On 23 March 2020, South Africans sat glued to their screens and waited for our President to announce the inevitable – national lockdown.
A week prior, the President, in an address to the nation, expressed his concern for the rising COVID-19 cases within South African borders. He communicated measures to keep the population safe; how to improve hygiene, restrictions on social gatherings, and a suggestion that we stay at home as much as possible.
However, trends from other countries, such as Italy, have shown that unless drastic measures are implemented, the disease will spread rapidly, and we’ll inundate and overwhelm our health care system.
Therefore, without swift action we’ll be at high risk. Not only of contracting the virus, but also transmitting it to those who are most vulnerable such as the elderly and immune-compromised.
The President, in his address, shared why lockdown is important and why we should stay at home,
“Without decisive action, the number of people infected will rapidly increase from a few hundred to tens of thousands, and within a few weeks, to hundreds of thousands."
"While this measure will have a considerable impact on people's livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far, far greater."
For this reason Modern Hair & Beauty will close operations for the next 21 days together with many of our salons and other South African businesses.
Important information for salons
Much has been made this week about the R 500 million fund for small businesses (including salons) only being made available for 51% black owned companies. This is incorrect.
Applications for assistance can be made at www.smmesa.gov.za. The website is currently undergoing an update which is most probably linked to the expected surge in applications. We know that a far larger amount has been made available to a solidarity fund by the Ruperts and Oppenheimers with further donations expected.
There may also be other measures such as tax relief in the pipeline. Rentals and bonds should be negotiable as it’s ultimately either your bank or the landlord’s bank who under the current circumstances would most likely be prepared to extend a payment holiday. They will gain from the increased interest charged. We know that banks have been given the green light from the competition commission to talk to each other about measures they can take to assist their customers in distress. We need to keep our eyes on the media for any further announcements.
A message from Modern Hair & Beauty MD, Chris Stofberg
“Extraordinary times! SA goes into 21-day lockdown at midnight on Thursday 26th of March. Decisive leadership shown by our president. Thank goodness.
There is an opinion that some business needed to be allowed to continue to save our economy. At first I was also thinking that might be better for our salon industry and other small business. The potential devastation for a large part of our population and the effect on our country as a result may however be even more catastrophic.
The reality now is a total shutdown. Let’s deal with it the best we can. Support from government and financial institutions will be available. One fact we can guarantee - We will get through this. Cool heads and common sense must now prevail.
The time at home can be used very productively. Some people can work from home, others can get to sort out their personal filing and fix things around the house.
One thing’s for sure, we are all going to learn to appreciate the ‘normal’.
Those who can, think of how you can help the less fortunate during this trying time.
Wishing everyone strength and calm. Will see you on social media. Try not to overdo the screen time, this is a perfect opportunity to connect with family.
We also need to watch out for cabin fever. As much as we love those close to us, three weeks is a long time. Be tolerant of each other’s idiosyncrasies. Men let’s do our bit around the house. Use the time to upskill yourself with online training or sort out all that personal admin you never get to. “
Helpful COVID-19 Information
• According to the World Health Organization (WHO) symptoms of COVID-19
• Sore throat
• Shortness of breath
Hygiene practices to limit the spread of COVID-19
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Cover your cough and sneeze with a flexed elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
How can you help flatten the curve?
• Stay at home. That means no visitors or visiting, playdates, movies, meals at restaurants or even coffee with friends
• Pray at home
• Only go out if it’s absolutely necessary
• Take all precautions while at home & while outside for any important work
• Be a responsible citizen by following instructions and advice.
• Educate others about measures in place to contain the spread of the virus
• Spread facts, not fear
Important contact information
Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.
Send ‘HI’ to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.
The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.
If we have any useful information to share as we navigate the next three weeks we will do so.
Modern Hair & Beauty
0860 104 109