Jo Biden starts his four years in the hot seat

Jo Biden InaugerationAmericans may be loud and brash when we meet them touring but one thing we can say is they know how to put on a good show. Those who didn’t watch last night’s inauguration of now President Biden certainly missed a great show.

Every speaker was worth listening to and had a message worth listening to held one’s attention, even the priest at the start and the preacher at the end for neither went on too long.

So interesting was seeing the ex-presidents being introduced with all the pomp and pageantry that is probably more British than the Americans would like to admit. Clinton, Obama, all looking good and nice to see them interact with the last last Republican president, George W Bush.

Mike Pence was there to wave the Republicas flag choosing to witness the inauguration of a new president rather than say goodbye to his old boss at nearby Andrews Airforce Base Not surprising really considering the nasty things Trump had to say about his VP in the final days.  

Lady Gaga’s entrance was, well …..  Lady Gaga!  Her rendition of the Anthem was thankfully pretty much as the composer intended for so many who are given the honour, totally destroy what really is a magnificent anthem.

We had that once when a Rasta singer was given the job when the Boks were touring overseas and he managed to do a total number on our Soutth Africa anthem.

Where to designers come up with outfits like that worn by the Lady for surely it must be hellishly uncomfortable.  I know nothing about fashion but must say of the two J-Lo was dressed to fit the occasion rather than to steal the occasion.

Without doubt the highlight of the inauguration was Amanda Gorman, the youngest Poet Laureate ever. What a presentation. For five minutes she held an audience of millions in her hand. Her words were a lesson for all and if you weren’t tuned in and want to hear  what was quite simply outstanding you can listen to it and better still watch it here.

I have just listened to her again and no doubt will during the course of the day listen and watch again. Not poetry in motion, better!!

And so it was Jo’s turn. It is doubtful Donald would have been watching as he was probably cleaning his golf gear in preparation for his game in the morning but if he was, I doubt that television survived what must have been a missile assault of anything The Don could throw at it.

What a great speech the oldest president in US history gave and there can be no doubt he calmed the attitudes of many a Republican who was sitting on the fence. Conciliatory certainly but he lost no opportunity in calling out the need to stop the lies that dear  Donald had sprouted over the past week’s as he refused to give up the fight.

One thing that was different to Trump’s inauguration was, as I remember, it rained throughout the ceremony. Yesterday it apparently snowed shortly before the event then cleared with the entire ceremony taking place under bright sunshine. Maybe a good omen?

Rather funerals and church than healthy beaches

One can only wonder if Police Minister Cele is deploying as many police to monitoring funerals and church services as he is to the lone surfers on totally deserted beaches.  Why surfers who by their very presence in the water follow social distancing and are out there in a wide open sea absorbing fresh air and healthy doses of Vitamin E to fight off infection have become such a super-spreader threat and bane in Cele’s life is truly concerning and puts into question the intelligence of those who made the laws and are unable to apply common sense.

One can understand limiting the number of people on a beach on those busy public holidays when hordes invade but these days make up less than a handful in a year. If a dozen police are required to arrest one surfer on a normally deserted beach surely a police should be able to manage basic crowd control for they should be trained in just that and surely have enough experience in considering all the practice they have in controlling political demonstrations and unrest.

Similar to what happened in on the Langebaan beach yesterday happened on a relatively empty Cape St Francis beach on Sunday, probably the result of a Stoep Polisie report. And now according to press  Cele is about to move to empty Garden Rote beaches on the off chance that someone might not have yet washed the sea sand off their feet and so can be clapped into irons and carted off to jail.

Whilst those putting even a toe onto a beach are targeted and risk six months in prison, families wander around shopping centres en masse with no controls imposed on the number of members of a family allowed into a shop at a time. Visit any local shop in St Francis and you will find multiple family members needed to make  purchase be it Spar, the butchery or either bakery.

Groups still gather in townships and watch any SA television news channel and large groups will be ignoring social distancing, masks and all the other protocols as they protest one thing or another. Police seem conspicuous by their absence on these occasions for their deployment is to catch a solitary surfer is far more of a priority. Surely one poli constable on a lonely unoccupied beach is sufficient if surfers are even a threat in the first place.

Laws are made and should be followed certainly but no laws are intended to be totally unreasonable and not be policed with common sense. Many of our men and women in blue, not only in our precinct but around the country will apply the law with understanding, empathy, fairness and most of all, common sense. Sadly others consider themselves as storm troopers employed to punish not protect and sadly our Minister Cele is one of these.

Of course the police are required to act on any report of someone breaking a law and whistleblowers are a necessary part of policing. But whistleblowers or “STOEP POLISIE” who hide behind curtained windows petrified that someone transgressing a law will cause them personal harm do no more than call police from more important matters. Maybe when this pandemic is over some of these nasty souls can be identified and shunned by the community who largely respectful of the police and the laws, within reason.

Why our government has such a hateful attitude toward the beaches is mystifying for surely they are probably amongst the healthiest places to be in the summer months.

At the end of the day maybe there is a lot of truth in the conspiracy theory that this is all about control, global control.

Can this virus be stopped?

Collo's Comment

Eventually yes for man is able to achieve even the almost impossible given time. But it the meantime as this virus gains momentum in its second wave what is to say there are not more waves, possibly tsunamis, on the way in the near future as the virus mutates and resists man’s efforts to stop it.

Maybe, just maybe Mother Earth is fed up with us humans destroying her beautiful planet. She has given ample warning of her unhappiness but not only have we ignored her but we continue to cause her harm. The global warming denialists refuse to make any attempt to go green. We continue to pollute our oceans with plastic slowly choking marine life to a slow and eventual annihilation.  We have decimated many of the wildlife and insect species that we share this earth with some becoming extinct. And probably most serious of all, we continue to overbreed putting more and more strain on Mother Earth to provide us with the resources we need to survive.

Over the centuries Mother Earth has sent not so subtle hints that she is in charge. Earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, floods, viruses and a lot more have wiped outh millions. But man has an innate ability to learn from these efforts and given time has been able to find solutions for most and so are able to manage if not fully solve the most of her challenges. Tsunami warnings, evacuating areas likely to be flooded in a hurricane / cyclone and of course the many, many drugs and cures created by scientists to stop the spread of viruses and heal infections that would have kept population on this planet in check,

And so with Covid-19. No sooner had the world’s best scientist found a vaccine than Ma throws a curve ball and allows the virus to mutate into a new strain. How many new strains does she have up her sleeve and yes scientists will eventually bring the virus to it’s knees as we have with every other pandemic when Ma feels it is time. But at what cost before this can happen for the virus is not the only threat, unemployment, starvation, riots and more as government findsit impossible to provide for the masses.

The first wave proved deadly to the elderly, particularly to those with comorbidities in much the way as Mother Nature deals with wildlife tht  is injured, ill or too old to look after themselves – survival of the fittest. Now it seems the new mutation is now also attacking the young, if not killing them certainly making them extremely ill and who knows what future health problems will beset them in the future years as a result.

So scientists have finally created a few vaccines but will these work with this new strain and then the next strain and the next as the virus continues to mutate. And even if the answer is yes will we at the southern tip of Africa benefit for sure as the sun rises and sets we can be sure our government will find a way to generate billions through corruption.

Lockdowns are not going to stop the spread. Sure it may give a little respite to the brave medical staff for a week or two but what when the third or tsunami waves eventually hit? This virus is now part of our lives in the foreseeable future and so we should not be forced to stop living in case we die.

We must face it that Mother Earth has been forced into cleaning up what man has single handedly destroyed and no amount of praying to God, Allah, Buddha or whatever God is your preference, nothing can stop Mother Nature when she is in a bad mood.

Collo – A personal comment

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment  for PAD

The editor embarked on a one month Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment a mnth ago. This is has personal assessment as to how the treatment afforded him relief from a irreversible, progressive disease. 

Having suffered with a progressive arterial disease for the past 15 years, walking has become more difficult as the years pass to a point where 50 metres is now an achievement. Consulting specialists over the years I was told there really was no way of reversing it but drugs could help slow its progress. A surgical  solution about 15 years ago replaced some six inches of my aorta with plastic tube helped initially but couldn’t stop the progress. A keen walker I would walk up to 50 kilometres a week with my dogs and even when arriving in St Francis in 2013 I could manage a 5K stroll with relatively little pain.

Since then the distance to pain ration has diminsished and today a hobble of anything more than 30 or 49 metres would bring on an excruciating pain that made it all but impossible to even take a single step until blood flow and oxygen reached the extremities if my limbs..

Suffering a couple of heart attacks in  2017, once whilst at the heart clinic in Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital that thankfully hurried on a triple bypass. Following the surgery the cardiologist explained the huge cut almost the length of my  left leg was because  had battled to find veins healthy enough to use in repairing my heart. Three years on the scar had still not truly healed until about a week ago following what I am about to write about.

During lockdown I started to again suffer quite regular angina attacks, two or three a day . At the same  time  I finding it difficult to breath. Not concerned that it was Covid as it was a gradual progression I consulting the doctor and it was very much expected news for I had heard the diagnosis several times before. The long and short now though was that, to go with my fast clogging arteries the collapsed lung I had suffered after heart surgery had also come back to haunt me. All this contributed to less and less oxygen being pushed into the deeper recesses of my arteries.

Consulting Dr Google, something I had always avoided I decided to see if there were indeed any treatments for my condition, namely Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD. Surgery was not an option for as I had been told before, it was not only hugely expensive but also seldom successful. Different drugs, chemical and natural were suggested but I had tried most at one time or another.

But one article sounded most interesting as it discussed using a decompression chamber as used by divers and pure oxygen. The treatment suggested that the pressure should be taken to  2.5 bar (approximately 25metres under water equivalemt)  with 100% oxygen fed to the patient for 90 minutes. The article suggested a daily treatment for 30 days could show results. Discussing it with a diving buddy over a beer he said it made sense and then perchance a friend from my water polo days visiting from PE told us about a facility that had been setup at Liquid Lines right here in Cape St Francis.

And so I was introduced to Carmel Billson of Blue Abyss Breath and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Although the Blue Abyss chamber can only reach a pressure of 1.3bar (approx. 13 metres) it was certainly worth a try and so a month ago I commenced daily (Monday to Friday) treatment. After 19 hours I will shortly be entering the capsule to enjoy my final hour of treatment in what has become my daily hour of relaxation and peace.  The feeling is much like taking off on a flight as your ears pop as you reach the 13 metre depth. The quiet humming of the external machinery too is not unlike the sitting on a flight over the Atlantic late at night with even the oxygen feed sounding a little like the airvcfeed in a plane.

For a complete hour you cannot be disturbed unless you are silly enough to take your phone in with you. Although I must admit after about ten or so sessions after I had become accustomed to lying quietly with my own thought I did take my phone in with me to listen to some olden 70’s goldies on Spotify.

But back to the treatment, some days I felt virtually no different when I exited as to when I entered the chamber whereas on other days I could feel my toes actually tingling as they celebrated getting a little bigger share of oxygen. One big change was in my energy level and I no longer found a need to take a nap in the afternoon. Rising at 4:00 every morning I used to find myself dozing over my keyboard by 2:00 pm so this was indeed a huge benefit for it made sleeping at night easier.

So did it help with the PAD?

Although unable reach the pressure recommended in the article I had read there is no doubt in my mind that the treatment has helped even if only in the short term. Before commencing with my daily hour of solitude I could barely climb my staircase without sobbing in pain as  dragged myself up the stairs hand over hand. After a few treatments I was able to walk up the stairs as would any normal person.

Prior to treatment walking even 50 metres without a shopping cart as a makeshift Zimmer frame was impossible without enduring unbelievable pain. On Friday after treatment I walked all of 100 metres before the pain set in. After a ten minute rest I was able to retrace my journey although the last 20 metres were back to the normal hell on earth walking took me to.

Certainly the treatment has positively helped reduce the pain in my legs but the biggest benefit, or rather the most notable was how my breathing improved tenfold. Most nights I would wake at night gasping for breath but as treatment progressed so my breathing improved and where I was having two or three Angina attacks a day I found I now only have have two or three episodes a week.

I will be away from St Francis for a month next week so will be unable to continue treatment but I shall certainly keep my options open when I return.

I highly recommend this treatmant to anyone with PAD or Athreosclerosis, especially if in the early stages and if one has breathing problems. It is recommended for many other conditions and I have set out more information below for those who are experiencing the aches and pains of ageing or indeed sport injuries in the young and active..

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a non-invasive method that consists of supplying oxygen at high concentrations in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber at a minimum of 1.3 ATM atmospheres (higher than the normal ambient atmospheric pressure of 1 atmosphere).

Inside the chamber you breathe close to 100% oxygen which is transported to the blood and manages to reach even the damaged cells.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy can be extremely beneficial for those who frequently experience low oxygen levels, regardless of the reason. If needed, regularly utilizing oxygen therapy can allow people to be more active and mobile by decreasing shortness of breath. It also can significantly improve quality of life, and in many cases extend life expectancy.

Reported benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

Athlete benefits

  • Reduce muscle fatigue and exhaustion
  • Improve mental focus
  • Faster recovery
  • Flush out lactic acid
  • Improve stamina

Injury and recovery

  • Acceleration of cell recovery and tissue repair
  • Pre and post surgery
  • Diabetic wounds
  • Muscle, tendon and bone injury
  • Burns and wounds

Pain management

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia

Chronic illness

  • Autism
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Circulation problems
  • Neuropathy
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s

Other benefits

  • Improved immunity
  • Increased stem cell production
  • Collagen synthesis

Contact us on WhatsApp or email  –  Carmel Billson- 0827816804  –

Photos of the chamber. The lower photo gives an indication of how much space there is in the chamber as the light blue stripes at the bottom of the pic is my chest as I had to hold the phone on my chin to take the phone.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber




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.