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POLL | Are you 'Decembering'?

Last week, health minister Joe Phaahla said a lockdown-free Christmas was a possibility, but would depend on citizens' behaviour.
Last week, health minister Joe Phaahla said a lockdown-free Christmas was a possibility, but would depend on citizens' behaviour.
Image: 123RF/Piotr Piatrouski

If social media is anything to go by, many users are seeing December differently this year

While the festive season is usually considered a “lifestyle” rather than a regular month, many on social media say this one presents a different vibe.

After the Covid-19 pandemic took over almost two years ago, festive celebrations have been under scrutiny.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the country to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of new infections and reduce severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths over the festive season.

“SA now has sufficient supplies of vaccines and we have vaccine stations set up in every part of the country. As every day passes and as infections rise, the reasons to get vaccinated become more compelling and the need becomes more urgent,” said Ramaphosa.

“Vaccines are safe, and like all other routine vaccinations we received as children against diseases like measles, they offer the most potent form of protection available.

“Vaccination is essential for our economic recovery because as more people are vaccinated more areas of economic activity will be opened up. We can do our work and socialise under less stringent restrictions and our lives can return to some degree of normality.”

Last week, health minister Joe Phaahla said a lockdown-free Christmas was a possibility, but would depend on the public’s behaviour amid the Omicron variant and fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.

He acknowledged the virus was spreading quicker than in previous waves. However, he said the “silver lining” was that hospitalisations and deaths were relatively low.

“It is promising [to have a lockdown-free Christmas]. There’s a possibility at this stage, when we look at where we were this time last year,” said Phaahla.

“The fourth wave is promising. By the time we were in the second wave, around the same time last year, we were starting to get into serious trouble.

“It’s much more promising now. We are cautious, optimistic, but it is going to depend on our behaviour.”


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