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Dallas

Things are definitely not looking good here in South Africa w.r.t. the pandemic. The numbers are getting really big and people I know personally are falling ill and needing hospital. The funeral homes are struggling to keep up with the rate of death. We have several of them down the road from our home and somebody posted a video of the number of mortuary vans waiting outside to offload more bodies. It's chilling. 

 

My family is OK. We think my older son may have had it, but he seems to be fine now. He lives on his own, so we are checking in on him regularly. My younger son has been very fortunate to have secured an apprenticeship at a tool and die company so he will be out of the gym industry fairly soon. Very happy for him. 

 

Obviously we are all fighting our battles against this thing, but I would like to initiate a check in here for all the regulars. Please post and keep the community up to date with what is happening in your part of the world. 

 

I have very little work coming in which is fairly usual for this time of the year anyway. I do think I will have to re-assess my situation towards the end of the month and make further changes to the way I spend my time. I have begun writing a memoir of my time in the army and will likely self-publish this project, maybe even here on Fotozones. 

 

 

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Daniel, I agree with you. I just feel so very rattled right now after hearing about my mate Anesh’s passing from this virus. He and I both got into the sports photography business at the same time, bu

My father-in-law is A-OK for now.  

. For decades now I've gotten a flu shot every year.   Next Tuesday I'm scheduled to get my first Covid vacine shot.  I believe it's the Pfiser one.   Hundreds in my area have already r

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

All good here with me and mine.  Wife works at a hospital, but she got her vaccine (round one) January 7 and should get her second round Feb 7th-ish.   My daughter and I both work from home.  When we go out, it is really for only the stuff we need or for exercise to the parks.  We social distance, mask up and sanitize.

 

My wife had body aches and fatigue for about a day, which she noticed 2 days  after the inoculation.  When she woke up the day after, she felt all better and has since and it has been a week since the first shot.

 

I know of many people, personally that have tested positive.  Some succumbed to complications from the illness, others were sick for a bit, and others had no symptoms at all (she only knew because she was going to the hospital for a procedure and they had her get a swab test, where she tested positive).

 

I'm Diabetic, so I am taking this very seriously as I am in a high risk group for complications - I'd rather not take the chance unnecessarily.

 

Our hospitals in central Ohio are vaccinating now, with the rate being 3000 people per day, per hospital.   I think the last number I heard is that they should be able to have everyone in the state that wants to get the vaccine immunized no later than June 2021. 

I'm not sure when that will be for me, but I guess that once all the hospital and front line workers get theirs, they start with age 80+ and work their way down the age group.  Not sure if they are going to bump the medical conditions up as well - I'll just need to discuss that whole situation with my primary care physician.

 

All the best out there, folks...stay safe, stay healthy.

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danielm

Dear Dallas,
Considering the serious pandemic situation into your part of the world, I hope you my best wishes to stay in good health as for all your family, reltives and friends. Here in Canada, we are facing a strong rebirth (acte II) of the Covid-19 phenomena. More severe restrictions have been decreted by the government for the next month or so. The situation is always more critical for the aged people (such as my wife's parents). For us, we have to stay home for most of the time and limit our outing to the essentials.
With the pandemic prolongation, we may seen more permanent changes that will influence our social and economic behavior and  regarding personal mobility such as travel and socializing. Quality might eventualy replace quantity.
Have a good weekend and thanks Dallas for asking news about us.
Daniel M

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A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

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Mexecutioner

Hello everyone:

 

Things not going very well here in sunny California, it is a mess. We were doing so well a few months back and now we seem o be the epicenter of this.

 

The LA Times estimated 1 in 3 people here in Los Angeles has been infected with it since the beginning of the pandemic. Some hospitals are operating at 300%. Ambulances wait for 6 or even more hours to drop off patients. Emergency responders have been told to not take people that can't be saved to hospitals, which have no ICU beds left. Not good... not good at all...

 

Unfortunately the vaccination efforts have not been as fast as many would hope. I hope we start turning the corner soon. I wish people took this more seriously and really put their best foot forward to keep this under control. I understand people are tired of restrictions and our previous way of life seems nos like just a memory but we can let our guard down right now.

 

I know many people that have gotten sick and sadly some have not made it. I have been tested a few times, my wife also and they have all been negative. We'll keep doing our best to stay healthy.

 

The economic impact and number of businesses closing is also catastrophic and hard to measure. I have been very fortunate and have a steady income, not the same as before, but enough to cover our needs. I am beyond thankful for that.

 

But we will keep our chin up, trying to stay positive, healthy, working out, eating well, getting some good sleep to keep our immune systems strong. Once we get the vaccine we will be licking doorknobs (kidding!).

 

Stay safe fellows!

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Alan7140

Here in Tasmania our early lockdown last March followed by border closure for months with only permit-carrying travellers allowed to enter from approved points of origin (i.e. places with no active locally-transmitted cases for many weeks - and even then they face compulsory hotel quarantine at their own expense if from overseas) has resulted in months of zero cases locally.

 

Recently tourists from permitted areas of Australia have begun arriving here again in small but steady numbers, and life is pretty much back to normal within the bounds of continued social distancing and wide use of hand sanitiser. Given the shocking news from so many other parts of the world I feel incredibly lucky that our State Government with full cooperation of the opposition instigated that harsh lockdown initially and that the population almost without exception followed the rules laid down to the letter.

 

The result speaks for itself, and much the same can be said for the rest of Australia - there are still the odd cases popping up from time to time in the more populated States, but by-and-large the horror stories happening elsewhere are thankfully not happening in Australia at present as the population is continuing to work hard to keep this bloody thing out of our lives as much as possible. It's true that inconvenient localised lockdowns and instant State border closures are becoming a regular thing whenever a case appears somewhere, but these are usually dealt with quickly with mass testing and contact tracing immediately instigated and things are usually resolved in a few days or so and the borders concerned are opened up again.

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Luc de Schepper

Here in The Netherlands we are in lockdown, again. People are getting increasingly restless and unwilling to comply with government regulations. The strain especially for those who have to work from home and take care and teach their children is substantial. The health care workers are under intense pressure but so far coping well with the challenge, bravo for them! My wife and I are fine, the rest of the family also. Three good friends (general practitioners) suffered COVID but luckily all three recuperated. Most COVID deaths I know off are elderly people. The economy has been badly hit but being a rich country we are much better positioned than less fortunate countries. Being 60+, though luckily in good health, I am due to be vaccinated from March on. Everybody take care and stay safe and healthy!

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Dallas

Frustration with the situation is my biggest problem. I can't work properly because nobody is spending any money and I seem to be working for nothing most of the time I do find work. I can't wear a mask for more than 20 minutes or so without feeling like I am going to pass out from suffocation so I don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary (and I don't believe they are helping much either - if they were there wouldn't be a second wave because they have been mandatory here for over 6 months).

 

I'm not reading good things about the Pfizer vaccine either. There are many people dying because of the side-effects. I certainly won't be standing in line to get one myself. It's all a bit of a clusterf..., isn't it? Where to from here? 

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Dallas

I've just heard that a local sports photographer I started shooting with about 20 years ago died of covid19 yesterday afternoon. This is really becoming alarming now. 

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danielm
4 hours ago, Dallas said:

I've just heard that a local sports photographer I started shooting with about 20 years ago died of covid19 yesterday afternoon. This is really becoming alarming now. 

 I fully understand your profound concern about the pandemic issue and just to illustrate a personal example my wife's mother have barely survived after contracting the Covid-19 last spring. I dont like wearing a mask but you have to compare our situation with the one of those who have to wear one for their duties all day long. I most add add there are different kind of those masks and some appear more confortable than others. 
I dont think that the pandemic situation will end in a very short future and we have to learn to cope with it may be with a little more philosophy and less tragic approach. It seems odd but we have to extract some sens of humor even in this very serious context. It gives us some air...
Have a good day and stay healthy,
Daniel M

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Dallas

Daniel, I agree with you. I just feel so very rattled right now after hearing about my mate Anesh’s passing from this virus. He and I both got into the sports photography business at the same time, but he made it his only pursuit, whereas I followed a different path. A nicer bloke you would find it hard to encounter. He had only just turned 49 in November. According to a mutual friend from whom I heard the dreadful news this morning, he fell ill with it around 7 January and passed away in hospital yesterday. 

 

I just don’t know what to say about this anymore. It feels like we are all sitting under the sword of Damocles at the moment. 

 

News story about Anesh Debiky

 

I wrote this on his memorial wall on Facebook: 

 

I just heard this news of Anesh’s passing this morning and it has truly shocked me.

 

We met for the first time at Whysall’s Pavilion after the manager at the time introduced us. This must have been around early 2001. We were both still working full time in jobs we didn’t like and all we wanted to do was become professional photographers.

 

We’d meet at the then just opened Wave House at the Gateway to practise our “skills” on the people who were trying to surf on that artificial wave. I think the first time we shot an event together was a lifesaving competition in Umhlanga. Neither of us got paid for any images, but being early adopters of the digital scene we certainly impressed the organiser by showing him photos immediately after the event on a laptop.

 

The first break into the big time came when we were given press passes to shoot the Super 12 rugby match between The Sharks and (I think) The Chiefs about a year or two later. There we were, two rookies amongst the old timers at Kings Park, thinking we were hot stuff with our Canon D30’s and lenses that today we wouldn’t even consider owning, let alone consider using professionally. There were some grumbles from the “establishment” but it was obvious from the start that things were going to be different once Anesh was let loose on the sidelines. He had a passion for this work that could never be measured.

 

After getting the right accreditations in other sports he made moves to leave his job at Mondi and he also got somebody to sponsor him the purchase of proper equipment for sports photography. He was determined to make this his job and I must admit to feeling more than a little jealous that he had moved ahead of me so quickly in the industry.

 

We shot some other events together over a few years until I packed in the sports photography thing for good around 2008. My interests were in other things, so I mostly lost touch with him after that.

 

Sometimes I’d run into him and Shannon at The Pavilion and of course we’d pick up where we left off our previous conversation which was almost always about the latest in photography or computer tech. We’d never run out of things to talk about in that regard. Shannon would just roll her eyes and leave us while she went on shopping.

 

Anesh’s was always a friendly face I looked forward to seeing and knowing that he is no longer with us has left the world a poorer place.

 

I’ll miss you, buddy.

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Anthony

Dallas, I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

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Rick Waldroup

It has been hard here in Texas.  Due to a lack of leadership, this thing is spiraling out of control.  My son, his wife, and both of their young children had the virus.  Fortunately, they are okay.  The wife and I have not been out much at all since last March.  I am semi-retired now and have been using my retirement savings to get by this past year.  My wife still works full time and her salary has kept us afloat.  Financially, we are in decent shape as compared to a lot of folks I know.  One plus side is that we moved to a small rural town outside of Dallas a few years back.  The infection rate here is much lower than the larger urban areas nearby.  

 

The one thing I miss the most is being able to get out in the streets and shoot.  I tried it a few times during this crisis and it is just not the same.  I shot just a handful of keepers this year.  However, this is nothing compared to the horror and tragedy so many have experienced world wide.  

 

Here is to good times ahead.  Hopefully by the end of this year we can all gather together safely in our local pubs and raise a glass in memory of those who have passed, and at the same time, celebrate the beginning of a new future.

Edited by Rick Waldroup
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Dallas

My father-in-law has just been admitted to a field hospital because he had been battling to breathe today. We're not sure if he has covid because he does suffer from bad asthma and regularly has to be put on oxygen when the nebuliser doesn't help. They will test him now and make a decision when they get the results. We're all just praying that he will be OK and that this was just an asthma attack. He's a tough old nugget. 

 

I just want to say thank you for all your messages of support, they mean a lot to me.

 

Things have certainly turned very nasty here and just a month ago we felt like life was going back to normal. It shows how quickly this new variant can spread. There is a lot of medical argument going on right now regarding the use of Ivermectin as a therapeutic solution. Unfortunately the drug is not approved for use in humans here in South Africa, but there are many Doctors who are now calling for permission to be able to prescribe it as both a prophylaxis and treatment against covid19 as it seems to be doing miracles in people who are taking it. Of course there are others who are saying that it isn't effective at all. At this time nobody knows who to believe anymore.

 

Rick, you are 100% right about this all coming down to bad leadership. Here, instead of getting people on their side, the government did (and continue to do) everything imaginable to invoke hostility from the public at large. Arresting people for walking on the beach, but allowing them to walk on promenades, banning alcohol and cigarettes for very obtuse reasons that defy logic, stealing billions of dollars that were designated for covid relief and PPE. It all gets a bit much after a while. 

 

😔

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fredazinger

Dallas - I read that a large percentage (something like 50%) of SA's health care capacity was consumed on a daily basis dealing with alcohol fueled admissions.

It is this capacity that the ban attempted to free up for Covid response.

May not be true -- or the rational may not have been communicated by poor leadership -- but seems to make sense to me.

 

Hope it is just an asthma attack and your father-in-law is OK.

This virus is nasty -- stay safe.

 

 

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Hot bodies (D800E, D810, D4, D500) and plenty of glass, but always lusting for more.

 

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Dallas

The issues with trauma and alcohol abuse are really limited to certain parts of the population. My wife’s colleague lives in Umlazi, a large township just outside of Durban and he tells her that this prohibition has no effect on the population there who still persist in getting drunk by any means possible. They either plunder the liquor stores that are closed, or they make their own hooch. Either way they stay drunk and remain defiant of lockdown regulations. My take on this is that what government should be doing is criminally prosecuting any person admitted to hospital in an intoxicated state. 

 

In the meantime though, millions of people who rely on this industry to put food on the table, such as restaurants, store owners, breweries, distillers and the myriad of related industries are crippled by the ban. No help from government is coming for them. I bumped into a former photography student of mine who was retrenched from his job at Ogilvy last month. He tells me that they had to let go of more than half their staff because all their blue chip clients were simply not booking any ad space anymore. 

 

The tragedy will continue to unfold this year. 

 

We got a message late last night that my wife’s father was sent home, so we are hoping that he’s ok. I will keep you all updated.

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Andrew L (gryphon1911)

My wife has had some family tragedy due to COVID 19.  One of her aunts passed hitting her suddenly and hard.  Her aunt was 80+ years old and thought she only had a cold.  It took just over a week for her to succumb after being in the hospital on a ventilator for 4 days.

 

The aunts other sister and husband noticed her not looking well when they went over for their weekly card game.   Turns out that it was not a cold and her other aunt and uncle (both over 80) are now COVID positive.  

Now, all we can do is sit and wait to see if her other aunt/uncle are going to pull through.   They both have other health conditions that could make this a very bad situation.

 

And in other news, I was talking with my niece yesterday, who is 17, and she told us that she didn't want to tell anybody, but she tested positive for COVID back in September 2020.  After she found out from a swab test, she self isolated.  She is a college student and just stayed in her dorm and had friends drop food off to her when she needed it.  She described having body aches and cold like symptoms, but nothing more serious than that.

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Luc de Schepper

Very sorry for the loss of your wife's aunt, Andrew. Hopefully the other aunt und uncle will fully recover.

 

From Saturday on we'll have a curfew from 21.00 till 04:30 in The Netherlands. For me it's no big deal but for others the lack of (perceived) freedom may be troublesome.

The government has released another support package for the affected businesses, entrepreneurs and employees. Total cost so far for the support packages and loss of tax income is estimated at around 75 billion Euros (around 8% of GDP). It feels very weird, there's a medical and human crisis yet for the majority of employed Dutch people salaries are still secure, savings are at a record level as are the house and stock prices. Crisis? What crisis?

 

 

Edited by Luc de Schepper
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Hugh_3170

Likewise.  Hang in there mate!

 

 

On 20/01/2021 at 00:23, Anthony said:

Dallas, I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

 

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Hugh_3170

Likewise.  Keep your chin up!

 

 

On 22/01/2021 at 10:07, Luc de Schepper said:

Very sorry for the loss of your wife's aunt, Andrew. Hopefully the other aunt und uncle will fully recover.

 

..................................

 

 

 

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Anthony

My wife had her first vaccination yesterday, at a mass vaccination centre at Lord's Cricket Ground (about ten minutes walk away from us). The UK has now vaccinated 5.3 million people, and is currently doing so at a rate of over 400,000 a day. Deaths continue to rise and total nearly 96,000. But we seem to be over the peak of the current wave, although the number of patients in the hospital means that there are still a lot of deaths to come.

 

We still do not know whether the vaccine stops transmission as well as protecting the individual.

 

I cycled past the centre later yesterday and grabbed an iPhone snap for my records.

IMG_1188.jpg

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Dallas

My limited understanding of vaccines is that they stop the virus from replicating itself inside your body, therefore allowing your immune system to fight off the concurrent sickness. I suppose then by logic if there is less virus in a person's body there is less chance of it being onwardly transmitted. It's got something to do with proteins in your system. 

 

There's still no certainty from government here as to when a rollout may happen. Some are saying February, some are saying it won't happen because the government has no money left to pay for vaccines. That wouldn't surprise me because we've been waiting thirteen years for them to "fix" the electricity supply and that seems to be getting worse with each month that passes. We've just gone through a particularly irksome period of rolling blackouts to avoid the collapse of the grid. 🙄 

 

I won't be putting my hand up for vaccination personally, but I won't stand in the way of anybody who wants to take it. I've never even had a flu shot so I think my chances of fighting covid off naturally are good. 

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Anthony

I believe that it is the duty of everyone to their society to do whatever they can to reduce this horrible plague. For some, this may mean that the vaccine may damage them. But the risk from the disease is far, far greater. And the damage to everyone in society is greater still.

 

Please, everyone, if you have the chance to be vaccinated, please take it unless you have a known specific medical reason not to.

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blurmagic

.

For decades now I've gotten a flu shot every year.

 

Next Tuesday I'm scheduled to get my first Covid vacine shot.  I believe it's the Pfiser one.   Hundreds in my area have already received one (or both) of their vacine shots and no one has had a serious reaction.  Also, virtually all of the nurses and Doctors in these parts have gotten both of their vacine shots too.

 

After my second shot on February 2, I'll have a 95% less chance of getting Covid, and my personal medical doctor has told me that after the second vacine shot I can go back to my gym and start working out again if I want to.  Besides that, I might also start going to movies again.  

 

 

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