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There is an interesting little observation in the latest World Happiness Report, which suggests that the Covid pandemic has caused a global spike in sadness, worry and anger.
Although South Africa ranked near the bottom of the 149-rung ladder in happiness terms, things got slightly better in 2020. That, sadly, shows that our normal way of life in this country seems to be no more depressing than living through a globally catastrophic event.
The rest of the world has had to deal with the battering of emotions which has come with lockdowns, hospitalisations and deaths.
Could it be that we South Africans – with our already restricted society (who can truly move freely with our
crime levels?) and already horrific levels of deaths (a good proportion unnatural) – have had optimism squeezed out of us long ago?
ALSO READ: South Africans are a miserable bunch – study
Even without Covid, our economy was already at the top of a downward spiral which was accelerated by the
corruption and looting of the state capture years – and which still seems to be prevalent.
Racism and the gulf between the races seems to be growing, fuelled by the toxic influence of social media.
Yet, the World Happiness Report ranks us at 103 out of 149 countries (the higher the number, the lower the
happiness level). Surprisingly, given that most of us – across racial and class lines – look down on our fellow Africans; there are 10 African countries where their citizens are happier than us … including Libya, which has seen the death and destruction of civil war.
There could be an argument that we expect more from each other, and our government, than those in some other African countries, so we are disappointed by reality and, in turn, become sad, angry and depressed.
We hope someone in government is paying attention…
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