South African lockdown continues for Kilsyth ex-pat Reverend Jim Patrick

Kilsyth ex-pat Jim Patrick is seen here at his new home in Cape TownKilsyth ex-pat Jim Patrick is seen here at his new home in Cape Town
Kilsyth ex-pat Jim Patrick is seen here at his new home in Cape Town
A Kilsyth man who lives in South Africa has been talking about how a tough state of lockdown continues there amidst much discussion of the new strain of the virus linked to the country.

James Patrick has lived in South Africa since the 1970s but greatly enjoys returning to the town and travelling further afield to ‘fill in’ at various churches across the globe, such as the Scots Kirk in Paris where he recently conducted a service, albeit via the wonders of technology through Zoom!

For the former Kilsyth Academy pupil remains well and truly grounded for now – against a backdrop of some of the toughest lockdown measures on the planet, where the sale of alcohol will be banned until mid February and a curfew is in place between 6pm and 9am with all churches, cinemas and theatres shut.

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When asked how the variation of the new strain was affecting life in his adopted homeland he said: “Here, we don’t hear much about this but in practice it has led to an increase of infections and a new and stricter lockdown.

“We don’t know when we will get the vaccine.

It’s rumoured that South Africa is at the back of the queue, though a plant in Port Elizabeth is filling vials and packaging the product for Johnson and Johnson.

"Yet a visitor – and yes, there are still some visitors from outside – wouldn’t get the impression of a stricken society. People adapt and carry on. Beaches and public parks are closed, though the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens remain open and the cable car goes up and down Table Mountain.

" The roads are quieter as more people work from home – and turn to social media.

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"For myself, I’ve had to upgrade rapidly and acquire new know-how. And at least we have the sunshine here – plenty of it and temperatures in the 80s.

"Two or three times a day, I use the swimming pool in the retirement village where I now live, which is on the slopes of the mountain overlooking the city.

“We’re very blessed to have space and light here. So many others are living in cramped conditions.

“On the whole I would say people are obviously concerned and most are taking precautions, but life goes on and you have to make the best of it.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”

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