IEE Newsletter

Special: A short story from Cape Town, South Africa

2020 - Happy New Year! Should auld acquaintance be forgot . . . a new decade was ushered in with all the hopes and dreams of things to come. As with every year, Christmas and the New Year were soon a vague memory, dulled by the everyday demands of work and our daily lives. No big deal . . . such is life!

January slipped by. February was upon us – must get the tax returns in. Now we’re into March. We hear vague reports of a Chinese virus that has spread to Europe. Italy seems to be experiencing some problems. Fortunately, we live on the southernmost tip of Africa. Phew, lucky for us.

Next thing, President Ramaphosa is telling us that we are about to shut our borders. The economy will be shut down, a strict curfew will apply and only emergency services will continue to operate. This all seems to us like a Star Wars re-make!? Perhaps Spider Man or Wonder Woman will save us? Alas, there was no super-being forthcoming . . . not even a witch on a broomstick. What next?

As we slipped into April 2020, we weighed up our Hotel’s prospects. Sizeable fixed costs. Revenue was nil (and later a relatively small stream). Aha! We have a business interruption insurance policy. The Insurance people advised us that our yearly cover was now only a monthly policy (inverted & shaken). In addition, it would only pay out if pigs could fly – on 30 February. Worse was to come. Insurers were waiting for re-insurers who, in turn, were waiting for insurers who were waiting for a delivery of pixie dust (which never arrived).

Over the next many months, we endured the Beta variant, the Delta variant and then the Omicron variant (which originated in South Africa & Botswana). We sent Omicron to Boris Johnson, who declared us the scum of the earth. We sent him a pack of drinks for a party on10 Downing Street and he forgave us! Donald Trump also arranged a party during Covid (on the 6th of January 2021). Such a nice man! Then Djocovic flew to Australia to play a simple game of tennis – only the Aussies got all silly about Covid rules. Bolsonaro (he’s the Man) showed the world how to tame a virus.

Next thing we know, Putin is affronted by his Ukranian cousin. Apparently Zelensky does not want to play politics in Russia’s sandpit. Why don’t we all just kill each other then? So they did! The only good part of war is that it WILL end . . . some time. My father fought in the 2nd World War North Africa campaign. He told me that if you did not die on the battlefield, then your constant concern was remembering the 100-year war (which lasted 116 years)! That’s sobering!

On the home front, life is gradually returning to normality. Our hotel business is picking up nicely as tourists and business people get on with their lives. Employees have, for the most part, returned to work and we are, collectively, heaving a sigh of relief – a VERY BIG sigh!

I want to hear that we only have to have one vaccination. Hold on . . . you need a booster. Schnell. And another . . . ?

Kevin Davel
Owner of B&B Little Scotia
Cape Town / South Africa

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