2020, annus very horribilis

As we enter the second wave of Covid-19 with a hideous new variant, many countries are back in lockdown, airlines are cancelling flights, and everyone still wants to rush away for a holiday. January will tell us how good or bad of an idea that is. I can’t blame people wanting to leave home for a while, I really can’t.

There’s no disputing this year has been one of the biggest shitshows in living memory. Or has it?

The Holocaust and the wars of the first 50 years of last century were much worse. Think about it.

Apartheid was worse – it lasted almost 50 years and ruined generations to come.

The various genocides (real ones, not the fantasy one that racist South Africans talk about in the comfort of luxury and high-end security) of the 20th century wiped out as many as 30 million people, and counting.

The outbreak of the Aids epidemic was a horror. We in South Africa remember it all too well. Funeral after funeral after funeral. Almost everyone in South Africa lost a friend or relative to that plague, before anti-retroviral medication came along to control HIV before it can turn into Aids.

So why is Covid-19 so bad? 1,700 000 dead – horrific of course but not as bad as some of the examples above. Is it because the entire planet is affected? Because it’s happened so fast? Is it because the economy has almost ground to a halt? The global economy needs an overhaul so this might be the event that forces that to happen, but it doesn’t happen overnight; it’s long and slow and many people suffer in the process.

We also don’t even know how many people are ill with long-term Covid – that’s when it lingers for months and months and months. Just as the patient thinks they’re getting better, wham, they’re back down, feeling as sick as months ago when it started.

Just as the virus didn’t take a break for the holidays, it has no notion of a calendar so let’s not heave a sigh of relief on December 31, because it won’t go away magically as the clock strikes 12; nothing will change unless we change it.

I especially liked Richard Poplak’s take, below: “This should have been a time of connection; instead it sharped our divisions.”

This does not only apply to South Africa where the divisions between rich and poor, white and black, are sharply defined and there is an abnormally wide gap between groups. This applies all over the world. I suspect these divisions will get worse, not better. We seem to be headed for a Dystopian type of world that we have seen in fiction.

So, on that not very cheerful note I will end this post with a few soothing photos of scenic Cape Town which I came across when trawling through my photos. I am attempting to sort all my photo folders but am making no headway at all. These were all taken last year, the year of innocence which we clearly didn’t appreciate.

And, as always, below the photos a link to my crowdfunding campaign. Many thanks in advance for any contributions. May the spirit of Christmas be with you as you assist me in saving my touring minibus from the evil capitalist banking system.

From the top: Aloes at the top of Table Mountain; Cape of Good Hope; fishing boats at Kalk Bay; spring flowers at Kirstenbosch; Noordhoek beach; African penguins at Boulders Beach.

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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