Covid-19 – ERA’s response
Covid-19 is upon us. As ERA we are helping to give you information about how you can find out more about the virus, how you can help those in need, which shops are open and which closed, see if Government’s schemes can help you or your workers and security hot spots. See these posts below to find out more.
ERA Covid-19 newsletter – No 7, 19 May 2020
It’s hard to believe that we’ve passed the 50th day of lockdown. And if it’s all feeling like a blur with one day merging into another and you’re uneasy because you’re not sure what’s going to happen to your business, to your kids, to your older members of the family, today, tomorrow or next week, you’re not alone. In fact there’s even a term for it. It’s called ‘temporal disintegration’, and it’s a direct result of trauma, according to E. Alison Holman, Ph.D., a psychologist and an associate professor with the UC Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. (for more see here https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/how-and-why-coronavirus-changing-our-sense-time?fbclid=IwAR0ol0NJHEGQ-KMp19vHzkHG7Wub5ZCjRmKAdL66S60qTqlmnT4y4vz3h6I)
Closer to home, Debbi Burman from Parkview Victim Support Unit (VSU) acknowledges the enormous strain that families are going through. Although it is normal to suffer from some of the following symptoms during stressful times, they can feel overwhelming during these unusual circumstances.
Symptoms of stress can include insomnia, or excessive tiredness she says. Also beware of an increasing dependence on alcohol and other substances for relaxation or to help with sleep problems. Panic attacks and breathlessness are also common.
She also warns parents to be on the lookout for signs of stress in children who are missing their school friends and the daily routine. ‘They may become more needy, need to share your bed again, revert to thumb-sucking, bed-wetting or unusual crying and temper tantrums’.
Normal issues with teenagers may become intensified and need to be handled calmly. Their peers are very important to them and social media is a good way for them to keep in contact. Parents need to acknowledge their frustrations and conversations amongst the family members should be encouraged.
The VSU with its team of counsellors are trained in debriefing. They can talk to you and give further advice. Should you need more than they can offer, they are able to provide referrals to the relevant professionals. She encourages residents to phone the unit on 073 280 4453 should you wish to speak to one of their counsellors. (this is a free service)
Let’s Work always at work
Someone else who’s not sure what day of the week it is, is Let’s Work’s Felicity Gratz-Lawlor. Drive past her house every day and you’ll see her team of seven at it, receiving food and other donations, packaging food parcels and always disinfecting everything that’s received. I ask her what she does every day. There’s a moment’s silence, and then ‘well we had to find a home for 350 loaves of bread this week. I used to have to plan the menu for the shelter every day; now I only do that once a week.’
Just before Mother’s Day she sent out an appeal for 1000 cup cakes – she received 3850 – wow, thank you to all that made mothers feel valued.
What Felicity does know is that every day there are pots bubbling on her stove making soup. ‘It’s cold now, people are so grateful when they receive soup. And we love receiving ready-made soup – stew up some veg, add bits of meat or a chicken stock cube, put it in a ziploc bag, freeze it and drop it off. Every little bit counts. And containers to put the soup into – yoghurt tubs, ice cream tubs, anything like that.’ And if you can encourage your kids to make it, she will give them a community hours’ certificate.
Currently her team services two shelters – one in Windsor (90 people) and one in Northcliff (20 people) as well those in need in neighbouring areas like Westbury, Albertville, Greymont, Newlands, Claremont, Sophiatown, Brixton (soup kitchen for the homeless), Kathrada Park, Old Age Homes in Westbury and Westdene. They also make up food parcels for Ward 87.
She is so grateful for food donations, but ‘please no more mealie meal’, she has loads of it. Instead instant porridge would be good. Better to Whatsapp her or look on Whatsapp groups for what’s on her list for that day.
What she really needs now is warm blankets, old shoes, socks. Drop it off or Whatsapp her and she may be able to collect from you. Money donations are always needed so they can get bulk prices on things like sardines.
Felicity Gratz-Lawlor – 082 568 1783; 107 Preller Road, Roosevelt Park
Let’s Work; NPO#201-696 FNB A/C – Let’s Work A/c 62801299472; Reference: shelter
ERA donates infrared thermometer to Emmarentia Eventide
ERA has followed up its donation of 100 masks to Emmarentia Eventide with the donation of an infrared thermometer. ‘We are so relieved to have this,’ says the Major of the home, ‘the Department is checking on Old Age Homes for compliance.’
Appeal from Randburg SPCA
The need to support animals hasn’t stopped over lockdown. ERA has received an appeal for funds from the SPCA. They have asked us to pass on their appeal to residents. They are appealing for funds to support their 5 Freedoms campaign:
* Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
* Freedom to express normal behaviour
* Freedom from discomfort
* Freedom from fear and distress
* Freedom from pain, injury and disease
These freedoms encompass four areas of work – Rescue; Sterilise; Welfare; Care
Donate to: RANDBURG SPCA; FNB A/c 62702475717; Branch Code 256755. Specify which area of work you would like to donate to: Ref: *RESCUE or *STERILISE or *WELFARE or *CARE
Parkview CPF news
- Permission is still being sought to set up a soup kitchen in the SAPS Parkview precinct. We will keep you updated.
- The Parkview Community Police Forum (CPF) has developed a community safety plan and needs your help. In order to understand how people perceive crime in our precinct, the CPF needs to ask for your experience. The CPF believes that it can improve the safety of the precinct if you tell it how you think the organs of state can improve their services. To this end the CPF has prepared a survey, which will take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you live or work in any of the suburbs policed by Parkview SAPS, you are invited to complete the survey at https://forms.gle/pGusznxtsm9csco2A
The survey will be open for responses until 15 June 2020. Please don’t hesitate to contact Geraldine Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
WOZA to fold end of May
Despite a last minute rally to get another 100 subscribers to subscribe to WOZA, we failed to reach the target. Thank you to those that made new commitments and a special thank you to Paul Nogueira for developing the app and running it so successfully for the benefit of residents.
* Beware—the bin thieves are back
Residents are reporting bins being stolen again. Apparently reclaimers use the wheels for their trolleys and use the lidless frames to separate the different types of recycling.
* Be careful when exercising with electronic equipment in the mornings
There have been reports of mobile phones/watches/jewellery being stolen off joggers, walkers early in the morning. Rather leave it all at home. And if it is stolen please report all details to CAP/SAPS.
- Delivery etiquette
Restaurants are struggling to stay afloat – some have had to employ drivers or contract Uber Eats or another delivery service, all of which increases their costs. But not all residents are cooperating. These are just some of the problems they are facing: ‘Customers place orders and then are not at home when the delivery arrives. Intercoms don’t work, customers don’t answer their phones. All of this delays our drivers.’
So please do your bit to ensure that our restaurants can endure these difficult times and support and cooperate with them.
- More restaurants re-open
* Ophelias, 5th Avenue – 8h00 -12h00; Uber Eats from 9h00 -12h00; Phone 068 516 3919
* Pizza Hut, Greenhill Road, Uber Eats from 11h00 – 18h15; Phone 010 109 7715
* Sweet Tea Chickadee, 3 Levubu Road – Uber Eats 8h00 – 17h00; Wed-Sunday; Phone 083 712 4805
- Eastern Temptations home delivers
If you don’t want to visit Eastern Temptations but would rather get stuff delivered, order through Personal Shopper – call or whatsapp order to 072 572 5635
- Greenhill Grocer appeal
Thanks to your generosity Greenhill Grocer has been able to make up 250 hampers for the needy. They have extended the campaign by another week to 24 May and are hoping to get to 500 hampers at R50 per hamper. Pay to:
Greenhill Grocer, Nedbank current account, A/c 1049668170, branch code 1958105. SMS POP to 082 444 1168 or e-mail email@example.com; Ref: name+number of hampers
- Unruly ‘carguards’
Please be careful on Greenhill Road with the self-appointed carguards. Fresh Earth has its own carguards who wear pink vests – be sure to tip them but please refrain from tipping the others and if you have a problem please phone JMPD on 011 758 9620 or SAPS on 071 675 6060/1/2/3.
Easing of lockdown?
Pinging card transactions on people’s mobiles must have soared since government relaxed restrictions on what can be bought online. There’s hope that at the end of May, or before, we might see us dropping down to Level 3 although with Region B in Johannesburg still being one of the hotspots, don’t count those chickens….. Check out this useful tool to see what’s allowed at which level and in which area. www.lockdownbozza.co.za Still no hairdressers/barbers for a while… You need to implement Plan B!
Wildlife has its day
While we’ve been locked down the wildlife has been active. In the last newsletter we reported that a rinkhals had bitten a cat in a garden in Emmarentia. (NB: cat is recovering, but very slowly)
This week residents have been sharing photos and videos of a spotted genet in their gardens. If you spot its face you may think it’s just a cat but when you see its thick striped tail you’ll know it’s not. Keep your eyes peeled and be welcoming – they eat rats and mice.
And while on wildlife and nature, check out https://www.facebook.com/search/posts/?q=melville%20koppies&epa=SERP_TAB
Since lockdown began, Wendy Carstens who manages Melville Koppies nature reserve and some volunteers have been writing short pieces about the birds, the bees and the people linked to the koppies that is right on our doorstep.
Planning and heritage approval
While lots of things may still be locked down, ERA’s Gemey Abrahams who approves Emmarentia homeowners’ building plans and heritage requests is not. If you or your architect has been busy during Level 5 and 4 designing renovations or additions to your property, you can contact Gemey to get all these signed off. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp her on 082 459 5266.
(Remember title deeds of Emmarentia properties state that any renovations or new build must be signed off by ERA who act on behalf of the Louw Geldenhuys family who originally developed the suburb. Moreover, almost all Emmarentia houses are older than 60 years which means that any alteration/addition must follow heritage requirements. See here for more details and the costs involved: http://era.org.za/building-and-renovations/
COJ apologises for overbilling water
COJ has billed most people for 60 days instead of 30 days. It also didn’t bill as per actual readings that residents sent in. CoJ is busy correcting this. In the meantime, please pay your average bill and also send through your actual readings again around the 25th of the month.
Wear a mask
The trickiest thing about Covid-19 is that you may have it even though you have no symptoms. And if you have it you can pass it on to someone else that is older, sicker and more vulnerable than you. So when you go out your gate, put your mask on. When I walk out of my gate currently I don’t have enough hands and feet to count how many people are ignoring the regulation. The mask is not to protect you – it’s to protect others from you. So please, if you’re on your bicycle, on the pavement or jogging on the street, and in the car – put that mask on! (And wear it correctly – we’ve all guffawed with laughter at the meme of how not to wear it…)
ERA Covid-19 newsletter – No 6, 7 May 2020
Dear Emmarentia residents
ERA to sponsor 500 masks
Now that it has become mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when they go outside, ERA has decided to go ahead and buy 500 masks for the less fortunate. Some will be given to residents at Emmarentia Eventide Home and the rest will go to Let’s Work for them to allocate to the shelters and other needy people in the area. The three-layered masks are being made by an Emmarentia resident.
WOZA needs your support
Almost two years ago, when crime incidents had spiked yet again, ERA worked with local resident Paul Nogueira to develop a security app called WOZA. At the shake of a subscriber’s cellphone, a security company could be summoned to assist someone in need whether it was a security situation or a medical emergency. What made the app more special was that, as long as you had your cellphone with you, it could be activated almost anywhere across the country. In addition, Paul agreed to donate a certain percentage of income received each month and pay it across to Let’s Work, the NPO run by Felicity Gratz-Lawlor. To date more than R3000 has been transferred to the NPO while shopkeepers on Greenhill Road who have subscribed to WOZA have used it to summon security help when needed.
However, Covid-19 is impacting our lives in ways we did not anticipate. Paul has just received notification that there will be a four-fold increase in the costs that the security services will charge and this poses a real threat to the continued offering of the service. As he explains, ‘this has always been a low-key ‘community’ project, as opposed to a profit-driven project for me, but there is a limit beyond which I am unable to continue to support it – that limit will be breached by this proposed increase.’
As ERA we believe that this is an initiative worth supporting. Moreover, we believe that once lockdown is over there is a very real chance that security will need to be increased as the devastating results of Covid-19 start to take effect. Subscribing to WOZA is one way in which we believe we can all be proactive and prepare for what is to come.
To this end ERA and Paul are requesting all residents who are currently not subscribed to the service, to consider registering their commitment to subscribe. If he can double his current 90-odd subscribers, it would enable him to go to the suppliers of the national armed response service and attempt to negotiate a lesser cost increase with them.
If he fails, Woza will be shut down at the end of May (or when the last subscriber has enjoyed a full month since their last payment; annual subscribers will receive pro rata refunds). Such a situation would be extremely sad considering the effort put into developing an app for the suburb and the useful service it is currently able to provide. For more details and to show your commitment click here: https://tinyurl.com/yxftdgog
Concern over domestic workers and gardeners returning to work
ERA has been approached by a number of residents who are concerned that some domestic workers and gardeners who commute on a daily basis seem to be back at work despite regulations that clearly state that this is only allowed at Level 2.
The regulations state that*:
a)ALL live-in domestic workers may return (but once they return, they may not commute home until the alert level is lowered)
b)Any domestic worker who is responsible for the care of children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, physical or mental illness may return to work.
c)No ‘live-out’ domestic worker whose duties do not include caregiving as stated above may return to work. Not even for L4 permitted workers. This was part of the provisional regulations but was removed on publication of the government gazette. (Cleaning services are allowed under Level 4 so you could consider getting in a cleaning service)
d)No ‘live-out’ gardeners may return to work under Level 4.
If your domestic worker falls under b) above she will need to carry her ID and wear a face mask, especially while travelling with public transport and practice social distancing. She will also need:
-you to complete a ‘permit to perform an essential or permitted service’. Find it here (https://1drv.ms/w/s!AmkYi-wWUkfyhzyyqKx3Ukc-3U_P?e=llje8y), fill it in and print it out for them (or get it printed at a print shop – some are now open);
-copies of both you and your partner’s ‘essential workers’ permits’;
-proof of where they live;
-proof of residence of you the employer;
-a cover letter from you the employer stating that they are your ‘childminder’.
Remember they have to be home by 8pm and cannot leave before 5am so their working hours will have to be adjusted to accommodate them (8am – 3pm seems to be the norm).
We urge you not to allow domestic workers and gardeners falling under c) and d) above to return to work. By allowing them back to work and to commute daily you are opening up their family and your family to the threat of contracting Covid-19. Their families may be much less able to bear the disease especially if your employee is the one and only bread-winner and contracts the virus. Likewise if a member of your household is elderly or immune compromised you are also making them more vulnerable.
If your domestic worker or gardener is not able to start work yet, we encourage you to try and continue supporting them. If you’re unable to do this, apply for the special UIF grant that is available. https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/ or phone UIF on 0800 030 007 for details.
*Note: Thanks to SweepSouth and to Councillor Hensman for much of this information
Some other useful tidbits
- The informal reclaimers are back at work
Please try and do these things to help keep everyone safe:
- Where possible keep recyclables for a few days before putting out to be collected. This will help reduce the possibility that they are contaminated
- Please put used tissues in a separate clear packet in your rubbish so that reclaimers don’t touch it when they are going through your rubbish
- If you can, please put out buckets of water with soap that reclaimers can access.
- Snake bites cat in Emmarentia garden
Please be aware… An Emmarentia resident’s cat was bitten by a rinkhals in their garden in Shengani Road. The cat is recovering but residents are warned to be on the lookout for the snake which is still at large. If it comes into your garden, if possible, please call a snake catcher to come and catch it and release it somewhere where it won’t bite pets and people. We know of these two snake catchers in the area – Dion – 082 997 2726; Greg – 082 926 5684.
Download the African Snakebite Institute app (free on Google Play and App Store). It gives very useful information with photos of the snakes, their characteristics, first aid and medical info as well as names of snake catchers nearby.
- Testing for Covid-19
On 5 May, the Gauteng health department announced that it was increasing its testing of those most at risk of contracting Covid-19 i.e. older people, people with other medical conditions eg. diabetes, asthma and heart disease even if people don’t have symptoms. It hopes to ramp up testing to 3000 per day. The closest government testing station is Parkhurst Clinic which is free; the private sector has many testing stations that have been advertised extensively in the media.
- CAP nails cellphone mugger
Thanks to prompt reporting by a Greenside resident of a cellphone theft, CAP were able to use their licence plate recognition masts to follow the getaway car to Savoy where it was apprehended and the perpetrators arrested. Well done CAP! Please make sure you report any criminal incident immediately to one of the security companies and open up a case at SAPS.
- CPF to start Soup Kitchen
Parkview CPF has put forward a proposal for a soup kitchen to service the Parkview Precinct, it has been accepted and will be rolling out soon. We will keep you posted on this project and how to asssist.
If you want to receive this newsletter direct to your e-mail – click here: http://era.org.za/subscribe/
If you are not yet a member of ERA, just a reminder to join. Subscriptions for 2020/2021 are: R350 per annum per household (R200 for over 65s); R950 for businesses. Pay to: Emmarentia Residents Association, Nedbank; A/c: 1975051173; Branch Code: 198765; e-mail POP to: email@example.com with your surname and telephone number as your reference together with your completed membership form. Download a membership form below – http://era.org.za/join-era/
Covid-19 – How you can help – 14 April 2020
Dear Emmarentia residents
What we suspected would happen, has happened and on Thursday night 9 April, the President took the difficult but correct decision to extend the lockdown until the end of April. We were heartened by his statement that both he and the cabinet would be donating a third of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund for the next three months.
In this spirit of giving we have drawn up a list of organisations that are doing special Covid-19 work (some of whose names were supplied by our own residents) that are in need of your support. You will find the list here: http://era.org.za/covid-19-how-you-can-help-11-april-2020/
We know you’re generous, we’ve seen your huge response to the request for food, bedding etc. for the new shelter in Windsor.
The list of organisations we’ve drawn up is diverse. It ranges from the official Solidarity Fund and large NGOs with national reach like Gift of the Givers to other much smaller and localised ones. Some need cash donations, others need expertise, there’s also a site that caters specifically for children and has projects where children can volunteer.
We are sure that we have left some organisations out and if we have, we do apologise and urge you to send us details so that we can add them to the list.
Children’s activities during lockdown
We know that almost three more weeks without school is going to be a challenge for parents and children. Some of you have older children and have access to computers and data and school lessons should start soon online and this should relieve the pressure a little.
It’s the young ones with boundless energy that are missing their school friends that will be the real challenge. And many of you will be trying to juggle work from home while trying to entertain little ones.
Please share with us how you are keeping your children entertained/busy. Share your tips and tricks, perhaps it’s a special website, a game, or anything that’s created excitement in your home. E-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page – Emmarentia Residents Association. We’d also like to know any websites that don’t require data and that children can access for free. The next newsletter will put all this info together, hopefully in the next week. Please send to us by Thursday 16 April.
And if you have extra toys, books, puzzles that you have to donate, please let us know. Or if you know of any young children in the suburb who are not able to go to school because of lockdown and who don’t have many toys and play things but who would benefit from them, please let us know and we will see how we can connect the two.
And remember, wear masks when you go out.
Note: Thanks to Parkview Residents Association for some of the information included in the list of organisations.