The other side of the smoking ban

Those deprived of their nicotine fix and having to go cold turkey will have climbed walls an no doubt there has been family arguments and some serious psychological damage done.

Cigarettes and Lockdown

Most concerning with regard to Dlamini-Zuma’s reasons for stopping the sale of cigarettes, apart from her absolutely ridiculous “zol” comments is her obvious ignorance that those stopping smoking face a high risk of obesity and in turn diabetes 2. Her claim that is because of respiratory reasons too are absolute hogwash for if someone has been smoking 40 a day for thirty years stopping isn’t suddenly going reverse years and years of lung damage. And most smokers will confirm that whenever the quit for a period of time they tend to smoke more when they restart. So instead of 40 a day it becomes 50 a day.

 If cigarettes were simply not available ever again, anywhere in the world, then maybe Dlamini-Zuma’s plan would work but her dear friend Adriano Mazzotti and of course her step son Edward are no doubt making millions out of the illicit trade. Buying blackmarket cigarettes it would seem is not that difficultand are quite freely available for those desperate enugh to be heavily fined and carry a criminal record into their future.

But more serious than buying blackmarket, is the trend of people smoking rooibos tea and adding all sorts of additives including, according to an interview on eNews yesterday, cut up nicotine patches to try and get their nicotine fix. How much damage are they doing to their lungs? And guess what, they have to roll a ZOL to smoke their concoction probably using newspaper without filters and complete with harmful ink inhalation.

Imagine arriving in Australia for a visit and being asked if you have a criminal record, that is of course if you can get a visa in the first place, and your reply is “yes, for being a smoke”.

Well done Dlamini-Zuma for increasing more fat people with diabetes and an increase in lung cancer. You are indeed a genius.

And for those that haven’t seen the “ZOL” song that is taking the world by storm


A Weapon of Mass Destruction? No one is sure!

Collo’s Blog

A reader rather took exception to my’ dumbass’ comments yesterday (my apologies) and rather suggested I am the only dumbass. Well he has no argument from there for my brother says I am not just dumb, rather a veritable village idiot.

But I do believe in this instance the reader has taken what I wrote out of context for he states “that is quite inflammatory language given the fact we only have 219 deaths”. My post was not questioning the sensibility of the lockdown to flatten the curve but rather that when bottle stores re-oopen it will be for three days a week and for four hours a day. A somewhat strange decision considering the importance of social distancing and after the criticism of the three hour exercise window one would have thought they would have taken note of the problems it will cause with overcrowding.  And when liquor stores do re-open we can be sure it will make the gold rush a non event in history by comparison.. 

And it appears my comments have the support of John Steenhuisen and the DA for they have taken the NCC to court claiming their actions are irrational. Irrational, stupid, silly, senseless, unsound, nonsensical all words that basically say dumb however one colours it.

But breaking news ….

Weapons of Mass DestructionThe world’s spy agencies are summoning their best operatives to try and discover the secrecy behind how the common old ciggie, as enjoyed by billions around the world has become such a hot product and there is talk that it may be a WMD (weapon of mass destruction). That it has information on cigarettes has been declared ‘CLASSIFIED’ by the South African Government, Nations from around the world are deeply concerned for future of world peace if South Africa were to sell the information to Iran with who they have good relations or worse, ISIS

British Intelligence Service MI6 is dispatching 007 on a “TOP SECRET” mission and ‘M’ has employed a South African living in London to teach James how to roll and smoke a ‘Zol’ so that his undercover persona is not blown. ‘M’ confirmed 007 may use his ‘license to kill’ should the SA Minister of Police try and lock him up for breaking lockdown regulations.

Q’ too is hard at work modifying James’ Aston Martin into an SUV that can handle local pothole conditions and he has a developed a rather James' Aston  cunningly disguised mask that is actually a ‘Martini, shaken not stirred’’ when removed and squeezed into a glass.

President Trump is calling it FAKE NEWS but he has sent his “they are the best, we have the best in the world’ CIA agents to try an uncover the truth behind this potentially peace threatening discovery by the Dr D-Z saying nobody knows more about Weapons of Mass Destruction than him. He has ordered that if D-Z doesn’t break under ‘water-boarding’ he will stop all financial aid to South Africa until he gets to the bottom of this FAKE news fully aware she has a rather big bottom.

 Russia is silent on the matter in case it goes nuclear and China says they are not worried as they will soon own the South African economy and anyone selling anything but Chinese cigarettes will be lined up against a wall and shot. For that matter anyone selling anything other than Chinese products will be shot.

Meanwhile D-Z’s lips remain sealed on the matter as the zol paper used in her demonstration had apparently been treated with super glue without her knowledge. 



We are back online

Well we are back after a few days off owing to a rather unfortunate and unavoidable power outage in a section of the Cape St Francis Resort last Saturday when a transformer literally exploded. Catching up on some work on Saturday morning the bang from an explosion sounded and sudden loss of power gave an ominous warning that this was not Eskom load shedding but something a little more serious.

Electricians from Uitenhage were on site within a couple of hours but alas after inspection they pronounced the bad news. The transformer could not be repaired and there would be no power for the day at least. Later we were given the news that a new transformer was being sourced from Cape Town and power could only be restored at the earliest by Wednesday.

The resort has a residents WhatsApp group that keeps us up to date on happenings within the boundaries of the resort which has been extremely helpful during the lockdown and was now keeping us well informed of ways to lessen the inconvenience of living without power. The outage only affected about 12 residents and we all were offered rooms that still had power so they could shower and cook and fridge / freezer space. Thanks Anita and team you’ you immediately set everything in motion to make things easier for all concerned.

Having Joe Fish / Full Stop make take-away deliveries right to your doorstep also helped for although I personally cook mainly on gas, not having a fridge means there was no way of storing food. But as always the food was outstanding and beat the heck out of cooking.

The only hardship was not having a hot shower unless you were prepared to schlep up the road so after my morning swim in freezing water I chose to shower in cold water using my outdoor shower. All I can say, INVIGORATING, and you feel warm for the rest of the day. Think I am going to stick to the daily cold shower, what doesn’t kill usually cures.

True to expectation the new transformer arrived around 9:30 on Wedneday (yesterday) morning with a team of installers and a crane with power fully restored at almost exactly 1:00pm, just 72 hours on.

Well done to all concerned at Cape St Francis Resort for getting anything done in these difficult times is in itself a miracle. Let us hope both local and international visitors will soon be able to return to experience your superb facility and hospitality.

Old transformer being lifted out of mounting to be replaced with new.

Life is short, Don’t make us waste it.

We often hear the phrase “Life is short, enjoy what is left of it”. Well here we are being forced to hide in our homes wasting what is left of our lives. Locked away we oldies are being deprived of the little life have left. To make it worse it is actually our fault that this lockdown is so stringent because it will apparently kill off the old people, not the young.

So we are told it is for our own good and like lemmings we abide by ridiculous laws made by politicians who display less intelligence than 99% of their constituents.

Maybe the time has come to stand up for the rights given to us by what is said to be the finest constitutions in the world. Maybe old people should show the way for a change and not leave it to the poor and disadvantaged who are brutalised by the police and army should they break these stupid laws. They wouldn’t dare shoot us and putting us in jail will result in more litigation than the courts could ever handle

I am over 70, diabetic with a cardiac problems as well as a lung condition that has severely worsened in the past month causing me to keep a bottle of oxygen at my bedside. So it could be said I am ready for a visit by the grim reaper. But I don’t need a government to wrap me in cotton wool for I am quite happy to take my chances in avoiding the man with a sickle as I have done quite well for the past seventy years inspite of my late mother often telling me I would kill myself for one reason or another.

But so what? If Covid doesn’t get me something else will and who knows when. It could be in a car accident next time I drive to shop at Spar to save 5% on pensioner’s day (stats show there is a greater risk of being killed in a car than by this virus) yet I will still take my chances.  So why are so many so scared? I

They keep saying it’s a war so are we not soldiers in this war? Imagine if the allied soldiers had been so lacking in courage in WW2, we would all be speaking fluent German.

Somewhere in the not too distant future it has already been ordained that the Angel of Death will come to fetch all of us. This is written in stone and it is what life is really all about. And absolutely nothing any one of us can do about it so please Mr Government don’t worry about us. We are well capable of looking after ourselves and don’t trust you anyway for you have displayed you are not the sharpest knives in the draw with your stupid downright mean rules that prevent us even enjoying our dram of scotch at night.

Let’s stop being scared and get on with life. Sure wear your helmet (mask) and keep social distance just as we did when we “tree’d aan” – at “aandag” – and “regte rok” on the parade ground.

Personal note

On Friday I at long last got to stagger on my crutches for a long walk on the beach and a swim in the sea, well more like a semi beached whale wallowing in the shallows rather than a swim. On Saturday I again stumbled down to the beach for a walk and swim but there on the beach was a lone security guard motioning me not to go any further. Acres and acres of empty beach and not being allowed to walk is madness. Surely the local authorities could make area specific exceptions? Instead of forcing most of Cape St Francis onto a narrow pathway round the lighthouse open up the beach where social distancing is so easy. .

An interesting health related observation. After just one walk / swim on Friday morning my sugar count which had spiralled under lockdown dropped significantly and I haven’t had any chest pains since whereas as I was having at least one attack every day or so. Maybe a psychological thing, maybe not.

Try thinking out the box rather than punishing us

The Government needs to employ a more intelligent advisory board that can think out the box rather than look at ways of demotivating and punishing the people.

Way back in the 60’s I served a couple of years in the permanent force SA Navy. My first posting was to a World War 2 vintage W-Class destroyer, the Jan van Riebeeck (I can hear Julius screaming as I type this). One of our more arduous missions rather than the normal chasing Russian trawlers out of our West coast fishing waters was a three month sojourn to accompany the replenishment ship, Tafelberg to Marion Island in the southern ocean.  

Knowing we were to be a sea for a long time the Chief Petty Officer responsible for the action station in the tiller flats (that is where the gear for operating the ship’s rudder is located and is located deep aft in the bowels of the ship, a place no officers ventured). So I was ordered by the CPO to collect all the pineapple cuttings from the galley, some sugar, yeast and ginger powder. All this was placed into one of those big aluminium containers they used for transporting milk. A chain with a lock  sealed the deal and off to sea we set.

A month or so into our trip the time had come to open the brew and being the most junior of the assembled handful of seaman I was tasked with unlocking the container. With some trepidation I do recall I gingerly unlocked and pulled the lock free. Well the fermentation had certainly worked and blew the lid clean off denting the bulkhead above which when considering this was a ship built of steel to withstand enemy shell, torpedoes and bombs illustrated the force the lid generated.

And that wasn’t the only kick for I still put my ability to consume huge quantities of alcohol and remain relatively sober down to my introduction of that home brew that over the coming weeks we sipped each time action stations were called as we took up our battle stations in the Tiller Flats..

This brings us to the subject of the alcohol ban so vociferously supported by our dear Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.

Reported in TheSouthAfrican  Rumour has it, that if you stand in front of a mirror holding a beer – with the lights off – and say “cheers to Bheki Cele” five times, the prohibition-crazed police minister will appear behind you and snatch your drinks. Of course, we jest… but the lockdown-enforced alcohol ban has been a shock to the system for many of us”.

With the closure of liquor stores, taverns, pubs and clubs, thirsty South Africans have turned to traditional methods of home brewing. While the Disaster Management Act explicitly forbids the sale and movement of alcohol it does not make note of liquor brewed within the confines of one’s own home.”

Yesterday Bheke Cele made some wonderfully naive statements, no stupid statements,  that only those so brainwashed by the ANC or those mentally challenged could believe.

The first, words to the effect ‘stopping sale of alcohol has reduced the number of road fatalities and cases of driving under the influence’.  Really!

So now it is stopping bottle stores trading rather than the lockdown and closing pubs and taverns that has reduced drunken driving and road fatalities.

Next is his statement that violent crimes too are down because of banning sale of alcohol. Yes closing down of places where people gather and drink where fights break out. Not many murders occur on the forecourt of the bottle stores, and shebeens that sell liquor rather than serve it.

Reports of domestic violence is down, let’s give him that one but again possibly due more to the pubs and taverns being closed. People tend to drink less at home than would in a pub / tavern where buddies egg each other on with ‘another one for the road’.  And had the sale of cigarettes not been banned, domestic violence probably would have been even lower for there were no doubt a few fights caused by the frustration of not having cigarettes.

But it is the loss of an opportunity that has shown the ANC’s inability to think out the box.  Alcohol and cigarettes are huge contributors to the government coffers. That millions, nay billions that could have been earned to ease the burden the government now faces have been lost,  never to be recovered for it is water under the bridge..

A little thinking out of the box would not only have kept those who enjoy a glass of wine with their meal or a beer after 100 laps of the garden or pool content rather than ‘pissed off’. There cannot be a reason why Tito Mboweni could not have doubled, trebled even quadrupled the sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes thus allowing the sale of but limiting quantities purely on cost but still collecting much needed income. If suddenly a glass of wine, a beer or a glass of whiskey cost R75 or more few would enjoy more one or two of an evening.

Instead banning alcohol has spurned a whole township industry that won’t be easy to stop going forward. And some of those home brews will be a lot more potent than a cheap bottle of wine.

No Mr President your advisory committee is forcing normally law abiding citizens into breaking the law. Imagine being caught with a bottle of wine in your car having borrowed from a friend. No more visiting your son or daughter and grandchildren in Australia as you would now have a criminal record.  And if you refuse to pay the fine do they incarcerate you with murderers and rapists? If Cele has his way they will.

A different perspective

Franklin D Roosevelt

Franklin D Roosevelt

Franklin D Roosevelt once said “there is no greater fear than fear itself”. Is this not indeed exactly the case with some with regard to this pandemic? Certainly Covid-19 is a serious health risk and yes we must remain concerned and careful but the statistics below show that possibly our fear is exaggerated for there are there are many, just as serious threats, that challenge our daily being. The statistics below, the source appears legitimate, indicate we are far more likely to die of some other cause rather than becoming a Covid-19 statistic.

These stats were recorded as at approximately 13:00 yesterday so will have changed significantly by the time you read this post. The link at the bottom of this page will allow you to see the latest figures. Rater frightening!.

So let’s start with the world Population

  • 215000 children had been born yesterday as at 13:00
  • 91000 people had died yesterday as at 13:00

So world population increased by over 125000 yesterday and has already increased by 24 million this year and now sits at close on 7.8 billion souls.

Having a look as the following statistics paints rather a different picture as to what we should probably be more afraid of than Covid-19 yet we pay them scant regard.

  • 2 487 200 people have died of Cancer this year *
  • 1 513 957 people have died from smoking related causes this year *
  • 757 447 people have died from alcohol related causes this year *
  • 509 091 people have died of Aids this year (*As at 13:00 yesterday)
  • 408 813 people have died in car related accidents this year *
  • 324 751 people have died by suicide this year *
  • 297 095 people have died of Malaria this year *
  • 165 890 people have died from Coronavirus this year *
  • 147 318 people have died from seasonal flu this year *

We do not say you shouldn’t abide by social distancing and be aware of the dangers of this pandemic but possibly some should realise panic achieves nothing more than raise one’s blood pressure.  The need of some to report even the smallest transgression on social media or the authorities of a neighbour transgressing one of our draconian laws displays how some already have a greater fear of fear than fear itself. We have been in lockdown for almost four weeks now and were we infected we would surely have become a statistic. So whilst those who are most at risk are allowed to wander the streets, travel to funerals and carry on with life, we have those so fearful that they must snitch on their fellow St Franciscans for fishing off a jetty, or taking a walk on a beach hundreds of yards from anyone. Maybe one day someone will be able to explain how it is safer to visit the local Spar than to walk on your own on a deserted, road, park or beach. Nonsensical!

As can be seen from the stats above, by taking a drive to the shops you are two and a half times more likely to die in a car accident than contracting Covid-19 and dying. And for those of us pleading to open the bottle stores so we can enjoy our 6:00pm dram of fine scotch whiskey, we are four and a half times more likely to come to an alcohol related death than dying of Covid-19’. Smokers too, well your prospects don’t look good at all with an almost 10 times the chance of dying through your habit than this nasty virus.

Most of us accept and support President Ramaphosa locking the country down but sadly it is hard to agree with some of the totally ridiculous restrictions that have seriously impacted on our human rights. Some of these draconian laws were poorly thought out and have done little more than encourage the Minister of Police and his Storm Troopers to act like their counterparts in Zimbabwe.

Considering our (SA’s) population is virtually that of Italy, should the virus take hold as it did in Italy we could expect similar statistics. 17972 cases reported – 23660 deaths or 0.00004% of the population. Put into perspective that is almost the number of people who will be murdered in a year in South Africa and about a third of the numbers of those who will die from Tuberculosis. How come we have never taken similar harsh action to fight these blights on our nation’s wellbeing?

Not saying we should ignore the threat, just put it in perspective and try and stop fearing fear for the fear of fear.

Source of stats –

In closing – prior to the Spanish Flu in 1918 the world population stood at approximately 1.7 billion and although killing some 50 million people the world recovered. By 1927 was already up to 2 billion. In less than a century the world population has almost quadrupled. Maybe Mother Earth is sick of us destroying her world and will continue challenging scientists until she finds something they cannot find a cure for. Maybe Global Warming will be ME’s backstop solution to her war on humans destroying all afore them.

Interesting fact on Franklin D Rooseveld.

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression as our 32nd President (1933-1945), Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves.

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.