COMMENT: Behaviour change critical in stemming Covid-19 spread

14 Aug, 2020 - 00:08 0 Views
COMMENT: Behaviour change critical in stemming Covid-19 spread


THE havoc that Covid-19 is wreaking around the world is quite unprecedented. While many watch the news daily and reel in shock and disbelief at the rising numbers even in developed countries with advanced health systems, it would appear our behaviour change is lagging way behind.

If we get the basics right, we are likely to limit the damage that the disease could cause to our country. What we observed over the Heroes holiday and generally since the lockdown began, is that many bottle stores and shebeens are operating illegally. This is worrying because there is no social distancing that is practised at the drinking spots, and add to that the passing of opaque beer containers around as they drink from one is quite worrying.

It is quite understandable that the disease is challenging many of the values that we have internalised over the years. When you socially distance it is almost seen as if you do not care, and when you avoid gatherings it may even be misconstrued as a sign of being haughty.

We need to change our behaviour in how we relate with one another, keeping our distance, washing our hands and staying at home. The number of deaths has shot up worryingly and is now at 122 as of Wednesday, while the number of confirmed cases creeps towards the 5 000 mark. This is the time to sober up and do the right thing.

Elsewhere in this edition we even have a story of a man who was robbed at night while coming from a shebeen, in total disregard of a dusk to dawn curfew that is in place to limit such kind of movement.

With the increase in the number of cases, we believe contact tracing is becoming quite a challenge, and it would help everyone to limit the number of contacts to a minimum through staying at home, and where it is not possible, as in those supposed to report for work, limiting interactions to the very necessary and socially distance so that we can arrest the spread of the infection.

Our plea also goes out to frontline workers not to abuse the privilege of free movement by unnecessarily visiting all and sundry. As has been pointed out by the experts before, the virus does not move. It is us that move the virus and the sooner we realise that the better for all of us as that would ensure that our economy reopens and life goes back to normal again.

Let us exercise restraint, and show great discipline by sticking to the basic rules of wearing masks, washing our hands and physically distancing.

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