Last week’s GDP figures, although shocking, were not unexpected.
In fact, it just highlighted what we already know. It did, however, reignite many debates, like how to defibrillate the dying economy, the merits of inclusive growth and universal relief measures as opposed to race-based grants or subsidies.
While most adults struggle to come to terms with the new normal now in its infancy, children are also exposed to a new world where centuries-old traditions and belief systems could change forever.
In April, barely a week after the lockdown was first announced, I was the one tasked with breaking the news to the tiny ones in our circle that the annual Easter Egg hunt would not take place. They were devastated. After the euphoria of having parents home all day and creches shut down, the tiny ones had to deal with the fact that the Easter Bunny was their first real victim of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Despite promising that he would return next year, with better spoils than ever, I know that for many, his absence placed him in the category of the mortals. Five months later and with many parents now unemployed, I heard the heart-breaking news last week that the Tooth Fairy has also fallen victim to the crisis.
The official story is that the Tooth Fairy has to abide by the lockdown rules and cannot go out after the 10pm curfew. Off the record, however, I was confidentially informed that many parents now cannot afford to place a R10 note in a little shoe. Of course, teeth are kept and will be put out for collection when the curfew is lifted, but it won’t be the same.
This news got me thinking: what will happen to Father Christmas this year? Will he be allowed to travel to South Africa, or will our borders be open only for ANC bigwigs in military planes? Perhaps his elves were forced to self-isolate and couldn’t make all the gifts in time?
Either way, whichever version parents choose to tell their children, many little hearts will probably be shattered again. I don’t think I like this new normal.
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