Pox on Vax

Pox on Vax

Is naming anti-vaxxers who die of Covid a moral strategy for promoting vaccination?

No, says Elizabeth Bruenig in this month’s Atlantic. Yes, counters University of Cape Town professor Nicoli Nattrass.

The “Death Shaming” controversy is on big time. It’s on because Delta is mowing down those who flaunt it, and it’s on because the madness that denies vaccine science can just as readily deny the anti-vaxxer’s obits.
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Afghan Parts

Afghan Parts

Chinua Achebe, author of “Things Fall Apart,” was a greater seer than any of his characters: Today Africans across the continent are filled with worry, nervous with a sense of helplessness. Across the continent it feels like things are falling apart.

“The Americans wanted revenge over the 2001 September 11 attack on the Pentagon Building,” Nigeria’s largest newspaper, The Sun, says today in its lead editorial. “What they now have is a defeat.”
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Update on UP

Update on UP

Africa is breaking as covid cases surge.

Data collection and compilation varies so dramatically one country to another. Moreover collection and compilation has improved equally dramatically since the start of the pandemic, so each country’s numbers may be inflated by their improved collections. Suffice it to say that not a single African country reports the situation improving and many are sounding the alarm.
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Afghan Apprehensions

Afghan Apprehensions

“U.S. abandoning Afghans sends terrible message” is the headline in South Africa’s BusinessLive. The Daily Maverick calls it an “unmitigated disaster.” Kenya’s Standard: “U.S. Government has let down Afghanistan.”

None argue that America should stay. The criticism is entirely for abandoning the tens maybe hundreds of thousands of Afghans who live in mortal danger because of their American connections. And for the stupidity of having extended the original mission:

“The purpose of armies is war, not peace,” writes BusinessDay this morning in Johannesburg. “The failure of military intervention [in Afghanistan] shows the time has come to disband Nato and US bases around the world.”
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malariaRNA

malariaRNA

It took a pandemic that killed millions of people, but the developed world seems ready to manufacture a malaria vaccine that works.

The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrates that Africa will never vaccinate enough of its people against Covid-19 (or any other disease) until manufacturing takes place there. It also made clear that if a disease is allowed to flourish in Africa, it will forever be present globally.

The scientific triumph and economic success of Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine juxtaposed on the battle Africa is losing with Covid because it can’t get the vaccine has finally shamed enough western powers to loosen international patents and in other ways underwrite the serious acceleration of both a Covid and a malaria vaccine for manufacture in Africa. We could have the malaria vaccine within a few years.

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Streets of Anarchy

Streets of Anarchy

In a scene that could well be that of Donald Trump in a few years, Jacob Zuma was put in jail Wednesday, and the days and weekend that followed exploded in violence. The South African military has now taken to the streets to contain the fighting especially in Johannesburg and Durban. Six protestors are confirmed dead and many more assumed hurt.
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Wannabe Wanes

Wannabe Wanes

Will a democratically-removed former head-of-state lead an armed rebellion to avoid jail and return to power?

We’ll see in less than two weeks when Jacob Zuma’s final judicial ploys end with him being stiff-armed into prison.

I know. You thought I was referring to Trump. In many ways I could have been…or I could have been referring to the leaders of Brazil, Israel and India, and most of Eastern Europe. This is an age of wannabe despots with mad, armed supporters, and the earliest incident finally coming to fruition is in South Africa.

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Covid Confusion

Covid Confusion

The spike in Covid-19 in certain countries in the southern hemisphere is causing mayhem in the travel industry. Today South Africa moved to an “adjusted alert Level 4″ which further closes down the country, and separately, the CDC advised even vaccinated travelers against visiting Tanzania.

This needs much explanation, especially since the new Tanzanian president is really moving the country in the right direction. But the one thing she refuses to do is specifically why the CDC kiboshed Tanzanian travel. In South Africa’s case, it’s just rotten luck.

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Heady Aches

Heady Aches

Excited about the increasing depth of the Trump criminal investigations?

Don’t put too much faith in the law. A good portion, but not too much. And while you’re at it take a quick look at what’s happening with Africa’s Trump, more than four years after he slid from power.

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Fatal Optimism

Fatal Optimism

Every citizen in sub-Saharan Africa expects Wave Three at any moment. The vaccination rate is only around 1% with the bulk of that in Kenya and Zimbabwe (although Zimbabwean health reporting is under serious scrutiny), and winter is right around the corner when viruses thrive.

So the vaccination slugfest in sub-Saharan Africa is scheduled to hit a major turning point momentarily. What can we predict?

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Lion Love

Lion Love

One of the hunter’s best friends on the African continent has been the South African Government. Until last week.

You might remember the dentist from Minnesota a few years back who shot the famous lion “Cecil” in a private Zimbabwean reserve. The outcry was profound, the ramifications wide. South Africa kept trying to sweep it under the rug and finally agreed to a comprehensive commission. Late last week the government accepted really strict anti-hunting regulations rcommended by the panel.

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