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News24.com | Coronavirus: An open letter from Milan

Health personnel monitor the body temperature of passengers who arrived on a flight from Milan, Italy to Krakow Airport in Balice, Poland on 26 February 2020. (Beata Zawrzel, NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Health personnel monitor the body temperature of passengers who arrived on a flight from Milan, Italy to Krakow Airport in Balice, Poland on 26 February 2020. (Beata Zawrzel, NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Dear South Africa, you’ve been an example to the world so many times before, now is a time to be one again.

Please learn from others’ mistakes, avoid the same scenarios and as you are always, be innovative in your fight against the Covid-19.

Before you go on a shopping spree, depriving others from basic necessities, think.

The chaos in Milan started when people started the “Hamster-shopping”.

A lady in the queue in front of me bought 16 packs of six litre water bottles in February… might I add that we have perfectly drinkable water in Milan.

Many young people feel that they will take the risk as the news tell us that “young people will be okay”, but do you realise that you can be the one transmitting it to someone that will not be “okay”?

Your grandfather at home? Your pregnant sister or your mom who is recovering from an operation? 

The problem is that in the two weeks before your symptoms are showing you are already infecting people around you.

So please, stay at home and shut down everything for two weeks so that the undetected spread can stop, and you will be able to see who is infected and help them heal.

Rather scale down your business for two weeks to get it under control than later being forced to close for two months, as is the case currently in Europe.

Don’t wait for people to tell you what to do.

And once the government tells you what to do, listen!

Don’t politicise it.

And most of all, now is not the time to DEMAND!

Stop being selfish and give, whether it’s help, information, money, time, stop expecting for a second and give to those who need it most.

There is always someone that is more in need than oneself. 

As South Africa is heading into winter, it is essential that we get it under control before then, so please rather sacrifice two weeks and help the government get it under control and so avoiding a disaster in winter.

Not just the government but we are all equally responsible in stopping the spread of Covid-19

Protect yourself from scammers and frauds.

It already happened in Italy and Germany so be prepared and don’t step into the same traps as people elsewhere did. Inform and raise awareness to those who might not have access to radio or newspapers.

Lastly, life as we knew it will definitely change after this, as firms realise that people can work from home, saving them money, the air is better without traffic and pollution and more and more courses and meetings take place online.

Be ready!

Prepare yourself for new opportunities and use your time at home wisely.

– Daniel Keet is an orchestral conductor and writer currently living in Milan.

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