Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/07/08

Things are still going fairly well in South Africa, although globally the numbers are on the rise again. This is especially true for some countries in Europe, South America and Australasia.

Katelyn Jetelina discusses the current state of affairs here:
https://yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com/…/covid…

In another article, she also looks at reinfections and how common this is:
https://yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com/…/epidemio…

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Friday, July 8, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

COVID-19: (South Africa) – 2022/07/01

Someone wanted to know from me what I think will happen in South Africa regarding COVID-19. I won’t fall into the trap to predict the future. But I have noticed a few things which might indicate what lies ahead:

1. The COVID pandemic is not a thing of the past. We are still within the pandemic, as confirmed by South Africa’s deputy director-general in the Department of Health, dr. Nicholas Crisp.

2. The urgency to get vaccinated and to get booter shots have waned considerably. When I went for my second booster a week ago, the nurse who administers the vaccines had to be called away from other duties to attend to me and I was the only one that day who had turned up for a booster.

3. On 11 May France also stopped all regulations regarding the wearing of masks. Their infection rate came down to 0.06%, but from 3 June (23 days later) the infection rate started moving upwards again and as of today it is standing at 0.3% and three days ago people were requested to wear their masks again on public transport:
https://www.reuters.com/…/france-asks-citizens-wear…/

4. On 16 May Germany also stopped all regulations regarding the wearing of masks. Their infection rate came down to 0.06%, but from 2 June (16 days later) the infection rate started moving upwards again and as of today it is standing at 0.37%. As far as I can see, the wearing of masks on public transport is compulsory:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/germany-travel…/

5. I have no idea whether South Africa will follow the same pattern. But I’m keeping this in mind as a possibility.

A report in The Lancet indicates that, in the first year of vaccine rollout, vaccinations saved the lives of between 19.1 million and 20.4 million people. Without vaccines, the study estimates, roughly three times as many people would have died from COVID in 2021 alone:
https://www.economist.com/…/how-many-lives-have-been…

In South Africa, apart from the vaccination programme, most numbers are still moving in the right direction, although excess deaths are still fairly high. The next two to three weeks will probably give a better indication of what we can expect in the near future.

Friday, July 1, 2022 Posted by | COVID-19 | Leave a comment

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:
https://yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com/…/predicti…

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:
https://www.medpagetoday.com/infe…/covid19vaccine/99003…

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:
https://www.sahpra.org.za/…/sahpra-statement-on-the…/

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:
https://yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com/…/covid…

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