Coronavirus

Fear and the Hope: Come and listen to the Experts, Sunday 31 May 4pm

By Mark Heywood 29 May 2020

A general view of a South African flag flying in a settlement in Strandfontein, Cape Town, South Africa 20 April 2020. (Photo: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA)

In the last few weeks many Daily Maverick readers will have become familiar with names of some of the leading lights in our scientific community and their efforts to grapple with the known and unknown of Covid-19 and its implication for prevention, mitigation and care in South Africa. Professors like Shabir Madhi, Glenda Gray, Slim Abdool Karim have become as familiar as names of politicians, the stuff of fierce debates, dinner table conversations and probably even lovers’ squabbles.

For those interested in tooling-up on what the experts think, on Sunday afternoon at 4pm the Progressive Health Forum, a network of health activists, clinicians and experts, is holding a colloquium on Covid-19 (registration here). It aims to offer expert input and discussion on some of the most important questions of public policy that face us, as well as to hear directly about the experience of frontline providers of health care in both our hospitals and communities.

Starting with an introduction to the pandemic by Prof Madhi, the colloquium will also look at the vexed issue of how to get the best public-private collaboration of health services, especially in preparation for the anticipated ‘surge’ in hospitalisations over the next month.

In addition, as schools open their doors for grades 12 and 7 on Monday 1 June and as many businesses resume under level 3 there will be a session on ‘Education and schooling in the age of Covid-19’ led by education expert Prof Mary Metcalfe; as well as input on the ‘economic pandemic’ by Wits University Professor Imraan Valodia.

In the age of Covid-19, in a country that boasts being led by science and epidemiology, knowledge and understanding is power. So, on a Sunday evening as we contemplate the last day of levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown, this will probably be a good place to spend your time. DM/MC

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