30 May 2021
Greetings my fellow prisoners of legislation,
It may come a surprise to you all that the Northern Cape – which includes a fair portion of the Kalahari, the Karoo, and of course Kimberley, is the new hotspot for this troublesome v*r*s that originally emanated from that land so faraway. Sounds like a fairytale…but I have been FB jailed for mentioning said land of origination in the past. No fairytale that.
Our esteemed Prez, leader of the cannibalistic and hungry pack that he is, even mentioned the Northern Cape province in his speech yesterday (Saturday).
Well, he was speaking in my village Kimberley, so I suppose he had to mention the Northern Cape. It was not good news, but what is these days?
My Northern Cape province is the leader in infections per capita with nearly 34 to the thousand. Neighbours Free State are running a distant second at 15 infections per thousand.
Us uneducated fellows and fellowesses in this arid area knew this about three weeks ago as, unlike the governing party, we still use the bush telegraph while they are very dependent on modern technology such as the telephone, telex and radar.
They are extremely modernised are they not?
Anyway, at least twenty of us knew this by the 10th of May as a talk I was going to give at the “Old Wagon Bridge” on the Orange River, followed by a jolly hockey sticks braaivleis and drinkie poos, was cancelled. I should say postponed but cancelled sounds more permanent. I do like a semblance of permanence in my life.
And why was this long planned party on the banks of the mighty Orange River cancelled?
The host, and good chap that he is too, is the local medico who throws the bones, studies tea leaves, and issues out blue pills in the Hopetown district, thought it was best to do so. He had seen seven patients that morning, out of whom five had tested posted for the vir**, so thought it prudent that the event be moved out a month or two or three. He added that there was now a triangular cov*d hotspot, the three points being Hopetown, Kimberley and Hartswater. All local hospitals were full, even in nearby Bloemfontein, and patients were being sent to Klerksdorp about four hours drive from Kimberley. Goodness.
Well, well, well.
I do know that Kimberley is about half the population of the Northern Cape, and there have been many deaths of so many well-known personalities these last fourteen days. Not surprising is that 90 percent have died from the vir**. Not one from pneumonia or influenza or emphysema like there was in 2019, but who am I to argue with the speciallists.
We have had many deaths, many more than is normal.
Gone to fly with the angels are Norma Potgieter, doyen of lady golfers in this area and southern Africa, her husband Derek, renowned Springbok shottist of days gone by, as is Sandy Cox, former owner of Secretarius farm and the first professional hunter from this area. Also gone to harmonise with the angels is Mervyn Solomon, most talented musician and music teacher, and Beryl Benn, indefatigable worker and unsung hero for the local SPCA. There are more, so many more, and they too, have their history interwoven with this area and with South Africa. RIP too, John, Petro, Dick, Annetjie, Van, Hansie, Piet, and Sue (Suzette). And RIP too the so many more who slipped their earthly coils these last two weeks whose names are known only to God, their families and friends.
For the first time since lockdown in March last year, the death notices read like those of the Spanish Flu epidemic of October and November 1918. Heaven help us all if it reaches those staggering statistics. (Kimberley nearly 5000 deaths in that short period).
It has been a sobering few weeks, and when my immediate neighbour rushed off to get vaccinated this morning (Sunday) because he had been told to do just such by text message, he and his wife were sent home immediately they got there. They have no vaccine, they ran out on Friday. They have no vaccine. I have no words.
I do apologise for such a short piece today, and for all the bad news, but I shall end with good some news. Yay!
The sun did come up this morning, it was warm all day, and the sun is sure to go down in two hours or so, and it is going to be beautiful as always. And what more do we need other than a roof over our heads, a tummy full each evening, and some regular monthly money to keep the roof over the head and food in the tummy.
Have a good week and I hope to still have a column/blog/blurb next Sunday…
I thank you.