It’s different strokes for different folks, South African taxi drivers believe that coronavirus is worse than HIV/AIDS, hence they prefer HIV/AIDS to Covid-19.
According to a report in City Press, Tete Masete asked a puzzling question:
If the South African government can give us free condoms, why can’t they provide us with free masks now, at a time when our health is clearly in imminent danger?”
The taxi driver at Wanderers taxi rank in the Johannesburg CBD says he does not earn enough money to buy mask nor knows where to get the masks.
It is unclear if South Africans want to step up their game in prioritising their health following the increase in the number of reported cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the country or Masete is just lamenting hypocritically.
Christopher Moduki, Masete’s colleague says: ““There are condoms everywhere for people to protect themselves, so why can’t the same be done with masks that could possibly save us from this coronavirus?”.
Moduki is angry that he has to get masks and supply mask to his passengers. This begs the question: is it the obligation of taxi drivers to supply masks to passengers?
In a funny twist, Moduki believes he is immune to the virus because he is young and healthy. He also admitted that he has limited knowledge of the virus due to scarcity of awareness.
He says: “I don’t really know the symptoms or what else can help besides the masks, but I know there is a coronavirus and that people can get it by just breathing.”
Masete lamented the dynamics and proximity between taxi drivers and passengers make the situation complex and that coronavirus is said to be worse than AIDS.
Majority of the taxi drivers say they prefer AIDS to coronavirus because the former is easy to identify and treatable.
Forty-four-year-old Peter Tladi confirms he would go for AIDS if he had to choose between the two. He opines he knows how AIDS is contracted but that coronavirus can be caught through mere breathing or coughing.
However Gabriel Munyai, a 43-year-old resident of Diepsloot Extension 21 says he has not come across any taxi driver at Diepsloot who wears a mask. He has only seen only three people in Diepsloot who wore mask.
Munyai says commuters only complain about the negative consequences of the virus but are largely ignorant about it.
Vinolia Ndlovu of agogoayonews.com who also resides in Diepsloot says she has only seen three passengers wore masks in a taxi from Diepsloot to Randburg but she is yet to see any driver wearing mask. She observed that most people in the taxis are not taking coronavirus serious because they have not really seen the effect around them.