The third wave of coronavirus infections has been more like a plateau, so long have the numbers remained so stubbornly high – but now it appears they are declining to the extent that it surely cannot be long before restrictions are eased.
Whether President Cyril Ramaphosa does this tomorrow night, or later, it won’t be long before we are moved down to at least Alert Level 2.
There is no alternative if we are to try to allow our battered businesses – and especially those in the tourism and hospitality sector – to recover from the losses they have suffered over the last 18 months.
And, no matter what the doubters and the virulent anti-vaxxers may say, the Covid vaccines are our best way out of our suffering.
The more people who get vaxxed, the less the disease can proliferate throughout the community and the fewer people will clog up our hospital wards with life-threatening conditions, and the lower the chances of virus variants emerging.
Crowing that vaccines don’t prevent infection and that boosters will be needed is irrelevant. Vaccines are effective enough to make a difference to the human suffering and if they needed to be bolstered frequently, so be it.
After all, we have flu vaccines developed specifically for different strains. What is worrying, though, is the almost unavoidable reality that our respite from lockdown rules will only be temporary, with experts predicting that the fourth wave will be upon us by the end of the year.
And it could be even worse, especially if the vaxx hesitancy and resistance continues.
More disturbing is the concern among experts that we could follow the trends being seen overseas, where more and more children are falling ill, some severely so, to Covid.
The bottom line: this battle is far from over.
We need to maintain our vigilance.