COVID-19 curfew laws might have helped to lessen the number of trauma patients at Baragwanath Hospital this year. While some people assume the alcohol ban probably accounted for the news, more likely a combination of the curfew and closed nightclubs impacted hugely. After all, alcohol evidently didn’t disappear completely.
COVID-19 curfew means fewer rescue trauma patients at Baragwanath Hospital
It’s New Year’s Day and amazingly, the special trauma unit area’s free of patients. The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital shared the news on New Year’s Day. On Facebook, they captioned the post with, “Did you know, its the first in [the] history of the hospital trauma rescue area has no patient on the 1st of the new year.” Well, on Twitter, those people who previously worked there seemed amazed.
@rinmor commented, “surreal! My initiation as with all Wits med students was Bara trauma.” The ex-med student talked about sutures, “gurneys,” stabbings, and more. The writer added, “the memory of the smells never leave one…blood and vomit mixed with African beer.”
Well, the media often reports that drunk people fight and stab each other. So probably everyone staying home on New Year because of the curfew resulted in fewer of those cases.
Sowetans claim alcohol drunk in homes at New Year
Literally, thousands of people across social media claimed the COVID-19 alcohol ban stopped the trauma unit visits. But those who live in Soweto think it’s a combination of things. Firstly, most people stayed in their homes or backyards as required by the curfew. As one person pointed out, that took away the age-old fights that arise in nightclubs. There, a knife fight could erupt simply for “looking at someone funny.”
Of course, the curfew also meant that fewer people dared drive anywhere. And notably, not all vehicle accidents are the result of drinking alcohol. And yes, it seems many people still gained access to booze despite the COVID-19 regulations. In fact, more than one person noted that Soweto residents still drank alcohol. Only, they drank behind four walls, or behind gated walls. Nobody wanted the police to arrest them on New Year’s Eve after all.
Alcohol causes trauma admission whether we like it or not
Nonetheless, there’s no denying that alcohol consumption does add to trauma admission at places like Baragwanath Hospital. Alcohol combined with clubs, cars, and late nights most certainly brings a recipe for a visit to the trauma unit. But, as so many people on Twitter argue, the lack of patients admitted can’t be credited to the alcohol ban alone.
Many people used the Facebook post as a platform to push their own agenda for the permanent and complete ban of alcohol in the country. As if people don’t’ live under enough draconian rules as it is, some critics think. Meanwhile, the more reasonable folks think it points towards possibly more regulated trading hours for clubs and bars after the COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown. Many suggestions came in that the issue of late licenses should be reviewed.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that the COVID-19 curfew had a lot to do with the reduced numbers of trauma patients at Baragwanath Hospital? Or do you think it’s entirely due to the alcohol ban?
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