In SA, as in the rest of the world, the lockdown is often portrayed as an all-out war on Covid-19. That puts security personnel in the front line, amid calls for patriotic discipline.

But SA’s history suggests another metaphor: to succeed, we need a popular movement of informed citizens who seek to maintain physical distance despite the high cost to incomes and comfort, and to wash their hands. That is, we need to make citizens the subject, not the object, of the lockdown...

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