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In December I travelled to the UK, around about the time that reports had started to emerge about more infectious variants of Covid-19 driving a surge in infections there. 

There was already much social media chatter in SA about this new “UK variant” and questions were being raised about why SA wasn’t banning British travellers. That sounded ludicrous even to a layperson such as myself — surely viruses and their variants do not respect borders. It seemed rather pointless to just pick on one country as, even if indeed that variant had originated in the UK, it had most likely spread elsewhere before it was detected.       How quickly the tables turned. Within a couple of days, SA was the new pariah, and UK politicians and headline writers were blamed for pushing a misleading narrative about the country. While doing much damage to SA, it had the effect of helping deflect from the UK’s own disastrous handling of the outbreak...

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