On Monday evening, Prof Salim Abdool Karim took the nation into his confidence about the coronavirus crisis. With politics firmly on the back seat, Karim laid out the reality that Covid-19 will be with us until a treatment or vaccine is developed, which will likely only happen in 18 to 24 months. He confronted us with a simple truth: despite the initial success of the hard lockdown in buying us some time, SA is unlikely to escape the worst of this pandemic.

Given this daunting reality, Karim also acknowledged that our country cannot remain under the current hard — and often brutal — version of lockdown much longer. While his presentation did not directly focus on the lives and livelihoods that will be lost as a result of the economic devastation unleashed by the lockdown, Karim challenged us to “think and plan for a systematic easing of the lockdown”. ..

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