Contributor: Phologo Sema
Credits: Wikipedia & Pixabay


In welcoming the country’s approved move to Level 1 Lockdown, we are compelled to review the preceding Lockdown Level 2. We are reminded of hours after the President Ramaphosa’s open letter to the public, when most articles online and the newspapers had been reflecting headlines “Warning” in their analysis and reporting of the President’s declaration to move the country to Level 2 Lockdown.

While Level 2 Lockdown may have not been as stringent as other levels, it was the struggles that could be equated to the effects of those other level’s regulation stringencies. As this whole experience is new to most people’s vocabularies and seen as anything not normal to the default; many believers from the different monotheistic groups had to heighten their reverence to their varying religions, spiritual and faith approaches for comfort. When particularly speaking of believers in Christian communities, for every situation that would present some form of warning, many would assert with quick propensities to think that the warning is linked to a destruction.

The move to Level 2 was indeed a relief to the South African communities, even though many are still trudging an employment seeking hill, with not much justice drawn from the Level 3 Lockdown gifts of R350 grant; however, progress is always appreciated. With certainty echoed by people, it has been a difficult five months of dealing and having to live with this deadly corona virus pandemic, while in most parts of the country, it has only been at different intervals when people would not adhere to regulations, such as in April when over 1500 were arrested for non-compliance with the Covid-19 National State of Disaster Regulations. While, it may have been a difficult period since March 2020 with all the arrests in the month of April, faith and beliefs have successfully kept the peace and levelheadedness among communities, comforting those emotionally affected greatly by the pandemic and the country going into different levels of lockdown.

In our review of the Lockdown Level 2, we seek to tap into the context of an argument between the optimist, pessimist and realist, adopting a discussion in the realist’s perspective. This review considers a thought evoking article by Professor Canav W. Concannon of the University of Southern California, who cited information from the 3rd century. B.C., the “Book of the Watchers,” an apparent apocalyptic vision written in the name of a mysterious character by name Enoch who is supposedly mentioned in the Book of Genesis, indicating how the book expands on a tale that holy angels (both fallen and unfallen supposed Watchers) and destruction exist, and further indicating in the book’s version that the knowledge it portrays is commonly associated with propensities to explore luxuries (seen as astrology, sexual immorality and angel breeding amongst other supposed demonic foes). The book’s portrayed perspective is that as people we live in the midst of destruction, while there are angels dispatched to earth to protect and watch humans, and that amongst these angels, the fallen are discovered. When continuing to reference the book, there comes a point of realisation that destruction does not always come in the form of wars, but may happen by way of austerities created that weighs heavily on those on humanitarian ground and potentially leading up to those very wars everyone strives to halt. Considering an instance when a government would create difficult economic conditions to reduce public expenditure, that on its own could develop basis on which perpetrators or third party forces would worsen shifts in paradigms, inadvertently or consciously meddling with government affairs, blurring priorities and ultimately affecting communities.

Whether destruction or an austerity can be recalled through ancient history, traced through human civilization or whether it occurs naturally, there is always ought to be some kind of a mishap to a situation of relief in as much as there is ought to be revelation to hidden situations as people gain more wisdom. To this day, life has been successful at teaching people that nothing that is hidden, remains out of sight without ever becoming evident and ultimately brought into light, which is a perspective that does not only denote a revelation to deception, but it seeks to give hope to the hopeless. Christianity cites that God has a sublime covenant made on sublime promises with His people, compelling the review to focus on a religious perspective that “Through faith, worship, and prayer we are protected from evil forces“, a clear indication of destruction being as close as in one’s heart sprinkled unclean with evil conscience.

Historically, periods of difficulty or relief potentially gave rise to agents, instigators of destruction and the associated tribulation, with some people believing that favour and animosities are usually cyclical. Unfavourable economic conditions, meddling agents of third party forces (sneaky political factions) and some communities’ allegiances to demonic luxuries, are some of the experiences and situations potentially causing destructions. Because every demonic foe requires an agent, these destructive narrators or even energy vampires usually comprises of people prone to misleading others as they engage in competitive environments to have their own ways. Thus, people may opine that it is worthy of honour to eventually purge most doctrines and hold on to their longstanding highest beliefs. In Mark 13:32, we are told of what would happen in the end time “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but the Father alone”. This scripture seeks to heighten a point that we may not always know when destruction is at our doors, especially when considering how far we had come as a country into Level 2 and most importantly how far we had come from the apartheid era. Collectively, people had to witness a number of unprecedented events having transpired such as with the Clicks and Unilever racism debacle, people’s responses to dealing with the issue and the alleged going corruption smeared all over the ANC, with not much done for the estranged communities remaining hopeless on humanitarian ground.

Be it that faith and varying beliefs may have carried people through difficult times or not, endurance came through so vividly in their experiences as they kept hoping that level 2 will be so much better, the same way they had hoped anxiously on 57th day of Lockdown that Level 3 will be better than Level 4, and now hoping for more relief on Level 1. In the interest of national cohesiveness, we are collectively called to aspire to see light at end of the tunnel and remain motivated that we’re nearing an end to a difficult pandemic and economic situation; adopting the mind of an optimist. The famous Sydney J. Harris was quoted saying, “The pessimist sees only the tunnel; the optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel, the realist sees the tunnel and the light, and the next tunnel.” Therefore, this article is of the view that a realist may ideally think that their highest self or belief asserts that President Ramaphosa is used by God to proclaim guidance, including giving the very warning on Level 2 lockdown. On the other hand, an optimist may assert that potentially, to every good progress, there is ought to be regress and destruction, and that being naïve often drives us further away from being aware of what we are warned of.

When drawing attention towards a reflection on lockdown level 5, 4, and 3 alone, there has been some forms of an austerity, difficulty, tunnel and even moments when many were turning into pessimists knowingly or unknowingly; ultimately determining whether people saw when destructive moments were upon their doors. On May 8th, 2020, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information released a study looking into the psychological effects associated with the impact of Covid-19 lockdown and when analyzing this information, seemingly this indicates that destruction is always imminent in our lives and often times, people are prone to believing anything and depending on what that is, it could devastate one’s mind psychologically, detrimentally affecting their whole wellbeing and putting them in a state of mind and feeling that demonic foes or third party forces’ representatives or agents may prey on.

People on humanitarian grounds, are not usually privy to information to help them better deal with challenges in the midst of pandemics or other kinds of severely unprecedented periods of change such as when the food supply is threatened, when there are more crimes reported, unemployment is on an all-time high, anxieties are lurking in communities, sleeplessness is giving the vulnerable depression and fear of death is constantly beating down people’s doors. When one is not in control of that which affects them to an extent, that can cause irritation and lingering anger which develops from being frustrated with not knowing, and ultimately turning them into either pessimists, optimists or realists. The entire lockdown experiences have been anything unusual to the default and as people we do not always have the capacity nor the bandwidth to deal with the associated psychological, social and humanitarian issues gone through daily. In as much as the ways of life and of doing things have changed, with human interactions embracing the internet bandwagon than ever before, people seldom have the opportunity to deal with issues in real time, which can cause the frustrations and anxieties we see people going through, especially when technology is not so reliable at times.

From the stringent restrictions in the first 3 lockdown levels, to South Africa ending up having the fifth highest number of infections in the world, to regulations being relaxed, regulations re-imposed at different intervals, warnings issued by various institutions on Covid-19 emergencies, Level 2 Lockdown having been previously effected and stringent restrictions, and regulations lifted again; it was ingenuity of approach by the spiritual world to convey a warning message through the President Ramaphosa, giving people a stark reminder of potential further austerities (Ramaphosa cited in his speech on 15 August 2020, speaking of a possible destruction known or unknown). In the realist’s perspective, it would be analysed that the warning had been speaking of a period beyond covid-19 emergency, drawing attention to current trends and extending focus into others spheres of life as destruction can happen anyhow. Currently, the country is on Level 1 Lockdown and what came to revelation was how people already think we are back to the same old normal.

With the need to look at the President’s warning with an open mindset, to realise when destruction could be taking on a different and unusual form, and apart from only thinking it has to do with a resurgence in potential public health emergency, there is a need to realise a period of difficulty could be propelled by both the physical and spiritual power explorations. Media has played a huge role to how people see life from the physical and spiritual perspectives, with a great number ignorant to the existence of fallible spiritual proclamations and demonic foes championing a rise in political factions, magic and scientific temperaments, corruption, unprecedented load-shedding, political killings, political wars, ideological conflicts in individual and populations approaches to solving problems and continued power struggles amongst our leaders (both on international, national, provincial and communal levels). Perhaps, we are ought to adopt the mind of a pessimist, optimist and a realist, striking a very good balance between the three perspectives in order to realize truths, purge naivety, better prepare for any destruction and to be able to embrace fortitude that has seen us through the pandemic since March 2020 when South Africa was hit with an unexpected moment of tribulation.

Level 1 might not be as stringent, but potential distress and tribulations are enormous, considering the increased joblessness, communal frustrations, political argy bargy and the different austerities delaying everyone's progress. just to name a few destructive situations.