From grocery store visits to home delivery. From shopping centers to Amazon. From rush hour traffic to tele-commuting. From print newspapers to social media. From cash payments to Zapper & SnapScan.
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Can anyone explain; just who is killing who?
Covid-19 is forcing us to embrace a new paradigm. Covid-19 is a hard reset to the digital economy. The hard reset is good, even though some hard truths are being felt. It was inevitable. No amount of teacher union strikes was going to stop online learning from overwhelming brick class-rooms. No amount of government-sponsored industrial development zones was going to stop jobs going to robots. No amount of child-friendly architecture was going to give retail shopping centres an edge over e-Commerce.In the immortal words of Ben Horowitz: “If you’re gonna eat shit, don’t nibble.”The Covid-19 crisis is forcing everyone to just take a mouthful of shit, swallow, and then get on with life. Embrace dark kitchens. Embrace teleconferencing. Embrace e-learning. Embrace remote working. Embrace universal basic income. Embrace the internet. Walk away from the past and embrace the future.” These are prophetic words as the World we once knew “reboots” ensuring lifestyle changes on an unprecedented scale. It has been happening in slow motion for some time but the Covid-19 pandemic has turbocharged the process. Only one solution; embrace it!

Back to Covid-19 as it twists and turns presenting an unexpected shape on just about every turn. Consider this fact; scientists are now finding that thousands of people infected with the virus are reporting months later that they haven’t recovered in full. So, some 5 to 20 percent of those infected report problems with their nervous system, dizziness, nerve pain and “brain fog” (always thought this was an affliction unique to politicians). In America there has been a direct correlation between virus infection and obesity, which is a major problem, as it has been proven that nearly 40 percent of the population is clinically obese. Surely this obesity statistic qualifies to be labelled as an epidemic? And then on a bizarre level, the Netherlands has a problem with their mink populations infected on about 130 farms. So, they are shutting them down and some other poor animal will have to be found and scalped for fur supply. Needless to comment but the frantic race to find a vaccine continues and it would appear there are few countries not actively doing their own research. These include Thailand, Kazakhstan and Nigeria. There is a battle royal developing as the rich nations actively go about purchasing forward huge quantities from leading bio pharmaceutical vaccine developers to inoculate their populations whilst fringe nations “cry foul” at the prospect of being at the back of the queue. Hong Kong has just reported a 33-year-old who was infected in March and then recovered, has in August been found to have been re-infected. Scientists and the medical fraternity have issued “don’t panic” messages as they claim this is what coronaviruses can do. In South Africa the daily infection rate is on a downward trajectory which is very good news and Level 2 of the Lock Down protocol is in place. Some of the regulations do not have a logical thread to them. By way of example, all game reserves can only take bookings to 50 percent of capacity. Keep in mind that in most, the accommodation units are further apart than many residential dwellings and they are in fairly remote, open spaces. But taxis can be filled to 100 percent!

2020 will be remembered for a number of epochal events over and above the Covid-19 pandemic. Two stand outs will be the birth of the BLM movement and the US Presidential election. What many don’t quite realise is that these two “events” are bolted together and BLM will have a major impact on the outcome of the US election. With Trump and Biden now ramping up the rhetoric as they unleash their campaigns on a wary and diverse nation, some interesting trends are developing. For some context, BLM organizer Ariel Atkins said that she "will support the looters 'til the end of the day" after the widespread destruction in Chicago earlier this month. She said further "I don't care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci's or a Macy's or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes... That's a reparation. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance." The lingering question here is; what do the majority of the American people, who are incredibly patriotic about their country, feel about a movement which openly promotes lawlessness? Add this to the Democrats cry to “defund the police” and I suspect that the BLM is a potential liability to the Democrat cause. Time will tell but if this type of ideology is what underpins the Democrats in their campaign, then America is in deep trouble should they win the election.

Here in sunny South Africa, little changes week to week other than a welcome downward dip in the virus infection curve. Politically we are in deep trouble as a seriously divided ANC places the party ahead of the country in their maniacal infighting which is actually quite simply explained; one faction led by Ramapromisa is sort of keen to clean up corruption while the other faction led by a shocker, by name of Ace Magashula, want to keep the feeding troughs open and protect the thieves who may just be in trouble if the other faction prevails. As this blog is being penned, the top leadership are locked in yet another high-level meeting and there is a chance Ramapromisa may be forced to resign. Should this happen, one shudders to think where this country will then be headed.

“People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow.” – Delia Ferreira

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