Earlier this week, while sorting out my papers, I came upon a newspaper property supplement we ran in mid-March, a few days after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster.
The date was March 18 and the headline was “Business braces for the virus”. At that stage, we were still oblivious to the initial 21-day lockdown, which the president would announce a few days later.
At the time, business was concerned about how lockdowns in other countries would affect domestic production because of the halt on imports from other countries. It was also predicted that industrial property would be the first to be affected followed by foreign and leisure tourism, then retail and leisure trade.
It is so interesting to have these records from our newspapers. They will certainly become collector’s items in years to come as we grapple with how the pandemic played out and how we reacted to it.
Looking back at the stories – even with a mere seven months between the start and now – leaves one tender to see and hear how people adapted as history played out. When lockdown hit and we changed our Property360 Suburb features to a Lockdown In feature showcasing ordinary people from all areas and the impact it was having on them, people rallied to help the more affected communities.
Today I want to salute all of you for having survived seven months of the anti-Covid-19 strategies. You have been through a lot and have shown the resilience and fortitude we as humans are born with.
Our pages this week tell us that we have some tough times ahead still in the property world, but the past few months have shown us what we are capable of surviving – and doing that while showing humanity to each other.
Here’s wishing you fortitude for the road ahead.