COVID-19: When is a Disaster a Disaster

13 May 2020 00:00 by Hennie Klopper

A comprehensive survey of the Covid-19 pandemic by Hennie Klopper in which he collates much of the facts and information on Covid-19  without attempting to necessarily create a strictly scientific basis for reviewing and solving the dilemma and problems that the pandemic has created. It is an exercise in appeasing a personal unease over the over-emphasis by the media and international governments of the pandemic and its projected effects and the manner that it is being dealt with.
In so doing he asks us to think about the following questions:
  1. Considering the origin of the pandemic and its South African development up to date, is the Covid-19 pandemic as big a threat to life and limb as would appear from media and government statements?
  2. Does the pandemic judged on the evidence currently available constitute a disaster or is the shutting down of the economy and its consequences on the poor a consequential disaster of much greater magnitude?
  3. Does the pandemic justify the shutting down of economies – especially considering the consequences of lockdown on the global poor?
  4. In view of the unique development of the pandemic in South Africa and South Africa’s economic position, is the government’s assumptions and strategy the best possible way of dealing with the pandemic?
  5. Was the government’s action of invoking the DMA and applying the same measures countrywide when portions of the country was not subjected to the pandemic legally justifiable?
  6. What is the best way forward to mitigate a precarious situation brought about by circumstances and decisions previously made?
You be the judge.

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