There are things in this world that are out of our control, be they how the earth turns, the sun shines, the thoughts of others or a global state of emergency. In March of 2020 the Covid-19 virus landed in South Africa, not long after that quarantines started, leading to most of us being locked in and working from our homes. If you’re young, in the middle class and healthy this may seem like nothing to you.
However, it’s not and there are things that all of us have to do to keep the spread low, steps that have to be taken to keep those that are weak safe and tricks to keep us all from going insane. The GiftWrap and SupplySA teams are using some of these, working on keeping our spread to a minimum but, we’ve had to accept the job of helping to keep those at the frontlines of this pandemic safe.
A few months ago, we started working with governments around the world to send masks to the places that were the worst affected. When the pandemic started here, we turned our attention to supplying hospitals, clinics and anyone nearby with the vital equipment to keep them and those around them safe from a virus that should not be underestimated.
Now, this writer is one of the ones stuck at home, doing some IT support where needed and one of the few that has been given the opportunity to help write the facts, reduce myths and maybe provide some entertainments to those needing it. Why don’t you all grab your phones, sit on the couch and enjoy this journey as we regale you in what you should do, what you definitely shouldn’t be doing and what you should do to get masks, gloves, suits, sanitisers and so many other things if you need them.
South African Resources
Being in South Africa we thought it would be a good idea to start this blog series with what to do if you’re in our country, ready to take on the world from your internet connected couch. The lockdown affects all of us in different ways and knowing what you can and cannot do is vital, which is why it’s important to know where you’re getting your news from. We’re going to be using the guides set out by government websites only.
This is an attempt to keep our information as accurate as possible, it’s also the recommended course of action from the government. See, relying on just news websites means that you could be misled as to what is true and what isn’t. This usually happens because reporters can interpret things wrong, be influenced or fall asleep during a news briefing (I swear this only happened once).
What to do if you think you’re infected.
The process is simple, the first thing you must do is not to panic, don’t jump in your car and speed towards the nearest pharmacy and shout in the nearest persons face. There is a pre-set list of steps that you must follow, created by our government to make controlling the spread better and for lack of a better phrase, flatten the curve.
The steps are quite easy and will ensure that not only are you safe but that you and your loved ones will be able to get to the other side without any lasting negative effects.
- Call your doctor, we all have at least one.
Getting into contact with the nearest doctor is important, what’s even more important is not rushing into their office with a possible deadly Virus. Calling before you leave your house will let your doctor/clinic/hospital/pharmacy prepare for your arrival. This simple step is important because all medical professionals have been notified of the symptoms of the virus and will be able to give an initial diagnosis on the phone.
It is also vital because the virus spreads easily to other patients and can cause death to immune suppressed individuals. Having your doctor prepared means that they can decrease risk of possible spread, significantly.
- Wear a mask when you enter the building.
The main way that Covid-19 has spread so far is through the air and contaminated surfaces. This means that every time you cough you are spreading the virus to new people, which is why it’s also important to stay at least 1.5m away from anyone. When you are visiting a medical professional it’s vital that you wear a mask to decrease the chances of the virus being spread.
If you do not have access to masks you should wait outside away from others. Contact your medical professional and let them know that you are outside, they will know the correct procedure to start the tests with minimal exposure to others. Remember, even if you test negative erring on the side of caution will help thousands of others.
- Notify the NICD
If you do test positive your medical professional will know what to do, including contacting the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).Letting the right people know is vital to controlling the spread of the disease across the country.
Information is power, having as much as possible will shorten the lockdown significantly.
- Social Distancing
If you are deemed strong enough to be quarantined inside your own home it is important that you keep your distance from others. Keeping at least 1.5m away from your family, roommate or neighbour will reduce the risk of them contacting the Virus.
Reducing the spread of the virus will mean that your family, loved ones and friends won’t suffer through a Virus that can be life threatening. Be sure to wash your hands and use hand sanitiser regularly.
These are the things you can do during the lockdown
One of the big things that has happened to our country is the full lockdown imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 26 March 2020. He took this lead after many other countries across the world failed to do this in the early stages of the virus. Countries where Covid-19 has started to kill thousands. This means that our President is currently a wartime president, something that this country has not seen since it was founded in 1994.
With this lockdown there are several things that all civilians can and cannot do, with the news constantly reporting on conflicting facts we decided to only use the official rules set out by the Department of Health on their website. The things that you cannot do are quite obvious, it comes down to semi house arrest, there is no leaving your yard to visit friends, go for a walk or anything else that most of us have taken for granted all our lives.
However, there are still some things that you can do if you are not infected or you’re a part of the frontlines. The first of which is what we need everyone to be aware of, you can visit a doctor for most medical problems. This can be anything from having a prescription renewed to getting treatment for a nasty case of the common cold. Please be aware, all medical professionals are working around the clock and unnecessary visits will not be tolerated.
If you need medication you can also visit your pharmacy, this is to ensure you can still get your required medication, get masks or to get the right equipment to keep your house sanitised. This is coupled with seeking other supplies, like food, necessities and other things you will need to get through the 21-day lockdown. However, only one person at a time can be in a vehicle, avoiding any necessary travel time or detours.
The last thing you can do is collect social grants if you are unemployed, elderly or anything else that may require it. This is to ensure that even in this trying time that those of us that are the most vulnerable will be safe and continue with their current standard of living. This will hopefully ensure that everyone survives the lockdown and that we can continue our lives almost normally during it.
The last topic we need to touch on are the businesses that will stay open during the lockdown, the Essential businesses like SupplySA. These are the companies involved in the making or distributing of foods, basic goods and medical supplies. As well as Healthcare providers, petrol stations, Laboratories, Pharmacies, Banks and essential Financial systems like the JSE.
We are currently supplying masks, gloves, protective suits, sanitiser and even thermometers to healthcare professionals across the world. Our manufacturing facilities have changed what they would usually produce and started to manufacture everything they possible can to help spread more essential equipment to those that need it.
Now that you know what we’re doing and what you’re allowed to be doing during this lockdown we hope that you’re all safe. Keeping the Virus at bay and not allowing it to get us down is the first step to seeing the other side of this lockdown without a problem.
If you are a medical professional or medical supplier, we can help you, our consultants are still working. You can request a quote on any of our medical supplies, they will contact you and ensure that you get all the equipment that you may require, with certification.