American inventor Thomas Edison once said: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Wise words South Africans would do well to take to heart as we brace for the Covid-19 lockdown and the economic and social consequences that will surely follow. 

Not all consequence are intended, and those that are unintended can be both positive and negative. If the environmental effect of the regional lockdowns imposed in China are an indication of the likely effect worldwide as other countries follow suit, significantly reduced pollution will be one consequence as welcome as it was unintended. If it results in the environmental wake-up call that has been going unanswered in most capitals for far too long finally getting the attention it deserves, there will be at least one silver lining to the dark cloud that is Covid-19...

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