Q Dear Auntie Pearl, this whole Covid business has me very confused.
Someone told me that now there is another Covid, a South African Covid, and that it’s killing even more people.
Other people are saying the government has sent this to us and that's why they won’t wear the mask here in the townships because it’s only for white people.
My aunt even said we won’t get sick if it stays so hot because the virus doesn't like hot weather, so now our church is praying for hotter weather.
A Dear Confused, you’ve sommer got this auntie deurmekaar with your letter, my head is spinning with all the nonsense!
Yoh, so many things to comment on, where should Auntie start?
Now yes hartjie, “this whole Covid business” as you call it has us all confused.
It’s scary and challenging, we live in uncertain times, and it’s constantly changing.
Daai’s why we shouldn’t believe every tjommie at the corner shop and every moegoe in the taxi who tunes us dinge they probably know nothing about.
Spreading stories and lies is hurting our people, and our country.
You mos heard what onse prez said this week: “We must remember that this virus is carried through the air. We must therefore avoid what has been described as the three Cs – closed spaces, crowded places and close contact with others.”
That’s the most important information to remember along with masking up because masks do help curb the spread of this disease.
And while we’re talking about conspiracy theories - a mask won’t help if it’s in your pocket, sitting under your chin, or exposes your nose.
Whether it’s a mask, a scarf, a buff, or just a piece of material, make sure it covers both your nose and mouth!
Now yes sweetness, there is a new strain of Covid-19 going around that was discovered right here in South Africa, but it is also in the UK and Japan.
But the doctors and experts say it’s not more deadly than the one we know and does not make you sicker.
But it does spread faster for some reason, which is why social distancing is so important.
It is also more virulent, which is why people get sicker quicker. and possibly dying in a shorter time period.
All of these things put even more pressure on our hospitals, clinics, and medical mense, like doctors and nurses and other frontline staff.
Which is why there’s chaos in some places, and why our hospitals are running out of space.
Now this changing virus and the mutations or variants were bound to happen, sweetness.
All viruses, whether it’s Covid, flu or HIV, change or mutate over time the longer it stays in a population.
The virus mutates to stay alive as your body produces antibodies to fight it.
So the stronger your immune system the better able you are to beat it, and a vaccine can help with this.
The fact that some of the people in your community believe they can’t get the virus or that the government has sent it, is very worrying and simply not true.
Everyone and anyone can get this virus no matter the colour of your skin, where you live, your income, or your religion.
Covid can also be transmitted in all climates, hartjie, regardless of the temperatures, the humidity, or what the weather is doing.
So your auntie’s church should maybe not pray for hotter weather but rather that mense start wearing masks, and staying away from the parties and big family gatherings, so we can fight this virus that’s brought our whole world to a standstill.