Introduction: The pain associated with the pandemic

We’ve all experienced some discomfort from the coronavirus on a very real and personal level. For some, the lockdown associated with the pandemic has muted their socialite lifestyle while for others, jobs are in jeopardy and they fear not being able to feed their families. Many parents are learning how to balance home-schooling with delivering work outputs, children are missing their grandparents and friends who don’t live in the same house and a video call is just not the same as a hug. Others are more gravely affected by the reality of being infected themselves, needing to care for someone who has contracted the virus or even suffering the loss of a loved one to the disease.

On Thursday 23 April 2020, exactly seven weeks after the first case of coronavirus was identified in South Africa and five weeks into lockdown, President Ramaphosa addressed the nation once again sharing his sentiments on South Africa’s approach
to fighting this invincible enemy that has threatened our lives and the lives of our loved ones. He disclosed facts around the sudden and exponential increase in people requiring treatment for the illness around the globe and in our own country and
acknowledged the impact on livelihoods over the last month. Ramaphosa highlighted some of the key pain points – “our people need to eat, they need to earn a living, companies need to be able to produce and to trade, they need to generate revenue and keep their employees in employment.”

This personal level of pain is felt at a national level and in fact mirrored by the state of the local economy, whilst the projected long-term impact of the global recession triggered by the COVID-19 virus is becoming more defined as the pandemic unfolds. 

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