LETTER: Not drinking and smoking is not saving lives
As people tap into illicit markets, the government loses revenue that could make healthcare easier amid Covid-19
Allowing restaurants to serve a couple of drinks to patrons who order a meal would almost certainly not place a significant burden on our hospitals, and would be consistent with what most overseas countries are doing.
Similarly, smokers are not likely to place a significant burden on hospitals, or to be at a significantly higher risk of dying than people who recently gave up, and can, in any event, easily purchase cigarettes on the black market.
Consequently, one can hardly be blamed for thinking that some of our leaders are receiving kickbacks from illicit cigarette manufacturers.
Suffice it to say that if the government genuinely wanted to save lives it would use some of the tax it received from the sale of alcohol and cigarettes to buy ventilators and masks, and to employ more doctors and nurses. On this point, one notes that the BBC recently reported that a Port Elizabeth field hospital is only using about 30 of its 1,200 beds due to a shortage of essential staff and oxygen.
Imagine the good we could be doing with all the money the government is allowing to go down the drain. Sadly, the government does not explain its decisions to us little people unless forced to by our courts, and we must therefore look for solace in the fact that elections cannot be delayed indefinitely.
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