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It’s the Economy, the COVID Economy

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on January 22, 2021 18:53

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As we near the one year mark of the pandemic, we need to look to the future and anticipate how we are going to get out of this mess. While medical experts develop vaccines, doubters disappear and shady deals are all around us, real hardships are emerging and people are suffering

Maybe I am unnecessarily depressed by the continuous bad news. There is good news to be had. The second wave of the COVID plague seems to be over in South Africa. We came close to a breakdown. Hospitals had had to search for oxygen. Pretoria’s main academic hospital had set up an admission facility in the parking lot. Yet the trauma unit at the largest hospital near Soweto, usually a war zone over weekends, had a quiet new year period due to draconian alcohol regulations.

The second wave is over, is there a third coming? Screenshot https://aatishb.com/covidtrends/?scale=linear&location=South+Africa 

We have lost friends. A close friend’s parents both died of the virus, her mother having been turned away by a hospital as they did not have the facilities to handle patients with Alzheimer patients, her father died hours after having to wait for six hours for a free bed. Yet students still turn up at my wife’s yoga class refusing to wear masks.

Wine estate near Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Many estates are in dire financial straits, black wine producers are receiving support. Photo Wikipedia, public domain. 

South Africa will get a million doses of vaccine in a week's time, at twice the price European countries paid. Tiny Seychelles, its tourist-dependent economy on the ropes, has already vaccinated almost 14% of the population and hopes to open tourism for people who have proof of vaccination.

The South African inflation rate is down dramatically. Food prices are the exception, and there lies the rub. Record unemployment leaves people unable to pay rising food prices, and hunger is becoming a real problem.

Politicians need to forget ideologies and find ways to finance job creation. Money to combat hunger can be found, the Napoleonic wars were financed by Perpetual Bonds. Economic obstacles need to be identified and trimmed out.

Pinotage, uniquely South African red wine. Photo Wikipedia CCBY-SA 3.0

But let us be positive: The South African wine industry has some 300 million liters of wine unsold in its tanks, and the next harvest is coming in soon. I offered my swimming pool and my water tanks. No answer yet...

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on January 22, 2021 18:53

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Source: WashPost

Eskom became the greatest risk to South Africa’s economy.

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