As middle-class SA emerges from self-isolation, blinking in the sunlight and the harsh reality of this new normal, there seemed a palpable lift in the country’s spirits this week. Perhaps I am projecting because I have been able to go for an early morning walk with my wife and son for the past few days. The sense of camaraderie is so 1994, but with face masks.

So, this is what level 4 looks like. Restricted exercise, mandatory face masks and takeaways. The early signs of a restarting economy. In the suburbs that is. In the townships, life is unchanged, except that people are now hungrier. And instead of tsotsis, it’s the police doing the beatings...

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