By Mduduzi Malinga
Ever since midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020, South Africa was placed into a national lockdown as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the urgent and drastic measures to manage the spread of the Coronavirus and protect citizens.
The pandemic has brought stress to many people which has resulted in fear and anxiety. Many have already lost their jobs and freedom of movement was restricted.
The government’s public health guidelines, such as social distancing and staying at home, have the potential to make people feel isolated and lonely, with some experiencing an increase in stress and anxiety.
The virus has taught millions of people to realise that life can be unpredictable considering the drastic loss of lives. In South Africa, over 18 000 people have died and over a million have perished globally since the start of the pandemic. Underprivileged families are battling hunger, and poverty is on the increase worldwide.
The Coronavirus and the national lockdown has seen unprecedented closures on activities such as sports, entertainment, and public events that have yet to resume to 100% operational. The lockdown has been even harder on the educational systems with many learners experiencing the challenges of finishing the academic year. Schools have also been identified as one of the biggest threats in the transmission of the virus.
With the country now at level 1 of the national lockdown, Brand South Africa urges citizens to continue to follow the safety protocols put in place to ensure that the virus does not spread even further. We also salute the many organisations, corporates and individuals who have helped in providing the much needed aid of food parcels and the distribution of sanitizers and other essentials to the poorest communities.
“The government GBV and Femicide Command Centre alone recorded more than 120,000 cases of abuse and assault in the first three weeks of lockdown”, said Rose Gawaya, a gender advisor at the Social Policy Network.
As we dedicate October to Breast Cancer Awareness amidst this pandemic, let us continue inspiring one another and play our part in keeping our nation safe and virus-free.