In approaching a topic for this week’s blog post, made especially difficult given Mother Nature’s decision to put a literal dampener on any potential blog-worthy activities over the last week, I decided I would broach a subject that just seems like it hasn’t had enough coverage in our lives as of late – COVID-19. You know, that thing that literally has taken everything great about life, and now made it a shell of its former self? Yes, that.
Now, the reason I wanted to discuss COVID-19 specifically, is I have been putting a lot of thought into why South Africa, a country that should have been utterly decimated by COVID (i.e. poor healthcare system, high percentage of AIDS, general Third Worldness), has actually fared, relatively ok? Whereas other more “advanced” nations, much more capable of handling such an event, have fared, well, not so well. And the only way to answer this ever-present question, involved digging into the various “approaches” that have been taken by different countries over the last 18 months. As to determine, what has worked terribly, and what has worked somewhat less terribly.
Onward we go!
While countless other countries have used some variation of the above 5 approaches, at the end of the day, the result has always been the same – Lots of cases, lots of deaths, no end in sight. Yet, despite this fact, there actually have been a few nations which have moreorless “weathered the storm,” and have managed to do so while keeping the lights on: South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong.
Now, despite the obvious link between these four economically-successful Asian nations, all with top-rated healthcare systems, in addition to a historical precedence for “mask culture,” I feel as if there is something more than just the above variables that have resulted in their relative success in combatting COVID. Something, that actually is more of an “unmeasurable” aspect, that truly differentiates them from rest. And may be the key in what feels like our never-ending fight against this sh*t-show – Selflessness. Or, in other words, a deep-rooted culture that puts country ahead of self. Creates priority for a symbolic notion ahead of self-preservation. Oh yes, and comes with lots of soy sauce too. With the latter’s impact on antibodies still pending CDC analysis.
Which finally leads me back to South Africa (yes, took a while, I know) – A nation that once was as divided as they come, now in a period of “healing” with Apartheid only having ended just one generation ago. A country that, despite having one of the largest gaps between social classes in the world, has approached this pandemic with relative collaboration amongst all. Rich, poor, black, white, young, old. All in this together. Because, unlike most countries in the world, this generation of South Africans have experienced a life much worse than what they are currently living through today. And thus, a couple sacrifices here and there are worth it, especially in order to protect what they have built over the last 25 years alone.
Yet, despite this unified approach, South Africa is still unfortunately doomed to its own reality. A relatively poor nation, wrought with systemic poverty, a failing public healthcare system, and almost a quarter of the population living in, what many would deem, unlivable conditions. Conditions where the concepts of “hand washing” and “social distancing” are essentially impossible to practice. All these factors combined have led South Africa to the only approach that is feasible in their given situation:
And what better way to describe this collaborative kung fu’ery than by breaking it down into the most combative parts of the COVID-19 response:
In the end, our personal journey through COVID-19 in South Africa has actually been one of relief. Relief that, despite the low number of vaccinations and previously sky-rocketing cases, everyone here is abiding by the Fauci Playbook. And they are doing so, not only for themselves, but for all those around them. Which at the end of the day, is all you can really ask for. A selfless society of which to be apart, riding it out until the next random dude decices to get his Pangolin fix on. Aaaaaaand scene.
Onto the pics:
PRIOR BLOG POSTS:
Year Abroad Intro:
• Welcome to our Newest Blog! Again!
• The Move - Dissected, Probed and Then Probed Some More
• The Voyage (Part 1) - If At First You Don't Succeed, Trying Again Won't Work Either
• The Voyage (Part 2) - The Layover to Rule All Other Layovers
• A Personal Life Update - Establishing Our Shallow Roots
A Guide to South Africa:
• How to be an Expat When You Aren't Technically an Expat
(Part 1 - Bank Accounts)
• How to be an Expat, When You Aren't Technically an Expat (Part 2 - Health Insurance)
• Load Shedding - Keeping the Lights Off in South Africa Since 2007
• 195 Ways to Fight a Pandemic - The South Africa Edition
• Halloween in South Africa - Playing Catch-Up Since 2016
• SnapScan - South Africa's Glimpse into America's Future
• Thanksgiving in South Africa - Where My Turkeys Be At?
• Life at the Epicenter of Omicron - A Different Type of Cancel Culture
• Playgrounds - The Starbucks of South Africa
• Cost of Living in South Africa - An Exploratory Journey of Everyday Expenses
• Namibia Roadtrip (1 of 3) - Driving a Shake Weight to Sossusvlei
• Namibia Roadtrip (2 of 3) - Searching for Souls in Swakopmund
• Namibia Roadtrip (3 of 3) - Getting our Safari on at Etosha National Park
• Weekend Getaway in Robertson - A Trip Down Pleasantville Lane
• Summer Holiday Trip (1 of 3) - Glamping Without the Glam in the Drakensberg Mountains
• Summer Holiday Trip (2 of 3) - The Historical Chronicles of Kruger National Park
• Summer Holiday Trip (3 of 3) - Searching for Whales and Spare Tires in the Overberg
• Visitors Round 1 - The Woodmans - An Expedited Exploration of Everything
• The Great Wildebeest Migration - 15 Years of Waiting Decided in 15 Minutes
• Ngorongoro Crater - A Pre-Migration Layover Inside an Inverted Volcano
• Ndutu - The Safari to Rule All Other Safaris
• Serengeti National Park - Seeking Out Simba at an Abandoned Pride Rock
• Zanzibar - The Island of Sugar, Spice and Most Things Nice
• Visitors Round 2 - Let's Ignore Our Sanity & Do All The Things
• Wild Coast - A Little Tatse of the O.G. South Africa
• Spring Break in September - Just as Strange as it Sounds
• A Day in the Life of a South African Expat - The Visual Edition
• A Wrinkle in Our Spare Time
• Our Final Week in South Africa - A Bittersweet Symphony of Bucket Lists
The Other Stuff:
• This is 40: The South Africa Version