"It is like it has come up and stole our lives from us": the first 21 days: a rapid qualitative assessment of how different sectors of society experienced the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa

SOURCE: Social Sciences & Humanities Open
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Cloete, A.North, S.Ramlagan, T.Schmidt, L.Makola, J.Chikovore, D.Skinner, S.P.Reddy
DEPARTMENT: Public Health, Societies and Belonging (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 12009
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/16052
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16052

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We examined how different sectors of society experienced the first 21 days of the stay-at-home lockdown following the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in South Africa. This rapid qualitative assessment was conducted remotely with 60 key and community informants from different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Atlas.ti.8 was used to facilitate qualitative data analysis. Data revealed how the lockdown exacerbated social inequalities for the poor and marginalised. Fear of infection, and food and income insecurity were common concerns mentioned in key and community informant interviews. Despite the social and economic distress, the data also point to a narrative of social responsibility, resilience and social cohesion. The social responsibility and cohesion demonstrated by South African communities should be drawn upon to invoke community resilience, even in the absence of physical proximity.