Across the globe we are facing the uncertainty and challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Here too in South Africa a State of Disaster has been declared as the number of people who test positive for the virus increases by the day.

I hope that we go forward into this crisis with kindness and compassion. It is likely that this pandemic will reveal to us the extent of both our resilience and our fragility.

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Although we are all united in being confronted by the escalating threat of the disease and the economic crisis that is unfolding in all its awfulness, the contexts from which individuals and communities face these threats are so varied that it can seem inappropriate to make any generalisations.

Kalahari-desert-flowers 3a

I am fortunate in that I do not live in cramped conditions and I do not need to use public transport where people have to be in close proximity. I am able to maintain a degree of social distance, which is recommended as a form of protection against infection.

I am fortunate in that I have access to water, for both drinking so as to keep hydrated and for washing my hands and enabling me to maintain a level of hygiene that is so vital as a protection against infection.

Flower at Mabuasehube, Botswana

But even with these advantages I am consumed by anxiety – not just anxiety about the disease itself and the toll it is taking on human lives, but I am also fearful of the social and economic consequences that are already unfolding for millions of people.  

Hawk moth seeking nectar, Botswana

For this post I chose a small selection of photos of desert plants that seem to embody resilience and fragility as they respond to the extreme conditions of the Kalahari desert. All these photos were taken in Mabuasehube Game Reserve in southern Botswana back in 2014.

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I wish you all strength and resilience, and may you both give and receive kindness and empathy as we confront this crisis and perhaps even discover a new kind of unity despite the many social disparities that divide us.

Wild grasses at Mabuasehube, Botswana

And finally, let us extend deep gratitude to all those serving with such dedication in the medical and health sectors across the globe. Thank you.

Wild flowers and rainbow, Mabuasehube, Botswana


An article in the Daily Maverick – South Africa adjusts to a pandemic (19 March 2020) – lists the following as helpful, reliable sources of information: 

Covid-19 South African Online Resource and News Portal

South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases

The World Health Organisations’ Covid-19 information centre

Important contacts in South Africa: 

Official Toll Free Call Centre: 0800 029 999

Clinicians Hotline: 082 883 9920

Official WhatsApp Help Service: Say Hi to 0600 123 456

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Posted by Carol

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