One reason for the rise of the anti-maskers is the fact that this, a scientific response to a medical problem, has been hijacked by politicians, for whom facts have always been a disposable luxury.
“Pig-ignorant dullards” sums it up perfectly, with Donald Trump and Mike Pence as dullards-in-chief.
Mesmerised by rules, a need to conform, a need to follow the herd, to be led by “experts”, and an inability to see the big picture. If the mask fits, wear it.
Most of these masks — like Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s colour-coded garments — are a fashion statement anyway. Masks they are not.
I think wearing a mask is often associated with a removal of rights, and non-wearers are simply rebelling. I don’t think it helps that some prominent politicians don’t wear masks, and those who do are often not believed.
Governments need to build trust by actually managing the virus in a successful way and having clear, reasoned plans to get people through the lockdown with the least disruption possible.
People should wear masks, certainly when in enclosed spaces with other people. Viewed on a cost-benefit basis, even if the benefit is not that high, cost is negligible, which makes it worthwhile.
The two-month ban on the sale of liquor brought SA’S alcohol sector to its knees. But some form of regulation does seem necessary, given the cost of alcohol to society.
Alcohol does more damage to society than tobacco, but it remains part of our lives.
Don’t punish responsible users. This is a policing or political problem. There is little drunk driving in Australia or the UK. If drivers know there is a high probability of punishment, they’ll behave.
Restrict late-night sales, crack down on public drunkenness, and leave the rest of us alone!
Of course, in the UK it’s safe to walk to the local, and there are public transport options, at least in the cities.
This is the problem when you have prohibition: when it is lifted people go crazy because they’ve been deprived. They also start to stockpile.
It will take at least six months to settle back to normal. And as for drinking and driving — where are the cops who are supposed to be policing this?
the National Treasury expects our GDP to shrink by as much as 7.2% this year — a far steeper decline than the 1.5% fall recorded in 2009. Against this background, it is encouraging that governments across the globe — including ours — have embraced fiscal stimulus with zest in a bid to stem the haemorrhaging.
SA’S R500bn stimulus package is unprecedented. And, when seen as a percentage of GDP, it places SA near the top of the stimulus scale globally.
But it raises the question: can this rescue package not only arrest the economic slide, but also be a catalyst for stimulating growth?
The adequacy of this stimulus will depend on the degree of success it demonstrates in hastening a post-pandemic recovery. Which brings into sharp focus the role of development finance institutions (DFIS) in both the current and post-pandemic era.
As drivers of economic growth and transformation, DFIS are expected to step up in times of crisis and invest against the cycle. They cannot hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.
In times of difficulty local DFIS, which include my organisation, the Industrial Development Corp (IDC), have been the bulwark. It was this way after the 2009 crisis, when tepid GDP growth and extensive unemployment were the order of the day.
When the recession took root back then, the IDC demonstrated its countercyclical role, ramping up its capital injection into the economy from R8.5bn in 2008 to R10.8bn in 2009. In all, R6.1bn of this investment went towards assisting distressed companies affected by the financial meltdown. We saved jobs.
Covid-19 threw up similar challenges. But the IDC devised a range of interventions to alleviate the economic impact: an essential supplies intervention, a distress fund and the small business industrial distress fund, all of which provided capital to businesses that manufacture hand sanitisers, surgical masks and protective gear.
This is important, not least because DFIS play a critical role in clearing a path for the private sector to invest — which is exactly what SA needs to jumpstart growth.
DFIS after the pandemic
You’ve heard it before, but the phrase “don’t waste a good crisis” is appropriate, given the opportunities the pandemic has created.
Ultimately, the success of a sustainable recovery will boil down to just a few key decisions.
Central to this will be the various infrastructure developments under
As drivers of growth, development finance institutions cannot hunker down and wait for the storm to pass
Facing facts: Participants in the Mask Up for Nevada fashion show in Las Vegas, in the US, on June 25