When I was sweeping leaves in the front garden and Ram was picking the last avocadoes of the season with a long pole, a neighbour came and gave us two “lame banann” – at a distance, of course. This was something we didn’t have a hope of getting from anywhere. the joy of neighbours. Another neighbour, walking his dog, shared news, saying now it is 81 coronavirus cases, and I replied, yes, nearly doubled in a day. Another was pottering around in his yard across the road, and we called out greetings. A woman walked past, said she was going out looking for some supplies. She said she has not got wifi. So, for our street we will have to work out how to order for everyone once we try the thing out. As I was coming in I heard someone calling me. Another neighbour asked for some bred morung, so I said yes, of course, adding that we were also having buyon bred morung.
A friend who plants vegetables in the La Ferme area has had them all stolen. In Rosebelle a planter reports to another LALIT member that he has also lost his vegetables this way. Only now today do I hear a communiqué that planters and fishermen (like animal rearers) are allowed to circulate so as to tend their vegetables, for those whose land is not next to their house. Let’s put this important delay down to the need to get lockdown in place. But the issue of stolen food crops is going to be a major one. People are quick to blame people dependant on substances. All the more reason for us to adopt a better, more humane, drugs policy when we come out of this epidemic, instead of blaming people who are already suffering and feel in deep trouble.
Everyone is keen to try the order-on-line to buy the minimalist packages that the Commerce Ministry and the bosses’ Chamber of Commerce are due to have up and running today. It seems that the bags of basic goods, some basic food, some basic cleaning materials, some basic frozen goods – all to be delivered to individual houses with the help of postmen. And paid for either on-line or in cash without contact (not sure if this means dropping money into a bag after showing it like in church collection, or what). The contents seem very reasonably thought out.
The postmen make us realize who is useful: here is the list people are finding:
- food crop planters
- animal rearers
- hospital workers
- transport workers
- waterworks workers
- electricity workers
- telecom and other workers keeping the internet up and running
The bosses have even made themselves useful – setting up the on-line platform for home deliveries of basics. While black marketeers have little cigarette sales being set up.
Meanwhile, hospital workers say that protective equipment is being distributed by the bit-by-bit system. Maybe this is designed to cut the filching that was going on. Transport systems are working better in the last 24 hours for Jeetoo Hospital. There are four wards (two for men and two for women) being set up for potential cases.
The USA has become the country with the most cases, more than China, or Italy or Spain. South Africa is on lockdown now. With the housing problems – impossible overcrowding – and the lockdown exposing the poverty that the market hides, with the private medicine instead of a proper health system, South Africans are in for a great deal of suffering.
Our thoughts are with everyone – here and in the whole world – as we all confront this challenge. The challenge, however, does expose for us all to see our already so unjust, already so unfree, and already so unequal societies. And who the real parasites are – those who play the stock exchange and run useless and manipulative industries like advertising and who invest in producing garbage that ruins the planet. The veils of bourgeois ideology are being torn off.
Bon kuraz, tu dimunn.
Lindsey Collen, a personal note for LALIT.