Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/06/24

Obviously, the most important news in South Africa regarding COVID-19, is the repealing of all regulations enforced due to COVID-19, including the wearing of masks as well as the restrictions on numbers for public gatherings. My personal view is that the time was ripe for this announcement to be made. However, anyone who still prefers to wear a mask in public has my full support. I have decided that, for the time being, I will still comply with what I consider to be common sense. I’ve just returned from our local shopping centre and was quite surprised to see how many people are continuing to wear masks. While there, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and asked me (as though I am totally ignorant of what is happening in the world) whether I had heard that we were no longer required to wear masks. So I told her that I had heard, but that I’m not sure whether the virus had heard that it no longer has the right to infect us. She turned away from me in disgust. I wonder what she’s going to tell her husband this evening.

Two respected friends of mine posted their views on Facebook yesterday, which I am taking the liberty of copying here. The first one is from the South African futurist, Graeme Codrington:

“South Africa has removed the Covid mask mandate.

I hate to be the person asking you to check out global Covid infection statistics before you celebrate too hard – but maybe you should. Around the world, countries that removed mask mandates are seeing an upswing in Covid infections and hospitalisations, and some of them are moving towards imposing restrictions again.

We should not live in fear. We should not live behind masks forever. But… we should also not think that Covid is harmless. Or that it has gone away. We are now learning to live WITH Covid.

If you get Covid, you need to stay at home, not infect other people and you might get sick enough to disrupt your life for a few weeks. If you get Long Covid, you might have your life disrupted for years to come. We still don’t want to get Covid.

So, make sure you’re vaccinated. Keep up the hygiene standards we’ve become used to during the past two years. Without succumbing to fear just be alert to potential ‘super spreader’ situations. Mask up where appropriate if that helps (and don’t judge people who do so). And if you think you might have Covid, do the right thing and stay home.”

The second one comes from my friend, Lyn Van Rooyen:

“I join in the celebrations and joy about a maskless South Africa!

I am just as happy to be able to see smiles again and not to always think about where my mask is.

But I am not in a hurry to burn or throw my mask away.

In future I will wear a mask whenever I have a cold, flu, or other respiratory disease, to protect those around me.

This is just common sense and something we should have done long ago.

I will not stop the habit of more regularly washing and sanitising my hands.

This is just common sense and something we should have done long ago.

I will not stop going for booster immunisations for COVID, flu or any other immunisations that can protect me and those around me.

This is just common sense.

And the lifting of the restrictions is not “a victory for human rights and freedom”, “the government coming to their senses”, “group xx or yy that finally won against an oppressive government” or anything else.

This is just common sense and something a government does at a specific time in an epidemic.

And if and when government or my common sense suggests that masks are necessary again for COVID-19 or any other epidemic, I will wear them again.

Let us never forget the cost of this pandemic, let us never forget the lives, the economic cost, the pain and isolation.

Let us never forget that this was not the first pandemic, and it will not be the last.

I will not be getting rid of my masks.”

In the UK, where cases have risen by 30% within a week, it is said that many people are mistaking COVID for hay fever, as the initial symptoms are much alike. You can read the article here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/…/people-mistaking-covid…

In the US, a report has been released, “detailing the Trump administration’s support for herd immunity, which the subcommittee argued may have played a part in high rates of preventable deaths in the fall and winter of 2021”. You can read the news report here: https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/99406?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2022-06-23&eun=g1759597d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Headlines%20Evening%202022-06-23&utm_term=NL_Daily_DHE_dual-gmail-definition

Friday, June 24, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/06/17

It’s not only I that are cutting down on COVID reporting. Other reliable sources are also posting less information on COVID-19 as we all realise that this is a situation which will be with us for some time to come and it is better to accept that which we cannot change, rather than fighting against the inevitable. Nevertheless, I found the following article by Katelyn Jetelina very interesting, on the way forward. Two points she makes which caught my attention are that SARS-CoV-2 changes four times faster than the virus which causes flu and epidemiologists are still unable to predict what will be happening with new mutations, unlike the flu virus which follows a certain pattern year by year. If you have three minutes to spare, I highly recommend her update:

Friday, June 17, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/06/10

Although I’m still keeping one eye on what is happening globally, I am for now only going to do updates on South Africa.

Friday, June 10, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/06/03

Once again virtually all the numbers have moved downwards from a week ago, unfortunately also the number of people who had been vaccinated this past week, which should have moved upward. Only four of the nine provinces are still in their fifth wave.

Friday, June 3, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (Smaller countries) – 2022/06/02

At 46 new daily cases per million, I think it is safe to say that South Africa is out of the fifth wave, after 38 days, the shortest wave by far up to now.

Good news is that scientists in Norway determined that pregnant mothers who were vaccinated have a 33-71% lower risk that their babies will test positive for COVID-19 within the first four months. You can read the report here:

Thursday, June 2, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19 (Medium-sized countries) – 2022/06/01

Things are looking good in all the medium-sized countries. South Africa’s number of daily cases per million has dropped to 52, which means that the country is close to being officially out of the fifth wave.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (Large countries) – 2022/05/31

It’s been very long since I’ve heard anything about Ivermectin. SAHPRA (The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) had at one point approved Ivermectin for “a controlled compassionate use programme”. This meant that people who suffered serious effects from COVID-19 and who insisted on it, could be given Ivermectin, despite there being no proof that it helped. Yesterday SAHPRA announced that it would no longer support the use of Ivermectin. To see the reasons why they made this decision, you can read the full statement here:

It is worthwhile reading the epidemiologist, Katelyn Jetelina’s latest update. Three countries seem to be reporting significant increases in their infection rates, i.e., Australia, Portugal and Taiwan. Have a look at her post here:

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19 (Global) – 2022/05/30

Monday, May 30, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19 (South Africa) – 2022/05/27

Everything is moving in the right direction, except for the vaccination rates which are moving downward. I am concerned about the mortality data being reported in all the provinces, but more so in Limpopo (the last death was reported on 5 May) and Mpumalanga where the last mortality was reported on 9 March. As we all know, “When something sounds too good to be true…” The graph with the excess deaths in Mpumalanga confirms what I suspect.

Friday, May 27, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (Smaller countries) – 2022/05/26

Once again Chile and Argentina’s infection rates are going up. For the past seven days, Colombia has reported no updates and therefore we don’t know whether the infection rate is still increasing.
A new variant of concern has been identified in the U.S. – still part of the Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2.12.1. At the moment it is causing 57% of infections in the U.S. You can read more about it here:

Thursday, May 26, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment