Coronavirus has dominated our lives in 2020, and may do so for months and even years to come. This is an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, which has resulted in suffering, fear, panic, economic shut-down, and many many tragic deaths. The future seems unclear and it’s likely that the world will never be quite the same again. The scenarios created around the world have been so compelling and rapidly-changing that news services report on little else day-after-day. We know that our readers are an educated and online-savvy group who will be fairly well informed on the pandemic in general, so this wellness service will not try to replicate news services. Rather, we present a few carefully selected resources and some trustworthy online links. We also have our “Coronavirus chat” service, which offers an opportunity to ask your questions (our wellness coach will reply) and to read as well as comment on those of others.

EARLY JUNE 2020: South Africa has been in lock-down for some 10 weeks now, with Level-3 implemented from 01 June. Case numbers and deaths remain fairly low although we are now seeing real increases and the emergence of many hotspots, especially in townships. The full impact of Covid-19 will only be seen locally in the coming months, especially as spread through and from poorer communities takes hold, which seems inevitable. If we follow the trends seen in other countries, which is likely, we will probably see something like 30 to 40 000 deaths from this virus (this may actually be a low estimate). Looting and protesting and simple-criminality are becoming real concerns in many areas. We are also seeing more resistance and complaint and questioning of policy from opposition political parties, some healthcare experts, etc. The best way forward is not widely agreed upon at this stage. There is certainly a realisation that the country, and the world, will never be the same again.

Some useful articles:

  • Pandemic Learnings & Thinking

    The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. For everyone. Probably for ever. There have been many tragic deaths, much suffering, huge anxiety, untold controversies, real confusion & uncertainty, and more. But it is not all just negative bad news. Really?! Well, yes. In these times we have surely also been able to learn some things so let’s consider some [...]

  • Covid-19 @ Mid 2021: Truths, Myths & Uncertainties

    The world has changed. The world we knew is gone. The Coronavirus pandemic, and the world’s response thereto, has been a game-changer is so many ways. Most of us are battling to adjust to the new world we live in. The future seems uncertain in many ways. So it may be helpful to at least have clarity where we [...]

  • COVID vaccines

    The coronavirus pandemic has changed our world. This has been a hugely challenging time for all of us. Due to the basic nature of airborne viruses – they spread easily and are largely resistant to medical treatments such as antibiotics – our options are very limited. For the most part we have used public health measures like distancing, mask-wearing, [...]

  • Death in 2020

    This sounds rather more like a book or movie title than an article on health & wellness, does it not?! It just seems like a time to offer a bit of perspective and context as we continue to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide. People do die It is an inescapable reality that dying is part of living. This [...]

  • Working From Home: Home Schooling

    Change has come. The world is no longer as it was. Coronavirus, and or the responses thereto, has made sure that our lives will just not be the same again. One key change is the accelerated move to working-from-home arrangements. We are seeing almost all sectors of white-collar work (where physical labour and physical presence is optional) move in [...]

  • Healthcare in a Pandemic

    We live in unprecedented times. Coronavirus has changed everything – our family, social and work lives have all been turned upside down. One area that, almost ironically, requires very careful consideration is healthcare. We are not talking about the treatment of Covid-19 here, but other healthcare, non-covid healthcare. What should you be doing, or not doing, in these times? [...]

  • Seasonal Flu’ in a Pandemic

    Much has changed. The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world we knew upside-down in many ways. The world has seen suffering, death, isolation, lockdowns, overwhelmed failing healthcare systems, political controversies, vaccine roll-outs that go well and some that do not, and much more.  The future seems more uncertain than many of us have ever known (many of today’s adults [...]

  • Working From Home: Eldercare

    The world is changing. This has always been true (change IS a constant) but the rate of change has been ever-increasing in recent years. Clearly, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated certain changes. The full scope of all this is yet to be seen and fully understood. But we can already see that more and more people are working from [...]

  • Cough

    In this, the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, coughing is a pretty serious thing and it can be scary. But most coughs are not caused by coronavirus and so it’s worth knowing a bit more about the OTHER possible causes… The most common causes of coughing include (in approximate order with the most common first): Colds and ‘flu Post-nasal [...]

  • Covid-19 and Weight

    Covid-19 has changed the world. Millions have died; the economic and social impacts are massive to say the least. The question of disease-severity and co-morbidities has gained a lot of attention. We all know that it is the elderly and those with certain co-morbidities that are at most risk of poor outcomes when they get Covid-19. Most of us [...]

  • Ivermectin for Covid-19

    Covid-19, the illness caused by Coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) is well-known to you by now.  You know that it is a new (previously unknown/unseen) virus that causes a cold/flu type illness that can develop into a severe and life-threatening pneumonia and multi-organ disease, most commonly in older, frail or already-unwell persons. You know that viral illnesses (like gastroenteritis, the common [...]

  • COVID comorbidities

    We have been living with this world-changing pandemic for a while now and most of us probably feel that we know enough about it. Certainly, we know that it is the elderly and those with pre-existing illness, also known as comorbidities, that are most at risk (while the young and the well are at low, but not no, risk). [...]

  • Excess deaths: just how serious is Coronavirus?

    From the outset of this pandemic, one of the biggest questions has been "How dangerous is it really?" or "How much more dangerous than normal flu is it?". Initial estimates varied wildly, because we really just did not know. It did start to become clear that more Covid-19 was more dangerous than seasonal flu, but just HOW much more [...]

  • Waves, Variants, Vaccines: Covid-19 in early 2021

    We’ve been living with Coronavirus for about a year now and it’s been pretty terrible if we’re honest. Over 2 million deaths worldwide, lockdowns such as we have never experienced before, huge social and financial disruptions, and more. And just when we started to think (in late 2020) that the worst might be over, we hear about second waves, [...]

  • Bugs

    Bugs......a topic that can give us "the creeps". For clarity we are not talking about computer-code glitches or planet-invading aliens or even about creepy-crawlies. In this short Quite-Interesting-Science article we'll describe the four most common types of micro-organisms that infect humans and cause disease. This should help you understand what these conditions are and how they are best treated. [...]

  • Covid-19 and stigma

    Covid-19 (the disease caused by the new coronavirus) is brand-new pandemic sweeping the world in 2020. Everyone has been affected. Many have died. More yet, will die. The world has changed and may never be quite the same again. There is anxiety, fear, sadness, uncertainty and anger. There is also stigma... What is Covid-19 stigma? This stigma refers to [...]

  • So you want to boost your immune system?

    The human body's immune system is responsible for fighting off infection and disease. It is a very complex system that involves skin, gut, blood, specialised white blood cells, antibodies, and more. Nobody wants to be sick and so we have long sought ways to strengthen our immunity. Pandemics like HIV and Covid-19 certainly highlight the importance of good immunity, [...]

  • Coronavirus (Africa)

    The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world... There is worldwide concern, severe travel bans, lock-downs, states of emergency, cancelled events, panic buying, stock exchanges in decline, fears of a major economic depression, and more. The human and economic impacts are huge, and growing.The planet is in uncharted territory. It seems that most of us will be exposed to the virus [...]

  • Jacky Badenhorst [a coronavirus lock-down story]

    What a year we will never forget.  So my son and his wife decided that 21 March 2020 will be the day that she becomes part of the Badies family.  Little did we know that a small little prickly pear looking virus was heading our way.  Honeymoon planned tickets bought and Mauritius here they come. Then the news broke [...]

  • Covid-19 or Flu or Common cold?

    So you're feeling under-the-weather and you're not sure if it's a common cold, flu (influenza) or Covid-19 (coronavirus)? Well, it's not always easy to tell because these are quite-similar illnesses in many cases, especially in the early stages and in milder cases (most cases are mild, for all three conditions). But there are some differences that may help you [...]

  • Coronavirus FAQs

    The Internet is full of coronavirus content these days and we're sure you've looked at many websites, videos, etc. This page does not intend to cover every possible issue and every imaginable question, but does try to highlight some of the more important and asked-about aspects. If you would like more info please consider: The WHO website here The [...]

  • Working from home – ergonomics

    For many people working-from-home is a new experience altogether. For others it might not be new, but the extent of it during coronavirus and lock-down surely is. We have written articles with general advice but here we would like to focus on a particular challenge: ergonomics. Most of us do not have dedicated offices at home and so our [...]

  • Working from home – with children

    For many years now there has been a trend towards working from home. This has mainly been driven by advances in communication technology, the worsening in commuter-traffic, the growth in skills-based businesses, and a global drive for more flexibility in work and in life generally. Right now though, in 2020, there is a new and powerful driver here: Coronavirus. [...]

  • Tania Etzebeth [a coronavirus lock-down story)

    It was about 5 years ago in the bushveld where we took this photo of my son next to this huge baobab tree in Alldays.  More than 1 854 km from home and a 20 hour drive. This is where we got one of the seed pods of this tree. We kept it all these years and with lockdown [...]

  • Marie Rich [a coronavirus lock-down story)

    My Liewe Kollegas As ek so na almal se fotos kyk dan haal ek my hoed af vir die wat gewig verloor het. Ek is op die stadium soos ‘n Sy wurm.  Jy weet as jy vir hulle ‘n hele boom vol Moerby blare gee en 10 minute later kyk , dan is als opgevreet,   dis ek daai. Die enigste [...]

  • Elana Olivier [a coronavirus lock-down story)

    Never in my life have I thought that a lockdown and a state of emergency will be declared in my lifetime…However, reality started when the schools closed earlier for holidays. Now, for a mom this is stressful as the President would not make a decision to close schools earlier just because. Then, the President addressed the nation that night…I had [...]

  • Shelley Sabbatini [a coronavirus lock-down story)

    Hi Wealthsmiths! What a great time to be a Wealthsmith.  I am so very proud to be part of this phenomenal organisation, especially during our country’s COVID19 lockdown. Working from home is a new experience for some, however, as a broker consultant, it can be a way of life, with appointments all day, and only the evenings and early [...]

  • Combatting Coronavirus: some subtleties

    So you know about hand-washing and social distancing and managing your sneezes and your coughs. You're complying with the lock-down regulations. You're on top of the situation. You've got this. Right? Well, maybe not - perhaps there are a few subtleties that have escaped you, or a few areas where you're still confused. We don't blame you because in [...]

  • Working from home

    For many years now there has been a trend towards working from home. This has mainly been driven by advances in communication technology, the worsening in commuter-traffic, the growth in skills-based businesses, and a global drive for more flexibility in work and in life generally. Right now though, in April 2020, there is a new and powerful driver here: Coronavirus. [...]

  • Coronavirus

    The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world... There is worldwide concern, severe travel bans, lock-downs, states of emergency, cancelled events, panic buying, stock exchanges in decline, fears of a major economic depression, and more. The human and economic impacts are huge, and growing. The planet is in uncharted territory. It seems that most of us will be exposed to the [...]

  • Healthy eating on a budget

    Healthy eating is expensive. We've all heard that, and many of us believe it to be true. And it can be (true). But it is not always true and there are ways to compromise. It’s a common misconception that healthy eating needs to make a dent in the pocket. This is an important consideration when we know that more [...]

Info-graphics that may help you (click to enlarge):

The South African national helpline number is 0800 029 999.

An overview of the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic overview

A look at a few tips that might not be obvious to everyone.

Combatting coronavirus: some subtleties
Coronavirus FAQs

Some thoughts on how to optimise your work-from-home opportunity.

Working from home (general)
Working from home (family & children)
Working from home (ergonomics)

A set of useful info-sheets you can download and print and share.

Covid-19 info sheet
Hand washing
Developing resilience
Managing stress and anxiety
Recognising stress and depression
Managing quarantine and isolation
Helping a depressed person

A set of useful and reliable and trustworthy Internet resources

SA coronavirus
World Health Organisation
SA Department of Health
SA Institute for communicable diseases
British Medical Journal

Chat to colleagues. Ask the wellness coach a question…..

Coronavirus chat

Your company-funded EAP provides 24-hour support for a range of psycho-social concerns. The service is professional (staffed by psychologists and social workers and nurses) and confidential and free to you. Here are the numbers you need:

ICAS EAP (for Sanlam Investments and Sanlam Corporate employees )

  • Call 0800 611 053

Careways EAP (for Sanlam, Santam and Miway employees)

  • Call 0800 204 555
  • Email
  • Need a call back? SMS your name to 31581 at any time, day or night and the Care Centre will call you back within 60 minutes.