OMG as the kids say on social media. What to write about this week? There I was on Thursday 24th November in my third floor rented sea view apartment overlooking Strand beach with the wind howling like a banshee and with a clear view of Yorkshire terriers being blown along the beach like croquette potatoes being rolled in breadcrumbs.
We’d booked for three days with the intention of walking on the beach just after sunrise but that plan was ditched after the first morning when I spent five minutes brushing grains of sand from between my teeth. But all was not lost. The apartment came with DSTV which I haven’t had for a few years now because I thought it was a waste of money and opted for Netflix.
I tuned in and I must say that SABC and eNCA are utter crap and vastly eclipsed by NewzRoom Afrika. Still not a great reason to subscribe to DSTV though (note: sports events are shown on a big TV in our Lifestyle Centre).
It was on Thursday that I first learned of the new B.1.1.529 variant and, like most of us, I was suddenly quoting these numbers as though I knew exactly what they meant. Most people in this country can’t even understand the theory of compound interest so a whole bunch of instant genome experts in the media pronouncing on B.1.1.529 as if they had secret laboratories in their grotty little dwellings is hardly convincing. But pronounce the media did and within 24 hours South Africa became more of an international pariah than it ever was during apartheid.
Central to this is our very own Dr Strangelove who identifies as Prof Tulio de Oliveira and who, despite the Meatloaf hairstyle and the link with a now discredited university, is the man who first spotted this mutation and couldn’t wait to Tweet about it.
Since then, life has become a bit hectic for the poor Prof as the rest of the world have banned flights to and from SA and the entire tourist industry lies in ruins. In addition, world stock exchanges collapsed on the news of a new mutation with the NY experiencing the worst day on the DOW for over a year.
This is all a bit unfair on Prof de Oliveira who was just doing his job and looking for some fame and, unlike the Chinese, he was being transparent. The poor guy has now become the most hated man in South Africa and I rate his chances of getting an upgrade on a flight or a hotel booking as practically zero for the rest of time.
But here’s the thing. Way back in August our very own Nostradamus, Salim Abdool Karim, predicted a fourth wave long before the discovery of this new mutation, and almost exactly to the date. What is going on you may well wonder?
When the weathermen predict gale force winds and massive rain in the winelands and the emergency services are on high alert for something that never arrives, even in a diminished form, one has to marvel at the predictive powers of Salim (Nostradamus) Karim.
But, let’s give Prof Karim the benefit of the doubt and attribute to him magical powers that can predict the future four months hence. (Any tips on the lottery number Prof?)
So a new variant is apparently discovered by a clever SA scientist and the World Health Organisation (WHO) leap into action calling a meeting of their extremely highly paid honchos to birth this new mutation and give it a name.
After numerous trays of tea and coffee and biscuits they reject Epsilon as being too obvious. Meanwhile, the media have assumed Nu but that is also Portuguese for having no clothes on. So after countless cups of coffee the WHO decides on Omicron which, as any Scrabble player or crossword addict can see, is an anagram of MORONIC.
Do you, like me, think that this is nothing more than a big piss-take on the part of the WHO? Clearly they believe we are all far too stupid to fathom what they’re up to. They’ve been taking us all for a ride for nearly two years and this is, surely, their version of ‘goodbye and thanks for all the fish’.
It is inconceivable that none of the planet sized brains within the WHO wouldn’t have been aware of the subliminal ‘MORONIC’ message in the naming of their latest COVID great reset scare-baby. But the vaccine zealots have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.
Naturally, it’s all the fault of the unvaxxed who have, despite being perfectly healthy, caused this mutation. This, incidentally, is despite the fact that it was discovered in those who had been double vaxxed and PCR tested. But let’s not let facts get in the way of some good scare mongering.
Predictably the vaccine Taliban were soon on social media calling for the punishment of the nonbelievers. South Africa’s favourite ‘dumb blonde’, Zelda la Grange, the former typist for Nelson Mandela, spewed forth the following on Twitter:
“We will ALL suffer as a consequences (sic) of the unvaccinated in SA. Elderly specially for whom Xmas is always a very emotional time. Businesses close down with every lockdown. When will unvaccinated be held responsible? Another utterly devastating holiday loading.”
While it’s easy to dismiss dear Zelda as an attention seeking bubble-head it’s not so easy to dismiss Barney (Barmy) Mthombothi who was, in the distant past, an editor of the Financial Mail in the days when it was still taken seriously. He Tweeted:
“This country, this economy, can’t afford another lockdown, whether hard or soft. Let’s try something else, like mandatory vaccination”
So, even though there is ample proof that the vaccines offer incomplete protection against known COVID strains and that the virus can clearly be carried and transmitted by those who have been double vaxxed and PCR tested Cde Barney still thinks it’s a great idea to prevent around 70% of South African society (most of whom have already had the disease) from being allowed to participate in normal daily activities unless they get the jab.
But he’s not alone. Because ‘woke’ investigative best-selling journo Pieter-Louis Myburgh surprised everybody with this tweet last week. Fortunately it hasn’t gone unnoticed on social media and his ‘wokist’ credentials are currently under review. Pieter-Louis, on 25th November, Tweeted:
“The time for the carrot approach is over. This virus will only keep mutating if the majority don’t get vaccinated. Time for government and private sector to get serious – not vaccinated?- no access to malls and shops, no SASSA grants etc etc “
So let’s look at this proposition for a moment. I assume Pieter-Louis doesn’t receive a SASSA grant so he actually doesn’t give a continental f**k about those who do. No skin in the game and all that. But he later went on to message all the leading retailers urging them to commit to the cause by insisting for a vaccine certificate for anyone who wanted to shop with them.
Can you imagine the chaos at the door if we all have to have our vaccine certificates checked before buying the weekly groceries? Clearly Pieter-Louis yearns for a North Korean style of political system.
(By the way P-L “it’s” doesn’t require an apostrophe in this context.)
Either Mr Myburgh is a racialist who wants to keep black people out of his local mall and starve them to death (which I don’t believe he is) or something in the vaccine has attacked his brain.
If Mr Myburgh had his wishes fulfilled the majority of the punished unvaxxed would turn out to be black South Africans who, not surprisingly, don’t trust the government or media because of the many lies told to them over the past 20 months.
Is it any wonder that South Africans of all races are saying ‘fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me’.
If you want to get a vaccine by all means go and get one. If you’re getting one because it will enable you to travel internationally then you’re a bit buggered for now.
If you’re getting one because you want to buy groceries at one of our major supermarket chains then rather order online for home delivery to your personal leper colony.
And if you’re having one simply to reduce your chances of getting COVID then study the stats from Portugal, Israel, Gibraltar, Ireland and the UK and make an informed decision.
I mentioned that Audi were launching six all-electric cars early in 2022 and commented that this seemed an odd business decision in a country with a notoriously poor record for reliably supplying electricity.
Last week they released the prices for these new e-tron cars and the cheapest will cost you a mere R1.99 million. But the good news is that Audi will pay up to R5000 towards the cost of installing a 32 amp charging point at your home. That’s a deal clincher if ever I saw one. I think I might stick with the infernal combustion engine for now thanks.
Ninety one is a pretty good age but it is still with incredible sadness that I learnt of the death of Stephen Sondheim last week. I have been in a couple of am-dram productions featuring his music and have been a devoted fan ever since. Watching Barbra Streisand singing/acting ‘Send in the Clowns’ on YouTube still sends shivers down my spine. It is an electrifying performance. But I wonder if Mr Sondheim knew, when he wrote that beautiful song, that he had also unwittingly written the unofficial anthem for the post 1994 South Africa. Don’t bother, they’re here.