Lock Down Day 1!
South Africa ended its first day of lock down! But not without some challenges and a hit to its economic future. Government officials expressed disappointment in people not following the rules of the lock down and many people called for greater enforcement of the lock down. I can tell you that Sheila and I were in our compound all day. We did take a walk up and down the stairs just to get some sun and fresh air. Road blocks were set up around the country with 55 people being arrested for violating the lock down. The Minister of Police said that many people went to stores not to buy basic goods but to enjoy an “outing.” In addition, major credit agencies cut South Africa’s credit rating to sub-investment grade, meaning the country now has a junk credit status. On January 1, 2020, the Rand, South Africa’s currency was trading at 14 rand to the 1 US dollar. As of Friday, March 27, the rand was trading at 17.75 rand to 1 US dollar.
However, the sad news on the first day of the lock down was that COVID-19 numbers jumped to 1,170 positive cases and took the lives of two women in the Cape Town area. These are the first and only deaths from the virus in South Africa.
As for the lock down, citizens are not allowed to leave their homes except for necessary movement, including shopping for groceries, medicine or medical care, attending funerals and collecting social grants. The list of closure includes
- Religious, culture, sporting, entertainment, recreational or exhibition events.
- Locations where goods, other than essential goods, are acquired, disposed of or sold.
- Parks, beaches, swimming pools, markets, nightclubs, casinos. Hotels, guesthouses, lodges, private and public game reserves with the exception of their current guests.
- On-consumption liquor premises, such as bars, shebeens, taverns are required to be closed.
- Off-consumption liquor premises, like liquor stores and supermarket
- Shopping malls, excluding grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Restaurants and food delivery services.
On the first day of the lock down, we finished watching the Downton Abbey series. We watched the film version at the end of the evening to cap off our three months of watching the British historical drama. We really enjoyed the series and was sad to see it come to an end. We are searching for a new series to occupy our attention as we are stuck in our apartment. The day also ended with an amazing sunset. Thankfully, I was able to capture it with my camera.