None of us need reminding of what happened last year just before Christmas, where a series of super spreader events precipitated an earlier – and far more virulent – second wave.
Next Friday is Good Friday, the first day of the Easter Weekend for the faithful and the first day of a long weekend for everyone else. It’s traditionally a time to get out of town; go to the coast or into the hinterland to reconnect with families and friends.
For the faithful, it’s a time of intense devotion, communing with the divine and each other. The annual Zionist Christian Church gathering in Moria is one of the biggest religious rallies in the world. None of this could take place last year because we had been placed on Level 5 lockdown.
This year is very different; we are at a far lower level but the risks are still as great. None of us need reminding of what happened last year just before Christmas, where a series of super spreader events precipitated an earlier – and far more virulent – second wave than the scientists had foreseen. The scientists are telling us that there’s a real danger of a third wave at Easter.
We can’t afford to get into a situation where the pandemic runs rampant through our population. We can’t afford the loss of life because of that – or the further loss of livelihoods that a draconian lockdown will wreak. At the same time, we can’t rely on ourselves to actually behave; to observe the Covid-19 protocols and social distance, which is why we say the government has to impose a stricter lockdown level for the Easter weekend.
We don’t need to limit movement, we don’t need to limit commerce, we don’t have to close the beaches – but we do have to limit the number of people going to church – or partying heartily at night. If the pastors really care about their flocks, they’ll understand and the mega preachers can pivot to zoom if they have to.
It’s time for another family meeting, Mr President.