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OUR TAKE: TIME TO HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE

Hollywood actor Tom Cruise made headlines this week after losing it with Mission Impossible crew members who weren’t social distancing on set. His language was colourful, but his cause was understandable: the seventh instalment of the blockbuster franchise has been delayed repeatedly thanks to Covid, and jobs in the industry at large are hanging in the balance. Cruise referenced people “losing their homes because our industry is shut down” and not being able to pay for food or college.

Why are we telling you about Tom Cruise? Because with holidays looming in SA, the party is getting started and the risk of a livelihood-crushing second wave is real. We’re just as desperate as you for a holiday, but what are the rules again and how can we be responsible citizens?

Here’s a quick reminder of the new restrictions Cyril Ramaphosa announced this week:

  • All beaches in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape’s Garden Route are closed, while limited restrictions apply to KwaZulu-Natal beaches.
  • Alcohol can only be sold from Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 6pm.
  • Restaurants and bars everywhere close at 10pm.
  • Curfew is in place from 11pm to 4am.

There have been calls to put social media’s “call-out culture” to good use, and start naming and shaming those who don’t comply. It’s a controversial technique: in the age of fake news, social media can easily be used to spread hatred or lies about innocent people. We certainly would never encourage trolling or online bullying.

But when entire supermarkets don’t put basic social distancing measures in place, calling them out publicly could be a way to make them comply. 

It’s heartening though how many people – and industries – are being proactive. For example, the Beer Association of SA has deployed 500 patrollers outside liquor stores to ensure Covid-19 protocols are adhered to, EWN reported. This is to avoid job losses should the government implement another booze ban.

In the name of social solidarity, perhaps it’s time that we stopped looking to the government for solutions, and started holding each other accountable. 

So yes, you’re definitely allowed that much-needed relaxation this holiday. Just be sure you do so safely – be sure to read our guide on six Covid must-knows while holidaying here.

This editorial was originally published in The Wrap here

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