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'People keep saying govt must treat them like adults. So then, wear the masks!'

23 May 2020 4:27 PM
Tags:
Melanie Verwoerd
Coronavirus
Face Masks
COVID-19
SA lockdown
cloth face mask

After counting 20 people without masks during a short drive, political analyst Melanie Verwoerd called CapeTalk in despair.

Analyst and author Melanie Verwoerd is a regular political commentator on CapeTalk.

The former ANC MP and South African Ambassador to Ireland is also herself a survivor of Covid-19, so she knows what she's talking about when she urges people to wear face masks.

Verwoerd's two children were infected as well, with her daughter becoming extremely ill even though she is young and fit.

RELATED: Melanie Verwoerd: 'Started with diarrhoea, then our taste and smell disappeared'

On Saturday, Verwoerd was aghast at the number of people she saw not wearing masks outside during a short drive to take her cat to a Vredehoek vet.

I counted, as I drove - it's a short distance - 20 people not wearing masks outside. And even now where I'm sitting, three people have just walked past me without masks.

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

When she used sign language while driving to indicate a mask, she says the response from people was to give her the finger or swear at her.

In view of Verwoerd's experience with her whole family coming down with the virus, she tries to figure out the reason for this non-compliance.

I think people are either not scared of the virus anymore or else they think - as they are angry with the government about some of the regulations - that they're also going to defy them with the masks. They carry the masks with them in case the cops stop them...

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

The only thing we know that actually helps to control it a little bit and protect people is actually if you wear a mask. To now start defying that or thinking you're cool or 'I'm bulletproof' is just ridiculous. People are going to get very, very sick.

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

Even if you survive it, you don't know about people next to you that might not.

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

Verwoerd says she's starting to despair about the lack of compliance as both the infection and death rates climb.

People must really not start doing that because this is not a joke. We are now I think almost nine weeks down the line and we're still (even though my son and I got very light symptoms at the time) having some problems. When we exercise we start coughing, we get very tired at times, I still have extreme body aches. My daughter still has issues with fevers coming and going...

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

We know this thing is so, so infectious... It's so easy to pick up the virus and it's no big deal to wear a mask. It's really not a cool act of defiance to walk with the thing around your neck.

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

People keep on telling me, very angrily, that the government must not treat them like teenagers... Well then, wear the damn masks!

Melanie Verwoerd - Political analyst, author and former MP

Listen to Verwoerd's impassioned plea in the conversation below:


23 May 2020 4:27 PM
Tags:
Melanie Verwoerd
Coronavirus
Face Masks
COVID-19
SA lockdown
cloth face mask

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