The words we dare not say and the deaths we don’t count


The words we dare not say and the deaths we don’t count

I suspect that, in the next month or two, we’re reluctantly going to start using those unsayable words


There’s a strange silence in all the talking and shouting and laughing; a small cluster of potent, unsayable words and phrases being avoided as life in SA tries so frantically to return to a pre-Covid normality: “uptick”; “resurgence”; “second wave”; and that other one, the one I’m too afraid to write, that starts with an L and ends with an N and rage and protests.

I understand the silence. This, right now, with friends and a glass of wine, feels good.

The news, too, still seems encouraging. The proportion of Covid tests producing a positive result in SA has held below 9% since September 30. The most recent and alarming outbreaks seem to have been the result of reckless but isolated “super-spreader” events involving the undeveloped frontal cortexes of children and the overdeveloped sense of entitlement of certain bar owners...

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