Coronavirus: History Repeats Itself or Does It?

Normally when there is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, communities and countries unify and coalesce. By doing so, they all not only contribute to sharing the burden, but they also provide solace to those in mourning. Instead, bereft of leadership in both the national and international arenas, responses have become mired in selfish agendas. This is no more starkly evident than in the United States.

Why is this so?

Main picture: Face masks become a fashion accessories in pandemics.

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Effect of Spanish Flu

In the midst of the Coronavirus epidemic ravaging the world, South Africa will have to brace itself for a tsunami of dead bodies. Given crowding in the townships and on the public transport, social distancing is impractical. The last time that South Africa experienced such a pandemic was in 1918 which resulted in at least an estimated 500 000 deaths.

How did this pandemic affect Port Elizabeth? And what lessons can be learnt?

Main picture: Mouth of the Shark River in Humewood with Lazaretto Contagious Diseases Hospital

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The economic effect of Covid-19

If one doubts the terrible economic consequences of the disease, then these Nasa photos will jolt you out of your complacency.  They show the amount of Nitrogen Oxide in the atmosphere which is primary due to the usage of motor cars but also any industrial process that burns fuels at high temperatures.

The first photo overs a period in January before lockdown – voluntary as well as involuntary – and the second covers the period after it has taken effect.

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