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The virus is winning the battle plus 5 highlights from 'Vrye Weekblad'

Here's what's hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

17 July 2020 - 08:12 By TimesLIVE
A Gauteng doctor says he fears for his life as the Covid-19 pandemic is set to reach its peak in the province.
A Gauteng doctor says he fears for his life as the Covid-19 pandemic is set to reach its peak in the province.
Image: REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz

Doctors and nurses on the front lines are the heroes of our time, but they are suffering great emotional trauma and have an unimaginable workload. They can see this virus is still one up on us. 

“Our patients have no resistance; it is so scary!” says a doctor who treats cancer patients. “And then you see the attitude of people outside who are not taking the virus seriously. They say the good Lord will protect them! They gather for visits and chats. They say your time is your time. I don't even know what to say ... How would you feel if your actions caused someone else's death? It makes me so angry!”

Dr Jacques Koning is a specialist in internal medicine in Pretoria, and he is busy until 8pm every day. “Our numbers are shooting up. We are now admitting the same amount of patients every three days that we used to admit in a month to six weeks.” 

Read more about our battle against Covid-19, and more news and analysis in this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad.

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“This thing is 70 times worse than flu,”  Koning says. “People arrive at the ER deathly ill. They take 60 to 70 breaths per minute and their oxygen levels are low. A man was sitting on the bed, talking to his wife on the phone. I asked him to take his shirt off and moments later he was dead. Another man died and his wife is on a ventilator. Their child is only 19.”

Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the SA Medical Association, says the pressure on medical staff is coming from all sides.

“All we are trying to do is to cope. We don't need politicians to make things harder for us. We need medical solutions. This is a human virus and a human issue. Covid-19 is not a trade union that you can negotiate with. He won't allow it. He also doesn't care if you want to speak to the manager. He is winning. And when he hits you, he hits hard,” Coetzee says. 

“If you don't cooperate, this virus will kick your ass. That is precisely what is happening right now,” she adds.

Read the full article in this week's Vrye Weekblad

Must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

FARM FEARS | The night has a colour. And a feeling. And you know what it's like to be in bed, listening to the darkness and you know the powerless fear of isolation that comes with living on a farm.

FREE TO READ – WHEN MANDELA SAVED MY LIFE | On a Saturday night about 20 years ago, Herman Lategan was held hostage by two men in his flat. One man's name saved his life that night, and he wonders if it would have the same effect today.

ICU IS A BLACK HOLE | Being in ICU with Covid-19 in a private hospital is a frightening experience for patients and families alike. And the doctors and nurses have their own reasons to be just as scared. 

THE WEEK IN POLITICS | Covid-19 has ravaged our economy even more than predicted and in this time of national catastrophe, R10.1bn is allocated to a bankrupt airline for the elite. 

HUNTING CANNED? | The current economic crisis might be the final nail in the coffin for the hunting industry as a tourism activity in SA.