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If the past week has taught South Africans anything, it is that our identities, as defined by concepts of national boundaries and statehood and all the arbitrary and irrational power imbalances contained therein, have real consequence.

The first response on the part of much of the international community to the detection and flagging by our scientists of the Omicron variant was an immediate travel ban, essentially locking us as a people out of the rest of the world and shutting off our international tourism industry and related vital economic activity...

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