Social Distancing did I fail my community this morning, is the question I asked myself, as I take the extended long walk, using the scenic walk back home from Pick & pay, Campus Square.
I arrive at my destination, finding myself 30 metre from he shop entrance, I keep my 1,5 metre spacing from the person ahead, one of only three spaces in the queue.
I notice a Security Guard, interacting with the queue, some ten metres ahead of me, from where I am positioned, I get the impression that the people in the queue were being given instruction to deposit certain items at an entrance of a neighbouring shop, and leave the queue to investigate.
The depositing that had just taken place, supported by maybe 4 people, was an old man, masked, old and obviously with a major health problem, who had just been deposited on the chair that the security guard had brought.
My first cultivated reaction, is to run off to Dischem, only 30 meters away, and report the possibility that I had discovered a possible Coronavirus patient.
My feet are unable to move my legs, I am trapped by the realisation that in am part of a queue of old age pensioners, pension day payout, who have been waiting for this day for 30 days, in order to put food on the table.
I suggest to the Security Guard that he arranges to move the old man in question to the front of the queue, all persons in the queue where we are, nod approval for mu suggestion.
The Security Guard is not sure, so I take him with me to obtain permission.
The Guard moves into the store, and starts a discussion with the guard who is maintaining control of those entering the store, the queue is not her responsibility.
I ask the two black gentlemen at the front of the queue whether they would kind enough to allow an old gentlemen space ahead of them.
Both nod approval with a smile, take one step back into their danger zone, and in unison, wave me into position.
My turn to smile, I thank them, and tell them that I have found an old man with greater need than me.
I move back to the old man, tell his carer to take him into the store, the Security Guard now arrives and with the Carer, use the office Chair that he was sitting on, to wheel him into the shop.
As I return towards my original space, the persons in the queue are smiling, nodding approval, and the person where I was standing, has kept my space open, initially smiling, then showing surprise as I abandon my space.
I abandoned my space, because I considered the old man, to possibly be infected, and on my long walk home, I question whether I have failed those in the queue, my community back home, should I have reported my suspicions, that would have resulted in many in the queue being isolated, to allow their families eat?
Cedric de la Harpe