God is in the details…

Archive for February, 2021

2020 – the year that wasn’t

Looking back at 2020, I can remember a very normal January. I watched 2 Super Rugby exhibition games at FNB stadium with 3 friends and had an absolute blast. After the game we all agreed that this should definitely become a tradition. As it turned out, fate would decree that this would not be the case. I am not sure if I will ever get to watch a live rugby match ever gain, the same goes for watching a movie in a cinema.

February was also a pretty normal month. The only clues we received about what would become the scariest year in over a century was articles in the media about a flu like virus that had broken out in a city in China. The articles talked about desperate efforts being made to contain an as of yet unnamed virus. Said virus would eventually be called Covid-19 – a novel Coronavirus. To the uninitiated novel means new.

Chinese New Year would see the virus spreading like a fire consuming a dry forest with howling winds added into the mix. The world looked on in disbelief as the virus spread to every corner of the globe – even Antarctica fell victim to this thing. In the future people who look back on this time will see how the leaders of the world failed their people so badly that they should’ve been charge with Genocide. In the United States Donald Trump would tell reporters that this was just a slightly worse case of the flu and that it would simply disappear. Four hundred thousand people died by the time Donald Trump left office after losing in the 2020 elections to Joe Biden. It was later discovered that he’d been told about the virus but had opted to do nothing about it.

Here in South Africa, during the course of March, a very serious Cyril Ramaphosa would call a press conference and place the country under what has become known as a hard lock down. Only people designated as essential would be allowed to go to work. Everyone else, would shelter in place. Alcohol and cigarettes were banned [South Africa being only the second country to ban cigarettes – the reason for this has never discovered]. The bans lead to the creation of ‘secondary’ markets that almost a year later, are still thriving. The lock down did not have the desired effect of curbing the spread of the virus. But it did seriously damage the already fragile economy. Companies like Greyhound and Ster Kinekor have filed for business rescue – to name but a few.

Around the world incompetent and corrupt governments took full advantage of the chaos caused and furthered their agendas. Other countries leaders underestimated the effect of the virus and only took action when daily death tolls topped thousands. America currently has the highest number of infections followed by India, Brazil and The United Kingdom – the one thing that these countries all have in common is absolutely useless leaders – things have taken a turn in the USA as Trump lost the election and was replaced by Joe Boden who has signed a record number of executive orders in an effort to make america great again…

I started at a designated disaster recovery sight in March of 2020 which was great fun. While we worked our country struggled to cope with the virus and the effects of the lock down imposed by the president. Initially I believed that the ANC had turned a corner. Then reports started surfacing of how the funds that had been set aside to buy the required masks and gloves and hand sanitizers was being stolen. In one case a guy won a tender to supply PPE’s to someone. He was given over a hundred million rand. He then went and bought cars with the money. There were photos on the news of the cars being repossessed. Now I ask you – what kind of rotten soul steals money during a pandemic – money that is supposed to be used to buy equipment that will save peoples lives !!! If it were up to me, this crime would be seen/treated as treason and the punishment would be death.

Towards the end of May I was able to get my team set up to work from home. We started doing so in groups and by the end of May we were all working safely from our homes. This was not without its teething problems, but we got it done.

Under the ANC and the useless state owned enterprises we had other issues to deal with on top of the virus which was eventually classified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization [WHO]. Load shedding reared it’s ugly head again. SAA which was in Business rescue was about to submit its turnaround strategy when the lock down kicked in. Eventually SAA was given yet another lifeline and is still around – I have no idea how the ANC can see that keeping SAA alive during a time when no one is flying anywhere – makes sense.

The remaining months of 2020 were consumed by work, going out masked up to do shopping and hearing about people who’d contracted the virus passing away. Some were able to shrug it off. As I write there are a number of Vaccines programs rolling out worldwide. A lot of people seem to think that this ‘thing’ will be over in a few months. I am not one of those people.

Almost all the major movies that were scheduled to roll out in 2020 either got bumped to 2021 where they will air on TV and in cinemas. Some of the best known directors like Cristopher Nolan took offense to this idea – seems they’d prefer people put their lives at risk and watch his movies in a cinema. His latest offering – tenet – is such a steaming pile of WTF that I only made 45 minutes into it before I started questioning my sanity.

On a personal note I had high hopes that 2021 would be not necessarily a significantly better year than 2020, but just a tad better. I was 2 weeks into the year when I woke with what I thought was the beginning of a stroke, but fortunately turned out to be a thing called Bells Palsy. It has been 3 weeks of not being able to blink my right eye, eating very slowly and on occasion having to tape my eye shut when I sleep. My recovery has been very slow, and I’ve learnt that the key is patience, LOTS of patience. My family and friends have been very supportive, something that I am extremely grateful for -even if some of them think my new ‘look’ is a vast improvement…

So, in closing. What is the new normal ? Will we carry on working from home ? Will masks and video calls become the way we live going forward ? The virus has reshaped the world, Billionaires have become even richer as they take advantage of Covid-19 some of them even using their wealth and private planes to skip the queue and get the vaccine before people who actually need it. The cult of Donald Trump is growing by the day as people consume the fake news he and his army/factory of trolls warp peoples minds. And yet, amongst all the chaos, the Prime Minister of New Zealand somehow managed to stop the spread of the virus in her country dead in its tracks [no pun intended]. She reacted promptly and New Zealand has passed through this storm relatively unscathed.

If you read this, I really hope that you’re safe and healthy.

This is the way.