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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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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Right But Slow

Right But Slow

A week ago the new masked Tanzanian president went to Nairobi and elbowed the masked Kenyan president. That scene alone announced a radical change for Tanzania. The former president banned masking recommendations or mandates.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan went to meet her Kenyan counterpart to mend the fences wrecked by the deceased former president of Tanzania principally over the fight against Covid.

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Suluhu under Virus

Suluhu under Virus

The world’s most mutated Covid-19 variant has been found in travelers from Tanzania. The discovery was announced three days ago by the Krisp Institute, which first discovered the South African variant.

Krisp is growing the virus to determine any effects of the mutations. There may be none but there is concern that several mutations involve the critical “spikes” that bind the virus to its prey. Several other of its specific mutations have been confirmed in many different virus samples from around the world, reflecting the natural selections that give the virus advantage.

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Serious Suluhu

Serious Suluhu

The former president, John Magufuli, will be laid to rest tomorrow in a Tanzanian state funeral. The chief mourner is the new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who recently told the BBC, “It’s possible that some people take my soft-spoken nature as a sign of weakness, but to make them understand you doesn’t mean you have to shout.”

A respected African think-tank said today that Magufuli’s death in the face of Suluhu’s modest demeanor “has thrown the East African nation into a period of political uncertainty.” Here’s why:

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Covid Covering

Covid Covering

Traveling to Africa this year? Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt? Start right now looking for the perfect mask. If you find the perfect fit, when wearing and when not wearing glasses, travel to Africa later this year can achieve a level of acceptable safety. But it will not be like it was before the virus.

EWT’s safaris later this year include South Africa, Egypt/Jordan/Israel and Tanzania, so this blog refers mostly to those destinations. Here’s what I see coming for all EWT travelers.

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Save Samia

Save Samia

So he’s dead. The Tanzanian government lied to its citizens for ten days. Many were arrested for “spreading rumors” that Magufuli was sick. Last night, the Vice President who the constitution designates as the next president said Magufuli “had been hospitalized at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute since March 6.”

Reports I still believe that he was medivaced first to Nairobi, then to India, are irrelevant, now. What is relevant is that the critical authorities of the government of Tanzania believed they could claim a sick man was well, and all we want to know now is what will happen, next.

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MIA Control

MIA Control

We may be witnessing one of the most successful attempts at social control by mass brainwashing in human history. Tanzania’s President John Magufuli may, in fact, be pulling a ‘Donald Trump’ recovering from covid, but his government is using this to brain control its citizens.

The 61-year old may, in fact, be getting better in an undisclosed hospital in India. But the myth that he has never been sick and has not left the country is being embraced and disseminated by millions of Tanzanians. This is more than a “Trump.” It’s social control the likes of which the world has rarely seen.

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Death Reveals

Death Reveals

President Magufuli of Tanzania who has made it a crime to even speak about coronavirus is on a ventilator in one of Nairobi Hospital’s ten presidential suites after attempts to transfer him quickly to India were aborted.

Like Trump, like Johnson, like Bolsonaro, the Head-of-State covid-denier is near death. Trump and Johnson were saved by medicine unavailable in East Africa. Bolsonaro had a mild case.

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Covid Limits

Covid Limits

“Pneumonia is our code word.” Reports from Tanzania this weekend suggest the country is spiraling into a terrible covid situation, a “second spike” not yet seen in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Because speaking about covid is against the law, doctors, activists and the patients themselves are referring to the situation as a “pneumonia epidemic.”

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Covid Sage

Covid Sage

Truth is growing! Even in the covid-denial island known as Tanzania a courageous voice has sounded: “The chief medical officer and the rest of officialdom [in Tanzania] have been hiding Covid-19 related deaths, [but] now the funerals are exposing us.”

Jenerali Ulimwengu has been a thorn in the side of established Tanzanian governments for years. He survives the brutality and imprisonment of most other local critics because he hunkers down when he needs to, constantly extols as his guiding star the father and founder of the Tanzanian country Julius Nyerere, and … because he’s very popular on YouTube.

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Vaccinated!

Vaccinated!

This blog is for old people who want to travel to Africa or similar places. Since old people are often spunkier and certainly smarter than young people, young’uns wouldn’t be wasting any time reading it, too. Just get your macchiato or Glenfiddich, whichever relaxes you best, find a rocking chair or bean bag then take a deep breath. Some brain scratching required.

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Start Date

Start Date

So finally we have evidence of exactly when it is likely to be safe enough to return to East Africa: June 1.

This isn’t said exactly right. This is the date that the most reliable, experienced safari companies in Kenya and Tanzania believe tourists will really return. I agree, though I think it will be much more slowly than they do.

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