Wildlife in my Garden

In Search Of Little Things of Significance. As we enter our second week of isolation, our routine has established to include two daily walks around our property. Not only an opportunity to get some exercise and let the dogs romp around, it has become a quest to find new and interesting wildlife. Hidden between the various stands of vegetation, there is an incredible world of … Continue reading Wildlife in my Garden

COVID-19 information for the Garden Route.

Preparing and maintaining health care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The sheer scale of the current pandemic of the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 has caught many countries off guard. While the public debate is about how threatening the virus is, the reality is that the scientific data gleamed so far is that the world is now aiming to strive an incredibly infectious virus which is proving to be more virulent than the common cold. 

While individuals in society have been caught out thinking that they will not be susceptible to this virus, the reality is that, as a highly infectious pathogen, the COVID-19 virus’s biggest threat is to the capacity of health care systems to cope with the dramatic influx of patients requiring ICU for periods of between 3 and 4 weeks.

Below is information to educate and inform you to best be prepared and how communities can flatten the curve (see article below).

COVID-19 Hotline : National Hotline : 080 0029 999 Call this number first if you suspect that you have the COVID-19 symptoms. You will be advised where to go to be tested. 

Warning : Do NOT go to your doctor or hospital to be tested. Phone first and arrange were to go so that you don’t infect the hospital or doctors rooms in the event that you are positive.

Know where to go in the Garden Route if you suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms :

Plan where your closest test location is : Read Link

Garden Route Outbreak Response Contacts :

Important links to valuable information to understand the COVID-19 virus and how it spreads. 

  • Update #2 : 13 March 2020. This article is a consice and details explanation on the infection rates and the threat to public health care in a region and a country. Read More
  • Update #3 : 15th March 2020 : Updates on COVID-19 infection rates in  the Western Cape : Read More
  • Update #4 : 15th March 2020 : How does a population alter the rate of infection of COVID-19? This simulation provides a visual of how social distancing can flatten the infection curve : Read More 
  • Update #5 : 15th March 2020 : This is a link to the global infection, recovery and death rates. It is marginally delayed, but gives perspective : Read More
  • Update #6 : 15th March 2020 : Video playlist of interviews with Michael Osterholm on how to prepare for and maintain health care capacity by flattening the infection and transmission curve of COVID-19 : View Here 
  • Update #7 : 18th March 2020 : The sober maths of a pandemic : Read more
  • Update #8 : 31st March 2020 : Understanding the effects of social distancing : Read more
  • Update #9 : 1st April 2020 : Preparing psychologically for the long haul transformation of COVID-19 on society. Read more
  • Update #10 : 8th April 2020 : A fascinating map of the global spread of COVID-19. View here.

A South African perspective of COVID-19

Preventative measures :

COVID-19 symptoms :

What to do if you suspect that you have COVID-19 in South Africa :

  1. Call the NICD Hotline : for any enquiries on where and how to get tested, call the NICD Hotline : +27 80 002 9999
  2. Be aware of the symptoms. If you suspect that you have the symptoms and want to visit your doctor, call ahead of time to establish if you should go to the practice. Consider that if you do have COVID-19 before you th the doctor and the practice will have to be quarantined which effectively prevents any other patients from being able to visit the practice till it has been sanitized.
  3. Currently the Mediclinic in George is the only designated hospital to deal with confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases.
  4. In the event that a case is confirmed and a patient requires an ambulance, ER24 is currently the only ambulance service which is designated to transport confirmed cases. This is due to the time and cost of sterilizing to vehicle after the patient has been delivered to the hospital.

Be aware of the symptoms and don’t panic. The WHO lists the symptoms as follows :

  • Mild headache
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Incubation without presenting symptoms ranges between 10 and 24 days.

Sources of information :

How to reduce the chance of infection.

Continue reading “COVID-19 information for the Garden Route.”

The Art of Sauntering in Nature

Pace yourself outdoors. As the world searches for escapes from high pressure urban lifestyles, research is showing that a mere hour in nature on a daily basis has incredible therapeutic benefits on both physical health and mental well being. South Africans that do get out into nature on a regular basis have recently evolved into stopwatch addicts, racing the clock to raise their heart rate … Continue reading The Art of Sauntering in Nature

Cast in Stone : The Cradle of Human Culture.

“I think you need to come and look at this again” called Dr Martin Lockley. Dr Charles Helm, his wife Linda and myself were walking away from an overhang of aeolianite with a series of fossilized tracks on the under surface to look at another series of fossil tracks which Dr Helm describes as a work of art. When an ichnologist and paleontologist as renowned … Continue reading Cast in Stone : The Cradle of Human Culture.

Giants and Dwarves weaving between Spotted Ghosts on the Outeniqua Trail.

At 108km, the Outeniqua Trail is one of the longest hiking trails in South Africa. Traversing through forest and fynbos along the southern slopes of the Outeniqua Mountain range, the trail is hiked in a west to east direction sleeping in hiking huts with a capacity for 20 hikers. Mountain Wilderness. It is in the true sense, a wilderness hike, a trail that removes you … Continue reading Giants and Dwarves weaving between Spotted Ghosts on the Outeniqua Trail.

Death Of a Whale

By Mark Dixon Friday 29th June 2018 Today, in the Garden Route, we witnessed the indifference of natural selection. Yet for those present, there was an empathy for one of the giants of the ocean. One year ago I swam with Humpback Whales during the Sardine run in the Eastern Cape. Today I watched one die. The scientist in me took notes. The bloodshot eyes … Continue reading Death Of a Whale

Child’s play in the Garden Route

Sun filtered through the forest canopy and lit up the tannin stained river to a golden glow as the three boys were energetically boulder hopping upstream. ‘If you don’t give children a smartphone and play station nowadays, they are ostracised by their class mates’ Sabin, the boys mother, mentioned while they were out of hearing range. ‘I even bought a play station and pretended that … Continue reading Child’s play in the Garden Route