How kwaai was Cyril Ramaphosa?
This was the boldest we’ve seen the president be.
To be honest, Munier wasn’t expecting much at all in his address on the Coronavirus crisis on Sunday.
Even less after his briefing was delayed by two hours and 40 minutes.
Munier was imagining Cyril holding tense negotiations behind the scenes with the ANC executive, Cosatu and big business.
Nice, diplomatic guy that he is, he would try to please everyone and end up being indecisive. All talk and no action - again.
Not this time. CR17 came out, and like a klawerjas pro holding all the baas kaarte, he slammed down the boer: National State of Disaster - one time.
Travel bans, ports closed, schools shut, gatherings of 100+ people prohibited.
He talked about hygiene measures, and popularised the elbow greeting, which has apparently become a dance already.
In a few minutes, Ramaphosa changed the game, radically, decisively.
While Donald Trump and Boris Johnson mince their words, sending out mixed messages as their countries’ infection and death rates climb, our president took the lead and showed them how it’s done.
He concluded by saying we can only defeat Covid-19 if we work together: “Fellow South Africans, this is the most definitive Thuma Mina moment for our country.
“This epidemic will pass. But it is up to us to determine how long it will last, how damaging it will be, and how long it will take our economy and our country to recover.
“It is true that we are facing a grave emergency. But if we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it.”
The importance of these words cannot be overstated.
In fact, this will be the key to how we deal with this crisis.
You see, this pandemic is not just a test of our immune systems and our healthcare infrastructure.
It is a test of our very humanity. The only way to beat this virus is to be considerate and compassionate towards our fellow citizens.
If we are going to be selfish, we will all suffer the dire consequences.
If we are going panic-buy alles in the winkels, and rush to the doctor or pharmacist for every headache, we are going to rob people who really need help of vital resouces.
But let’s talk facts, not fear.
Here are a few critical stats: According to the latest count, 8999 cases of the global total of 221 579 turned out to be fatal.
This means if you are infected with the Coronavirus, statistically, you have a 96% chance of survival.
Not bad odds.
Now, you may be telling yourself, “Ag, then so what if I catch it? I’ll be fine. I’m not sickly.”
That, mense, is exactly the kind of selfish thinking that is going to lead to death and disaster on a grand scale.
We need to stop the spread of this killer bug, not to protect the 96% who will survive, but the 4% who won’t.
Here we’re talking about the old and frail with weak immune systems, the sickly with heart and lung conditions, and those with pre- existing illnesses.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US, 80% of Coronavirus deaths have been among people 65 and older.
So when you hear the tips - washing hands, social distancing, self-isolating, sneezing into your elbow - it’s not to keep YOU from getting infected.
It’s to prevent the virus spreading to vulnerable people.
You may be a fit, healthy 30- or 40-something who can easily shake off the “mild cold” symptoms, if were you to catch the bug.
But think about your elderly parents, grandparents, or sickly aunts or uncles who could potentially die if they got it from you.
OK mense, be calm, be careful, be considerate out there.