Scenes from the burbs: Lowdown on middle-class SA lockdown categories

Kim Nicola Stephens has shot to Facebook fame with her hilarious lockdown post that keeps on going viral. Kim has permitted The South African to publish her pieces.

Scenes from the burbs: Lowdown on  middle-class SA lockdown categories

It’s day eleven seventy thousand, and the lockdown categories have changed. So a re-write is about as overdue as a presidential address, and your wax appointment.

Middle-class SA in Lockdown Level 4 can now be categorised as follows:

1. The Early Adapters

She trains daily from 07:00 to 08:00, outdoors on the designated roads within a 5km radius of home. She has her husband walk the dogs, with kids on bikes, from 08:00 to 09:00, during which time she showers, prepares banana flapjacks, puts a load of washing on and sets up the home schooling stations.

Her kids get their school work done under her scrutiny between 09:30 and noon, while her husband is banished to the study to “save the economy, you lazy bastard”.

She does her own work, and checks global COVID-19 stats after a delicious lunch featuring her home-grown veggies and herbs. She has the family packing food care parcels for the poor before evening boardgames and cocoa in the lounge. She has a secret stash of gin in her underwear drawer. Do not tell the lazy bastard! Self-sufficient as hell, and voted least likely to contract COVID-19, or remain married during Level 1.

2. The Antagonists

Never bothered a day in their lives about human rights or inequality, but now they can’t surf / paddle / swim / smoke / buy beer / get a pre-cooked Woolies chicken / bring their domestic back to work so they are PISSED OFF AT THE GOVERNMENT.

They are making placards and signing petitions, and inviting everyone to join their Facebook community groups. They look like chops whilst being chased on beaches in designer running kit, and they are trying to overthrow our esteemed leadership through yoga work outs on the boardwalk. They are calling the manager!

They either need to read Long Walk to Freedom, or find a decent YouTube tutorial on making explosives. Instead they are adding glitter to their placards to “make it pop” at the protest.

3. The Denialists

They say things like “when it’s back to normal” a lot. They e-mail the school twice a week to find out when their children will return, and they still can’t understand why sitting in a restaurant / picnicking on the beach / visiting an elderly family member / organising a play date isn’t allowed. They pay their gym memberships.

They think masks are silly and that everyone is overreacting. Voted most likely to get COVID-19 and / or end up in jail. Stay at home, Susan.

4. The Conspiracy Theorists

They are multiplying. Everything is propaganda; all mainstream media is fake; the stats are wrong; they won’t get a vaccine when China releases it; and Bill Gates is the devil.

It doesn’t matter how the virus started, Curt, it’s real and taking actual lives and that dumb ass video isn’t helping anyone! Voted second-most likely to get COVID-19 and will definitely end up in jail. Put your mask back on, if only to shut you up, and watch some CNN.

5. The Capitalists

They don’t care how many people die, they just need to go back to work now. NOW! Calm down, Clive. Put your grim reaper sickle away and find the middle ground.

6. The Ex-Philosophers

They have stopped telling us that COVID-19 came to save our souls and they are creating an emergency bunker at home, filled with freeze-dried meals and pineapple moonshine. Welcome to the party, Arnold. There are a couple of Facebook posts you might want to delete – they did not age well.

7. The Thugs

No one knows what they used to do for a living, but they are living their best lives now. Running delivery of cigarettes, illicit booze and professional hair colour packs throughout the burbs, they are the new McDonald’s Happy Meals. Everyone is loving them, and they are printing the kind of cash that SARS will never see.

If you see someone who can still afford a full Woolies trolley mid-month, hit them up for a bottle of sauvignon blanc. The Suburban Thug Life is born.

8. The Opportunists

They live quite similarly to the suburban thugs, but this crew won’t go to jail. They flipped their factories upside down faster than Cele could stuff up our freedom.

They are making masks and bottling hand sanitiser in their garages.They took their soccer mom SUVs and turned them in to delivery vehicles. They are running mask deliveries, veggie box drops, fresh eggs, fertiliser, actually anything that Level 4 allows, and some borderline stuff too.

They had their permits laminated before Cyril had taken the mask off his eyes, and they are coming out of this storm THRIVING. Karen needs to take notes.

9. The Snitches

Guys, save your breath for something that MATTERS, like a garage selling hot pies in Level 4.

If your neighbour can’t get inside their gate by 09:00 because their dog has wrapped its lead around a pole 20m from home, don’t call the flying squad. You also don’t need to know where Sally next door got the cigarette she is puffing on in her backyard, just because you saw that she said on Facebook that she had the last of her tobacco a week ago.

You need to calm down, Angela, and just breathe. Fairly likely to get COVID-19 because someone is going to give it to them on purpose.

10. The ‘I Told You So’ Wankers

Yeah you predicted this in 2007, I heard you. You also KNEW that the ANC had an agenda, the lockdown would basically never end and Eskom was in on this bullshit too. You wrote that, in your diary.

You have a bunker room, you built it in 2010. You told us that we would be punished for our extreme, hedonistic ways and NOW LOOK. You need to go in to your bunker, bru. My ways were not hedonistic and your diary is the sort of thing that might happen if the SABC and Fox News had a kid.

Words by me, Kim Stephens. I don’t know what category I fall in to, or what is coming next. But I sincerely adore The Thugs.

Source : The South African More   

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HSRC question boom in illicit cigarette sales ahead of court battle

The HSRC have found that only 12% of smokers were able to get their hands on cigarettes during the lockdown.

HSRC question boom in illicit cigarette sales ahead of court battle

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) will head to court on Tuesday 10 May to appeal the decision to extend the ban on the sale of cigarettes, however a report by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has found that the ban has reaped health benefits. 

British American Tobacco (BAT) might have backed out of a court showdown with the government, but Fita have every intention of fighting tooth and nail to see the ban lifted. 

Majority of people unable to buy smokes

Fita said that it does not deny the health risks of tobacco but says the ban has not stopped people from smoking, with the illicit trade of cigarettes being fuelled by an “illogical” ban. 

However, a report by the HSRC found that only 12% of smokers had managed to get their hands on cigarettes during the lockdown. Having surveyed over 19 000 people during the lockdown, they made some interesting discoveries.

“The majority of smokers (88%) were not able to buy cigarettes during the lockdown, suggesting that the ban was efficient in reducing cigarette access and therefore use.” Read the report. “Overall, 11.8% of smokers were able to buy cigarettes during the lockdown,” the council found.”

“Cigarette buying was also more prevalent among those who were able to drink alcohol with friends – 26% of people who drank alcohol with friends during the lockdown also bought cigarettes,” said the council.

Unsafe social distancing practices 

They added that while the ban may not have fuelled the illegal trading industry to the extent that has been widely alleged, smoke seekers had come into far more risky situations by trying to buy cigarettes. 

“Over 40% of those who were able to buy cigarettes came into close contact (within 2m) with more than 10 people when away from their homes, compared to 26.4% of smokers who did not buy cigarettes during lockdown.

“Therefore, during the lockdown cigarette buyers were in close physical contact with people outside their homes more often than non-purchasers.”

The council said its findings indicated that cigarette buyers were not practising appropriate social distancing.

“Sharing tobacco products like cigarettes or hookah pipes can also increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission in communal and social settings,” said the council.

“The current ban on the purchase of tobacco products during the lockdown is therefore a crucial element of trying to reduce the impact of the virus on patients and the health-care system.”

Healthcare unprepared for influx of smoking COVID-19 patients

The council added that the current provisions afforded to the country’s healthcare system would not be sufficient should a large number of the country’s smokers contract COVID-19.

“At current conservative estimations, if even 1% of South Africa’s eight million smokers were infected and 5% of these required ICU or high-care facilities, the health-care system would not be able to cope,” it said.

“If only 1% of the eight million smokers were to contract COVID-19, this means that 80 000 smokers would be infected countrywide. If an estimated 5% were to need ICU, this would translate to about 4 000 people needing ICU hospital beds and ventilators in the whole country.

“Under current calculations, this would exceed the availability of ventilators and place health workers at risk.”

Source : The South African More   

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