There’s a cartoon that ridicules the angst among financiers about putting the world’s economy on ice. The scene is a placid grassland, 65-million years ago. Two brontosauruses gaze at a meteorite burning through the sky, destined for somewhere in the Yucatán peninsula of what is today Mexico. The one turns to the other and exclaims: "But what about the economy!"

To those who’ve seen patients gasping for air on ventilators in New York, the clamour for lockdowns to be lifted "to save the economy" must seem a bit like this. And with a virus that has caused 125,000 deaths around the world now seeping into SA’s townships, it seems borderline sociopathic to speak about "necessary collateral damage" (read: the elderly) to keep the global economy chugging...

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