African Reconciliation Cohesion: Enforcing Social Distancing While Attempting to Alleviate Economic Distancing

As the impact of covid-19 is global, African Reconciliation Cohesion, in collaboration with Community Support Group have taken the opportunity to find solutions to address the impact of  this worldwide  pandemic on the most indigent communities.

Poor and vulnerable South Africans, as well as children from poor families, face a double shock. COVID-19 is a major health risk that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide and is starting to claim lives in South Africa. Social distancing and self-isolation are necessary to slow the spread of the virus, and the 21-day lockdown is designed to “flatten the curve”.

The lockdown itself has consequences that will be devastating for the poor. Many small businesses will close, and thousands of working people will lose their jobs. Many workers have already  taken ‘annual leave’  during the lockdown, which is likely to be extended beyond 21 days.

Dennis King of Community Support Group stated; “smart public health interventions are not only  going to reduce the number of people who get ill and reduce mortality from the coronavirus, they’re also key to restoring healthy functioning of the economy, because the economy isn’t going to go back to normal until we’ve defeated the disease. That is the reason why, even during the feeding scheme, we try to enforce social distancing” 

African Reconciliation Cohesion have identified the fact that social distancing measures that save lives can also, in the end, soften the economic disruption of this pandemic.

As poorer people are naturally less willing to make major economic sacrifices, they place relatively greater value on their livelihood concerns compared to concerns about contracting the coronavirus.

People, and their health and nutrition status, are what counts. Sustainable healthy diets that contain sufficient fruit and vegetables are crucial in protecting people’s immunity. Particularly for those at risk of, or suffering from food insecurity, and those with pre-existing chronic or respiratory  diseases, who are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill , or even losing their lives.

The work of African Reconciliation Cohesion to promote nutrition and healthy food, during the pandemic is continually expanding and strengthening. They are now feeding over a thousand people a day in the Wentworth community.

By. Lorraine Richards

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