Raj Govender: From a medical point of view, it is creating a huge panic. We do not have a vaccine now, which is global community is worried about. Two things that I observed: 1 unscrupulous nature of humanity. People used this to killing by increasing prices which is not necessary. 2. Face masks issue, by the time it reaches SA, those masks are so exorbitant. That showed people’s bad side. Negative things. Positive things: Has contributed moral regeneration of families. Children were strangers to the parents. It brought the family unit together. I see it on social media. Such a warm feeling, people helping one another. I have seen aid institutions helping the society, like Gift of Givers. Australia example, people forgot which religion they r from, they all helped to put off the bush fire. In SA we see this, too. There is a FB page called South African Musicians against Corona, every day 5 musicians performing. People from everywhere watch. Find innovative ways to keep people busy. In coming ways more innovative ways will be invented by families, I am sure. Like gardening.
People are given opportunities by government as shelters. A place to stay and have food. We need to find meaningful opportunities to continue these facilities to make it sustainable. Proper food and place to stay must be provided. NGO’s cannot do this alone. Government should review the expenditures and prioritize this. People mostly disregarded the President’s call for social distancing. We should take it serious. Otherwise the pandemic will continue. He suspended one of the ministers due to go against the lockdown rules. The president is serious, so we should be.
Second point from economy view: Lockdown is affecting the economy.
Just two things to bring to attention: Contributed to xenophobic tendencies of people. Same thing with our attitude blaming the Chinese. This is a global pandemic. We all need to work together find solutions work for all of us. We come together in such a good way to find solution to help one another. Civic education is needed to be added to curriculum. Life orientation is not enough. It is paramount. We need to educate our children how to overcome this kind of situations and also how to work together. This is a wake up call.
Shabnum: We need to find our humanity. We need to live in solidarity. Our country has the largest gap between the income communities. We have access to cellphone and data, it is wonderful. The reality is most people don’t have this. People are struggling for food. Army and police are showing brutality. People are experienced from Apartheid time. Gender based violence is another issue. Neighbors are getting more alerted for gender based violence, but they hesitate going out due to lockdown. Online education is also not available for those who cannot reach data. We need to find an alternative strategy works for %99. I am because you are (Ubuntu).
We need a basic income. We need people not to work at this stage exposing themselves. Capitalism forcing people not having health insurance, proper places to stay etc. The ruling class has to do a lot to provide equal opportunities. We need civic education. We shouldn’t be depend on conglomerates.
Iman Rappetti: We will be changed after the Covid-19. Empathy for other people is tested. There is a privilege like having access to internet, computer etc. at home. Working class cannot reach these opportunities. There must be a regulation by the government.
Rakhi Beekrum: Psychological Perspective. There is fear of uncertain future. There is anxiety which is not irrational. This has to continue, we should continue do what we can do from the lessons we learnt. We focus on what we can’t change. We should focus on the things we can change. What kind of positive change I can make? It will become very big when many people start doing it. Even if the lockdown is lifted, we should continue do what we can. I think the worst is still to come. We must protect ourselves and others even after lockdown, we should be careful and continue to obey the precautions.
We should not forget the things we learnt at this time. We want to use new learnings we have to change. This is not going to be the last pandemic. We need to move from a problem focus to a bigger solution focus.
Catherine: It is an interesting time. A new time, we won’t go back to old times. Sky is crystal clear which shows impact of human on nature. Healing time for earth. How do we build community when we are apart. How can we build different platforms to achieve this? Our lives will not be the same, the lockdown may be extended. I am seeing a kind of solidarity in South Africa where we can see the situation of vulnerable. The food aids shows this. We are on a lot of WhatsApp groups. People in townships do not have Access to basic human rights like clean water. People are out every day from NGO’s to help people. Aid going into communities, it is very important to ask the question what you can do from your corner. We do not understand under what people live at working grounds. Like how many taxis are they taking to come to work. Do you understand people at your workplace? Do you understand their circumstances? When we start to understand we got to do better as individuals. We can’t wait for the government.
One thing I realized is SA doesn’t have a civic education in place. We don’t know how to be a good citizen. We live behind the high walls. We don’t know how to be a civic society. There are great lessons out of this. Nation-wide blanket as civic education. We do not teach people how to engage actively in society. Instead of reporting and complaining about things on Social Media, we should realize our roles as citizens and act accordingly. We have a responsibility in nation building.
You watching us means you have platform and opportunities. Let’s make sure that you are using these platforms for betterment of others and good. What kind of South Africans we want?
Dr. Mothomang: One of the biggest lessons is how this virus is going to affect the poor. How countries are going to be affected? It is way beyond public health. It is about relationships we have, about families, friends, and neighbors. Our success should be measured how me react to this virus. How we can reach to poor, and vulnerable. It is showing us at the very basic human level that most people don’t have Access to food. We understand that how we can help and become a better person. This is a chance for us. We can’t ignore what is happening around us. We use opportunities and lessons out of this to help our community and go forward.
The biggest fear is the anxiety around social cohesion and nation building. Social cohesion must continue, we should address this challenge in sustainable ways. The poor people in the community is the weakest link. How do we support informal sector.
Our level of readiness is better than 25 years ago, we learnt from HIV response and others. In reacting to pandemics like things, they have inherent capacity to think and have systems they use like funerals. How communities are resilient and build resilience in disasters.