In extraordinary times

18 March 2020

We live in an extraordinary time and must focus on our environment and fellow human beings.

But even in extraordinary times, ordinary life goes on. You can read the small news items that follow within the context of these new and continuously changing circumstances. The everyday, extraordinary and locally distinct is woven together.

You would have received this newsletter two weeks ago had it not been for a technical problem due to load shedding. Because the Woordfees is a busy time for most of you living in Stellenbosch, we decided to send the newsletter after the Woordfees. Before the end of the Woordfees, we heard our president’s guidelines for the local management of a world crises and his encouragement for compassion for others.

In our present crisis, political leaders elsewhere in the world at times referred to another country’s illness and foreigners who would infect a particular country’s people.

However, political leaders and communities now mostly heed expert scientific advice. Such a response to the disaster is indicative of rational ideals of commonality and the realisation that all need to sacrifice to protect vulnerable groups in society.

There are many ways in which individuals, communities, and states can respond to a disaster. To care for those who are fragile is a sustainable way of doing. Our smaller interests in specific issues then become part of the commons, that is our shared interests in society.

Such awareness helps us now. It will also help us to deal with the much greater environmental emergency that is moving more slowly towards us on this earth.

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