Two well-known Smutsville residents are making it their mission to change the face of their community – by putting a mask on it!
Etzil Dirk and Andrew Solomons are determined to make mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing and social distancing second nature for their entire community, and so boost the local defence against the Coronavirus.
“You could call us COVID-19 Marshalls,” says Andrew.
Etzil – the founder of the Facebook group Smutsville Latest News (SLN) – says he and Andrew have been very concerned about the relaxed attitude locals have towards the disease that has locked down the entire nation. They believe it is time to get the message out there that residents need to take the level 4 laws more seriously.
“We see many children playing together in the street, and adults walking without masks,” he said.
“Smutsville is like a sitting duck for this disease,” Andrew added, “If COVID-19 should ever hit our community, it will spread to everyone before we know it.”
So the two plan men to change this trend and believe that making it the talk of the town may be the answer.
“Smutsville residents have stood together before, and we can do it now,” said Andrew, “If we can just keep flooding everyone with the message about why it is important to wear a mask, sanitize hands, and keep social distancing, surely people will join us in this campaign?”
Both men feel very strongly that the longer it takes for communities to obey the Level 4 lockdown rules, the longer the government will keep this level in place. This will mean no return to work for many, and so putting food on the table will become even more of a problem.
“We have to act now,” Andrew reasoned, “We have to do our part to get South Africa back to work. Food donations cannot carry on forever, because the money will soon run out.”
Etzil and Andrew plan to get the anti-corona ball rolling through the social media videos and posts that they are creating with a definite Smutsville flavour, as well as by putting up posters and handing out flyers. But they also want to spread the message through word of mouth, asking whoever they approach to speak to others too.
“We cannot talk to everyone,” Etzil said, “But if each person we talk to takes responsibility to tell five of their friends, the word will get out there quickly.” They are asking church and community leaders to join them in their quest.
“I am so serious about this. If it is the one thing in my life that I can see through to the end, then that is my mission!” promised Andrew.
The two men are grateful to those who have already assisted them in this drive, and gave special mention to Sedgefield Pharmacy for sponsoring hand sanitiser to be used at the soup kitchens where they will be educating the children fetching their food, Alastair Fraser who has picked up the cost of poster printing, and Bramwell of BB Security who has been behind them all the way.