Today, a new era for the US

I follow politics but avoid it on this blog, except for an occasional mention or barb aimed at our own corrupt dolts, but today it’s worth acknowledging a most important event taking place: The US Presidential Inauguration (of someone who can only be better than the previous incumbent, even if he isn’t perfect and is so wrinkly he might pop his clogs before Easter).

Goodbye Donny, Hullo Joe (and Kamala – you go, girl!).

As many people, I have found the past four years to be a frightening entertainment show never likely to be repeated. I hate horror movies but this was fascinating. Never in my life did I expect a global pandemic such as Covid, but neither did I imagine that the most powerful and influential nation on earth would be led by a man as blatantly odious and dangerous as the Don. A man who attempted a coup d’état because he didn’t get as many votes as he wanted. A man who, to the very last day, refused to even utter the name of the man who has been legally elected to take his place.

Mind-boggling. And even more puzzling is how so many South Africans of every variety actually supported him. We do have a lot of racists in this country and Trump did feed in to all their prejudices, but to the extent of supporting a man who actually looks down on them, is beyond stupidity. Something else that always puzzles me is when I see how many people don’t realise that what happens in the US has a direct effect on most countries, and definitely on us in South Africa.

If the US election and the storming of the Capitol had taken place on African soil we would be pilloried for being savages, accused of barbarous ungovernable behaviour, and so on and so on as we’ve seen for centuries. Of course Africa has dodge elections – Uganda is a case in point this very week – but we don’t invade other countries under the guise of enforcing democracy or human rights.

I’m fortunate that one of my lockdown inmates is a passionate follower of US politics and has patiently explained the machinations of every absurd little detail of how a federal nation is run, the difference between the Senate and the House, the fact that Washington DC isn’t even a state but wants to be one (and that’s despite a state to the north-west called Washington State), and of course how the elections work, which to my mind is about 300 years retarded and needs to get with a real democratic programme asap.

To my American readers: good luck and don’t do it again!

We’ll keep out eyes glued to the news later while we enjoy a typical South Africa braai (bbq) at around the time of the Inauguration – I hope it all goes smoothly and safely. As I write this, I have just received a breaking news alert that the orange menace and his tart have left the WH – bring in the fumigators!

LOCKDOWN CONTINUED!

Today marks 300 days since lockdown was announced in South Africa. We’ve gone from a very severe level 5 to a mild, almost nothing level 1, and now back to level 3 with much confusion, no beaches, no alcohol (so no champagne for the Inauguration!), and no school next week – I have sympathy for all my friends who have school-going children and who think they can’t cope with another home-school lesson!

Everyone I know has buried a loved one, everyone has a friend who either got Covid19 mildly or severely. The stats are easing, slightly, but the mortality rate is still very high and hospitals are struggling. From everything I have heard it seems obvious that healthcare workers need to be better equipped to deal with trauma, need more support from their industries, need better pay, and just more all-round genuine respect and working conditions. However, they also need an industry that screens trainees better – the level of theft and wilful neglect that takes place in hospitals is unacceptable. A nurse with 35 years experience has told me that it is directly proportionate to education – the better educated a nurse is, the more honest he/she will be in terms of ethics in the ward. Appalling but surely not difficult to address?

This post calls for a soothing photo – here is one of the most beautiful gardens high up in the mountains in Stellenbosch. I will write about it in another post.

Time is running out on my crowdfunding campaign – please read about it below. Any contribution will be most welcome and appreciated!

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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