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Peter du Toit

Musings from the southern tip of Africa

Pay attention to the science
Yesterday the CDC released a study entitled: SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Hospitalizations Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Vaccination Status The study finds that unvaccinated individuals are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinted individuals and that unvaccinated people were nearly 5 ...
There are advantages to not being first
There are some advantages to not being first, especially with all things COVID related. In South Africa the virus arrived after we saw it ravage other parts of the world. So we could prepare as best we could. For example doctors could learn from their colleagues elsewhere about how to treat ill pati...
Traveling to countries that allow vaccinated South Africans
There have been several questions about traveling to other countries with the paper vaccination cards and whether this will be acceptable at the country of destination. Here is what you need to do. Ask the country’s embassy in question. They all have systems in place in order to get the information ...
Making smart choices: Don’t delay vaccination
Every country that is ahead of South Africa as far as the trajectory of the pandemic is concerned, has experienced a 4th wave. There is no reason to believe South Africa will escape a similar experience. The scientists who are modeling the trajectory in South Africa are signaling that we will experi...
I don’t know who to believe anymore!
Raise your hand if you have been feeling this way of late! Any person that has a smartphone with a messaging app on it (eg. WhatsApp Telegram, iMessage etc.) or has a social media account is flooded with information for all sides! It can be truly overwhelming! This often leads to exasperation and t...
Vaccine impact
Many places around the world are now beginning to track hospitalizations and deaths between vaccinated, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. In San Diego County, 72% of all eligible residents are vaccinated, which is more than 2.04 million people. We are really beginning to see this tu...
Knysna COVID risk level (Aug 14, 2021)
⚠️ HIGH RISK Knysna recorded 486 new cases this past week (This number will increase over the next few days as it only reflects new case data from Sunday Aug 8th to Fri Aug 13th. Additional data for Saturday 14th is still to be added, in addition to regular data cleanup over the next few days.) The...
Important update: The delta variant is making people sicker
During the peak of the 2nd wave in early January 2021, driven by the Beta variant, the Western Cape saw a daily total of about 400 people on average in ICU’s in the province. This represented about 10% of those hospitalized. Now during the peak of the 3rd wave, this time driven by the Delta variant,...
Tourism recovery: Vaccines
A recent United Nations Report entitled Covid-19 and Tourism — an update takes a careful look at tourism recovery around the world. Population vaccination levels in destination countries play a MAJOR role in recovery. Tourists will feel comfortable to travel into environments where a high percentage...
April 2021: Knysna SARS-CoV-2
We have now reached a sustained low infection rate after a very strong surge of infections during November and December, 2020 and January 2021. This can be seen here (April 9th, 2021) The second wave of infections was driven by the 501.V2 variant, which had its epicenter about 250km from here in Gq...
Knysna; SARS-CoV-2 update
My last update was on September 27th 2020 and a lot has happened since then. On Friday December 18th South African scientists announced the discovery of a new linage of the virus. They named it 501.V2 and shortly thereafter they published this paper outlining their findings. It was determined that t...
On a personal note...
I am just archiving this note I left on the last Facebook Group that I was active on due to Covid: Last year when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke and we got to learn how this impacted the American election in 2016 and the British Brexit vote etc. — as explained in The Great Hack documentary —...
The ultimate guide to COVID-19 data
Data provides us with a crystal ball-like look into our world. Which is why smart businesses and individuals use data to make dramatically better choices. Knowing where to find the data that is being collected about Covid-19 enables you to gain powerful insights into the progression of the disease s...
Picture this scenario...
There are some tourists who arrive at CT international airport. On arrival they need to prove they have had a negative covid test in the last 72 hours and that they have the Covid Alert app installed on their phones. They comply and start their vacation. They make their way to Knysna and go to loca...
The progression of SARS CoV 2 in Knysna, South Africa (Updated September 27, 2020)
I wanted to record this data as an archive of the progression of SARS CoV 2 in Knysna, South Africa. The disease was first recorded in Knysna on Tuesday March 17, 2020 when two individuals who had returned from a vacation in Europe tested positive. Between Monday April 6, on which day 13 new cases w...
Learning to live with the virus for the next 12 to 18 months
We now know from the data that getting to the peak in the Western Cape is going to be a later than originally thought, (now forecast for the end of July beginning August) the peak is going to be flatter (meaning less hospitalizations and deaths at the peak) but longer. (“The virus is could be with u...
Staying Safe at Work
There is so much information out there that it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused by it all. But by focusing on the basics and doing these really well, will dramatically reduce your risk of infection. Because we are going to be in this situation long-term it’s crucial that the basics are pra...
Do you know anyone on this list?
*Someone over 55? * Someone being treated for hypertension, diabetes or a heart condition? * Someone being treated for cancer? * Someone being treated for TB? * Someone who has HIV? * Someone being treated for a chronic lung disease? (eg Asthma, Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis) * Someone being treated...
Latest research on how to lower infection risk
The authors of this Lancet paper analysed nine studies involving 7,782 participants relating to physical distancing, and wearing face masks across the three viruses. (SARS, MERS, COVID-19) This is what they found: PHYSICAL DISTANCING: “The findings showed a reduction in [infection] risk of 82% with ...
Future Skills
Last year I shared this update over on LinkedIn outlining 4 critical skills leadership teams should acquire for their businesses. In the current pandemic context with the strong likelihood that this will remain with us for sometime, I would like to add a 5th to the 4 future skills above: A basic und...
We know we can do better
Across the world millions of people living in cities have been able to breath easier as a result of less air pollution. We know that there is a direct link between air pollution, disease and premature death. (See: Over half a million premature deaths annually in the European Region attributable to h...
🚨 CO2 Levels Keep Rising
They keep rising because: We keep burning coal for electricity We keep burning petrol, diesel and aviation fuel We keep burning gas This is having a DIRECT impact on global heating. We are currently at 1.1°C above the pre-industrial level global temperature. We are on track for a 3.2°C rise. This wi...
It’s playing out exactly as forecast in the IPCC reports
As the globe continues to heat Southern Africa has been identified as a hotspot. The predictions are for intense temperatures, drought and extreme precipitation events. (Here is a more detailed look at what to expect for Southern Africa There is a proven direct link to this happening and the risin...
The data is crystal clear — we are in a climate emergency
As we watch the disaster play out in Australia the Bureau of Metrology released this data. A graphic depiction of the heating planet. Australia has official had it hottest year ever.
Happy New Year!
Today we step into the most important decade of human history. And those of us alive to see it have been chosen for this moment. What will future generations say about us I wonder? There are a few things we know for sure, as explained in this video clip for example. We also know that this decade is ...
What is the big deal with a 1°C temperature increase anyway?
Where we are today the forecast temperatures are max. 23 and min. 16. That’s a a 7° difference. We deal with these all the time and it’s no big deal. In winter the swings can be even more extreme. So what’s the big deal with a 1° variation? Well not all temperature fluctuations are equal. Take the h...
Climate model accuracy means South Africa REALLY needs to pay attention
The accuracy of the predictions for Australia and what is currently playing out is an indication that what has been predicted for South Africa has a strong likelihood of materializing. Here is what the IPCC report says about Southern Africa: “The southern African region is projected to be a climate...
Geek Post Ahead — But Super Important Nonetheless
A few years ago when I was first introduced to the idea of the Blockchain and to one of the first apps to be built on it (Bitcoin) I got really excited. Decentralized money made complete sense to me and I saw a way for technology to remove the need for banks (middle men) as well as government contro...
What have we done...
This picture was posted by the Eden Hills Country Fire Service in Adelaide south Australia on December 22nd 2019. It’s heart rending. A Koala sitting in the road next to a member of the species that caused this situation. This particular human, bless his soul, was attempting to save it’s home, but t...
The data is screaming at us
This picture represents temperature anomalies that are currently in place (December 23rd 2019) “The term temperature anomaly means a departure from a reference value or long-term average. A positive anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was warmer than the reference value, while a negative...
Majuba Power Plant Emissions Are Staggering!
This picture of the fire at the Majuba coal power plant yesterday, South Africa’s second largest, is a graphic example of how dirty coal energy is. While eyes are on Majuba its good to remember that: At full capacity this plant’s six units burn 56,000 tonnes of coal per day, supplied via a central c...
Everyone is beginning to wake up
As the climate crisis unfolds and begins to impact people and carbon literacy improves behaviour begins to change. In this case German travelers are flying less. Why? ”In Germany, which has suffered record-breaking heatwaves and a drop in Rhine water levels that halted barge shipments, caused fuel s...
South Africa — We are on the frontlines
From the Wall Street Journal: A Fine for a Flush: Drought Leaves Southern Africa High and Dry “Southern Africa is one of the hot spots world-wide that is already experiencing extreme weather events. It may be the new normal. What determines how much these events will impact communities is not only t...
The Thermometer Doesn’t Lie — The Climate Emergency is Real
December 17, was the hottest day ever recorded in Australia: 40.9°C... that was the national average temperature. Some places were far hotter. Check out the Bureau of Meterology update here As CO2 levels continue to rise, the globe continues to get hotter. There are some places that are going to be...
If you still need to be on Facebook for whatever reason
Facebook is not going to change it’s news delivery algorithm. Which is why this is great advice.
This coming decade we have some VERY tough choices to make — inform yourself of the issues
As we step into the next decade we are going to need to make some very tough and brave choices related to how the economy works, our own consumption and how we live on our only home, earth. To make those choices we need to be informed. So I have collated the data that should help you understand ever...
More extreme precipitation events on the horizon
Watching the unfolding scenes in Pretoria and elsewhere (See my SA Weather Twitter List for videos and other updates) is a stark reminder of what is going to become the new normal as the planet continues to heat up. In the case of this area in South Africa, extreme temperatures (heatwaves) and extre...
Why we have to de-grow aviation
⚡️ Coal Electricity: We have alternatives in hydro, wind & solar ⛽️ Petrol/Diesel Vehicles: We have alternatives in electric vehicles powered by renewables ✈️ Aviation: no alternatives As a result of this, and until we can find an alternative, we have to fly less or not at all. There is no other c...
I have been profoundly impacted by Greta Thunberg’s travel choice
I have been profoundly and deeply impacted by Greta Thunberg’s choice to sail from Europe to the US and back. It is a powerful message from a teenager to all of us. Nikki Henderson has eloquently articulated the impact this has had on her, co-piloting the boat on this return journey. Her thoughts ar...
The scientists have done their job — now it’s time for us to do ours
The latest piece in Nature entitled Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against is crystal clear: Business as usual is NOT an option. We have to stop burning fossil fuels and we have to do it now The scientist working with the data say: “If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipp...
Eyes Wide Open
It’s been over a month that I have paused publishing content on Facebook. Primarily because of having lost faith in the leadership of the company as explained here. The problem is still this: In the case of Facebook, they offer a “free” platform, but in exchange for “free”, tracks your every move on...
Fossil fuel industry disinformation campaign exposed
This report America Misled — How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change by researches at George Manson, Harvard and Bristol Universities made these key findings: Internal corporate documents show that the fossil fuel industry has known about the reality of human-...
Graaf-Reinet — A South African Climate Emergency Story
Early in November this short story aired on the BBC. It tells the story of an area just 200km or so from where we are. The climate crisis is unfolding in our back yard...
Follow the money
Picture Credit: Coal disinvestment hits South Afirca Have you heard of stranded assets? Well the truth is that anything associated with fossil fuels will become a stranded asset. I wonder who is advising anyone to buy these? The smart money is leaving these assets. Also soon, any country that conti...
Cecil the Lion and the bigger picture
It has been really interesting to watch all the developments surrounding the poaching of this lion. First off, before I get to sharing my views on the bigger picture of this incident, I would like to briefly discuss one of the side issues that has arisen around this event. Many people have express...