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It has become commonplace to refer to the “war” against the coronavirus. Are we at war? What are the implications of being “at war”?

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet certainly believe we are at war. On March 26 Ramaphosa put on full army uniform and addressed members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) at Doornkop military base. “We are not the only country waging war against an invisible enemy – coronavirus … Tonight you begin the most important calling of your mission, to save the lives of South Africans,” he told the gathered soldiers...

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