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The Price of Lockdown: How The Coronavirus Lockdown is Affecting Our Health And Finances Negatively | The Hart of Health Podcast S1 E16

Joané & Jonathan: (00:03)
Hi, I’m Joané Hart, and I am Jonathan Hart. This is The Hart of Health. A show where we focus mainly on health and self-optimization. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. We hope you enjoy the show.

Jonathan: (00:35)
Hey everyone. So on today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about the price of freedom.

Joané : (00:42)
Yes. Basically, we are going to be talking about what this coronavirus lockdown that we currently have in South Africa and basically in the world because the world is on lockdown and what it’s costing us.

Jonathan: (01:00)
Yes. In my opinion, freedom is priceless. So there is actually taking clean, nothing you should pay to, um, to lose your freedom.

Joané : (01:12)
Well, let’s start with an overview of what things are like in South Africa so that people can understand what things have been like for us and why you’ve been feeling like your freedom has been taken away. And we can also talk about how things; how the lockdown has affected people in South Africa.

Jonathan: (01:34)
Yeah. So sort of in the middle of March, South Africa decided to lockdown and then they initially stated a period at which they were going to reopen things again. But basically, they’ve been stalling since then. And we’re basically still in lockdown now, even though they said, now we’re level four, whatever that means, you know? So they started with the lockdown and said, no one’s allowed to go anywhere except for essential things. And yeah it has not really changed much, except now everyone’s wearing masks and that’s now being enforced with a hefty penalty. If you’re caught without one. And, uh, yeah. I feel like they almost want to try and drag this lockdown out as long as they can. So there’s almost feels like there is no end in sight, so it’s not like they are really communicating with us really well. And they like, they’ll just have a statement and then suddenly things will be changed. Like then she say: “oh yeah, we’re going to lockdown for a month.” And then the month turned into like a month and a half. And now they’re bringing in new regulations with the re-opening of everything. And so it’s kind of a confusing situation in South Africa.

Joané : (02:55)
A lot of businesses have had to close down a lot of businesses haven’t been allowed to operate in this time.

Jonathan: (03:02)
Yeah. If you don’t provide any essential service and the government decides what’s essential.

Joané : (03:09)
And you can’t operate, it’s not like in America where companies can still ship things or deliver here. If it’s not food or anything, you can buy winter clothing because we’re going into winter, but you can’t buy any other clothing.

Jonathan: (03:25)
Even though the winter clothing could be right next to the summer clothes in the shop. Yeah.

Joané : (03:30)
You’re not allowed to buy it, and then yeah, you can’t order it. A lot of businesses have had to close down because they can’t even deliver to their customers. So they’ve basically just cut everyone off at the knees and it’s affected a lot of people. A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of people are waiting to lose their jobs because they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen. And they’ll say we’re in stage four, but they don’t say until when. So they’ll say; these types of businesses can start operating in stage five. But I mean, stage four has been three, four weeks now, already.

Jonathan: (04:06)
And we don’t know, they haven’t given us any timeframe.

Joané : (04:09)
They haven’t given us any time frame. Oh. They can only start operating in stage three. And we’re counting down. I remember now, but yeah. So businesses don’t know when they will be able to start operating again. They don’t know when they will be able to start earning money again. A lot of businesses have to change their strategies. But a lot of businesses have had to close down, including a lot of popular national magazines and stuff like this. 99% of tourism companies have been affected; events companies, shame that was like a bullet shot to the head, but also people who would sell their food at farmer’s markets now can’t sell, they have to try and find customers online and through word of mouth to try and sell their vegetables and also heard this other thing that’s really stupid the other day. We have a lot of; what do we call it? Like squatter camps.

Jonathan: (05:18)
Yeah. So, you have them in Los Angeles as well, except they’re more made out of tents ours is more made out of like steel plating. And so yeah, it’s almost like a colloquial name for it in every country.

Joané : (05:33)
It’s basically like an area where people put up shacks to live with people that have a lot of money.

Jonathan: (05:39)
I suppose the easiest example would be skid row in Los Angeles.

Joané : (05:41)
Yeah. I suppose. So people would take food to these areas, to the poor people. And well, unfortunately, a lot of these areas are divided according to race. Just people have divided themselves accordingly; they’ve built this themselves. Yeah. They built them themselves. There’s no rule that says only like caucasian people can go there and you know, but they would try to take food to these areas and the police would stop them and confiscate the food because it’s supposed to go to other areas. So you can’t even give to like people you want to go and give food to. So it’s very weird that, and a lot of the times the police are confiscating food that people want to donate to certain areas and then they’ll go and give them to other areas. It’s very strange.

Jonathan: (06:36)
Yeah. There’s a lot of funny things going on now where I feel like the army and the police have been let loose and given way too much power to do everything they feel like basically. And they have to judge for themselves on what’s wrong. What’s right. And I feel like everyone’s sort of fitting the bill for it now.

Joané : (07:01)
Joe Rogan’s comedy special called strange times. This is, these are the strange times.

Jonathan: (07:07)
Yeah. He was one year early one or two years early. But I suppose even then it was strange, but yeah. So in the beginning I thought, oh ya, we don’t want our hospitals to get overwhelmed. And your aunt is a gynaecologist and your other aunt is a gynaecologist assistant. And so, Leon, one of my colleagues has a girlfriend who’s just finished her qualifications for being a doctor. And so we have direct contacts for people in the medical field, in the hospitals who are in the hospitals and none of our hospitals have experienced any kind of overflow or peak or any kind of situation where there weren’t enough people to handle it. And like people aren’t going for elective surgeries. And so the hospital is actually now like a ghost town. And everyone’s just saying that it’s empty. It’s quiet. The doctors are actually complaining that they’re not getting money because they can’t do it, they can’t help the people who need to get elective surgeries because all of those have been cancelled.

Joané : (08:27)
Or just go in for their checkups, go in for normal consultations. The doctors aren’t getting their normal income. They’re not getting inpatients for things that they could normally charge for. So doctors are having problems paying their staff. They’re having trouble paying the bills. Some hospitals have to maybe let doctors go. Um, so it’s very sad that some of the people who have some of the most important jobs for our health are really struggling. It’s just terrible.

Jonathan: (09:02)
And so I feel like the thing in Italy happened, like where it was just chaos. There were too many people all at once and they didn’t have enough equipment and people necessary. And now everyone else is like freaking out about what happened there, and this is why I kind of question the lockdown because it seems to not be slowing the rate of infection. I feel like the virus is going to be going around and it’s still going to end up infecting 80% of the people. And we are not even close to being overwhelmed for our medical system. Our medical system is underwhelmed at the moment. It’s sort of like, this is way less than we’re used to handling. Because the thing is in South Africa, we still have people struggling with things like antibiotic-resistant TB with HIV, there’s a whole bunch of other things that we’re running all the time. And so our hospitals were geared up to handle that volume, plus all the people that want to do the elective things and go for the consultations and all those things. So we have the resources available to handle a large wave if it does come, but now there’s no large wave that has come. And so you sort of question like why did we shut down everything if there wasn’t even a large wave.

Joané : (10:33)
Yeah. And people are still dying of heart attacks. People still live with diabetes. People still have cancer. People are still struggling. It’s not like Coronavirus happened and all of the other diseases said, okay, we’ll just calm down for now. Like no! All the other things are still there and someone might need to go for a heart surgery, but now they’re not allowed to go and they have to wait and it might be too late. Yeah. They could have a heart attack. They could have a heart attack because they weren’t allowed to go for the surgery. And as someone who’s supposed to go for, you know, surgery in their arm because they have a lot of pain and they’re not allowed to go. So it’s really unfortunate. So yeah, for the sake of people’s health, we’re trying to avoid this pandemic from breaking out, but people aren’t allowed to go for these treatments. And what’s also sad is that if you do have to go for a surgery, like if you break something and now you have to go to the hospital and it’s really an emergency, none of your loved ones are allowed to be with you. You could have a miscarriage and you know, they need to operate. You could maybe lose your life. I don’t know what the circumstances might be and your partner might not even be allowed to be there with you at any point. You could be giving birth and your partner is not allowed to be there. So all through out South Africa no dads are witnessing the birth of their children.

Jonathan: (12:02)
That is very sad. And this is sort of the thing it’s like, yes, this is a novel coronavirus, but so were all the other Corona viruses and you’ll say, yeah, this one is spreading more rapidly. Okay. But just because it spreads rapidly, doesn’t really make it sort of more dangerous. It’s not more deadly. It doesn’t seem to be that much more deadly that it’s worth this sort of lockdown. And everyone, the whole world has to shut down and everyone has to go into an economic recession. Everyone has to now suffer because we don’t want our hospitals to be overwhelmed. But here in South Africa, we didn’t even come close to hospitals being overwhelmed. And so a lot of people travelled to Africa. You know, we got this thing almost as quickly as everyone else did. And like everyone else has had their peaks in waves. And I’m like, what if we’ve already had our peak and we’ve locked down and you know, for nothing basically because the hospitals didn’t come even close to struggling.

Joané : (13:14)
Yeah. And you say, what if, because the truth is you don’t know, we don’t know. We don’t know how many people would have gotten it; if we didn’t do the lockdown, we don’t know what the death rate would have been. But we are just questioning also the economic implications, a lot of businesses are closing down. A lot of people losing their jobs. We are very curious to know what the suicide rate will be in this time. Because think about it. A lot of people lose their jobs. They have no idea how they’re going to provide for their family. We’re in lockdown. So it’s not easy to go and look for another job. Plus, so many people are going to look for jobs. Now that a lot of people aren’t feeling very hopeful that they will get a job in the first place and that could make people commit suicide. Especially I think for a lot of men, providing for their family is very important to them. Also, a lot of people who are already struggling with their mental health, maybe they were already suicidal. A lot of people are alone at home. And say if you already struggled with your mental health now you’ve been stuck at home alone for weeks. You’re not allowed to see people. You’re not allowed to see your loved ones. It’s very sad. So I feel very sorry for people who are alone. I’m very grateful that I have you here. So at least I’m in lockdown with someone I like. There are a lot of people who are married to people they don’t like, and they’re stuck in lockdown together. I’ve heard of people who were just about to get a divorce. And one person was just about to move out and then lockdown happened and they had to be stuck in lockdown this whole time. Like that must suck so much.

Jonathan: (15:07)
Yeah. It can’t be good for your mental health. And then what we are noticing a lot now is that people keep on saying that if you have co-morbidity factors, like if you are quite elderly, if you are overweight, if you have diabetes, if you have any of those things, it increases your chances of experiencing a worse COVID or a deadly COVID. And I feel like the lockdown is having this effect on people where it’s actually making people more unhealthy because now you’re not allowed to go exercise outside. Unlike a lot of countries here in South Africa, you weren’t even allowed to like walk your dog. You weren’t allowed to leave your house unless it was to go buy something essential. So you weren’t allowed to exercise and go out and get fresh air. You were stuck in a house where you store all your food. So you have access to all your food in one go.

Joané : (16:05)
People aren’t getting enough sunlight well they weren’t anyways, but people are getting even less than that.

Jonathan: (16:10)
And people were definitely drinking and smoking. And basically, all of their vices were getting amplified because now they have to sit around and do nothing.

Joané : (16:22)
How many people are stress eating, eating out of boredom, sitting more, not moving as much? One thing. Now we have to think nine months into the future here is how many babies are going to be born in nine months because people are stuck at home. And we know what happens when people are bored, sometimes. So it’s like, we already have a problem with overpopulation in this country. We are going to be hit by even more poverty. Now, now you’re going to get a lot of households who are struggling financially and they’re about to bring another baby into the world.

Jonathan: (17:00)
Yes. And that’s why I start questioning the logic of this whole shutdown where, you know, if you had to look at the exact same time period, just last year of deaths on our roads. Okay. It’s numbers in the thousands. And then you look at the same period this year, but just looking at Corona deaths, it’s 186. So I’m just like, normally with a lot of people driving on the roads, the government and the world, basically everyone just accepts it. Oh yeah; thousands of people die driving on the road, but everyone accepts that risk. Again, they call and they say like, I know I can die in a car crash if I go and drive on the highway now or anywhere really. But everyone accepts that risk and they say that’s the cost of freedom; some people will die because you live in freedom and there might be someone who makes a mistake on the road and it costs you your life. You know, everyone accepts that risk, everyone accepts that thousands of people are going to die in that time period. But now we locked down and tell everyone, no, you’re not allowed to take a risk. Now it’s not your decision. Whether or not it is too risky for you. We’re making the decision for you. And you’re going to have to stay at home and we’re going to shut down your business. And we basically make all your decisions for you because you have no freedom, But you’re allowed to drive and kill other people. That’s fine, but you’re not allowed to infect other people. I’d rather take a chance with Coronavirus than a road accident.

Speaker 3: (18:54)
And think about the number of deaths that alcohol causes in a year.

Jonathan: (18:59)
Alcohol is legal, but if you look at all the suffering and pain, domestic abuse, violence, like people have the freedom to buy alcohol because all governments around the world learned that prohibition of alcohol is a bad idea because all it does is fund criminal activity and people are going to drink if they want to drink. So, because most Western societies believe in freedom. You have the freedom to drink alcohol, even though it is terrible for society.

Joané : (19:33)
Well, what’s funny is now, well, alcohol is legal. Again. You can buy certain types of alcohol, like wine, but you’re not allowed to buy cigarettes. But what’s happened is now there is like this illegal, like black market for cigarettes.

Jonathan: (19:51)
There was always this illegal black market for cigarettes, but they are making so much money now on the black market. Everyone now is just buying their cigarettes through the black.

Joané : (20:00)
So it’s like the people who are smoking cigarettes are acting like druggies now and people; it’s so funny and people who are desperate for money are selling cigarettes all of a sudden, because that’s like the new gold.

Jonathan: (20:19)
Yeah. Basically, everyone’s realizing, I think it was also because they extended the lockdown without any warning. And from the beginning of the lockdown, they did not allow the sale of any tobacco products. So people didn’t stock up enough. I think people stuck up enough for the first lockdown, but then after it got extended and now they’re still not allowing the sale of any tobacco products, people are now going just around the law. You know, this is the reality of the situation. If you put a law in place, that everyone kind of knows is stupid. They are just going to go around it and it’s going to have zero effect. And so, yeah, it’s weird how you can have freedom in one scenario, but in another scenario, suddenly your freedom can be taken from you at the drop of a hat with no vote, any kind of poll. Nothing. No input from the people. Government is just like, Oh, we’re going to do this. And you have to listen otherwise, we’re going to put you in a box.

Joané : (21:26)
Yep. So yeah.

Jonathan: (21:30)
Yeah. It’s quite a frustrating topic and it’s not like we’re saying we don’t care about people’s lives. We just care about the economy. We’re actually trying to say, we think that what they’ve done is going to cost more lives in the end. So, it’s not only a matter of money. It’s a matter of more lives are going to be lost because of the actions they took in this lockdown, in South Africa specifically, I don’t know about other countries, but in this country specifically, I think we’re going to get a lot more loss of life from doing lockdown and all these businesses closing and going into an economic recession in this Coronavirus is ever going to achieve. The recession, the depression. It’s not good, but uh, I hope you guys stay healthy in the, in this quarantine time and don’t become another statistic of someone who gains weight and lets all your unhealthy habits shine.

Joané : (22:39)
Yeah. We, this podcast did sound very negative because we do feel a bit fired up about the topic, but you can also focus on the positive, which is what we’ve been trying to do most of the time. And yes, we are forced to stay at home, but we’re trying to use this time at home and make the most of it. We are, spending more time together, playing games, exercising, working on projects, getting some sunlight. So we are using this opportunity. I mean, a lot of people complain that they never get time at home to watch the shows that they’ve always wanted to watch and, you know, do the things that they always wanted to do. So things can feel very negative and overwhelming very quickly, but try to focus on the positive because the truth is that while we are upset about the economic implications and the other negative health implications of this lockdown and the Coronavirus; we can’t do anything about that. And we have to focus on the things that we can control.

Jonathan: (24:02)
Yes. I mean, we’ve had Coronaviruses spread across the world a number of times. I mean, this is like COVID-19. So it’s like the 19th Coronavirus and it’s not going to be the last. I’d say now that it’s so relevant, use this as sort of the warning shot to be like, okay, I don’t want to be affected by this thing. The best thing that you can do is get your health in order. And most likely, if you’re listening to this, now you have the time to start making it a priority. And yes, even though things are going to be tough, don’t use that as an excuse to put your health last because health becomes the most valuable thing to you when you don’t have it.

Joané : (24:58)
Very well said indeed; until next week.

Jonathan: (25:03)
Bye.

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