Despite all the warnings, Mama Pinda and Mama Thando decided to go to church.
Dressed in skirts and colourful headwraps, the two ladies in their late thirties met on Monday evening to walk to their church service in Troyeville, Johannesburg. Now more than ever, they felt the urge to pray.
“People are scared,” said Mama Pinda, as she hurried up the hill.
“We are chasing the coronavirus away in our prayer,” she added with a laugh.
Mama Pinda and her friend, who brought her toddler along, stubbornly tried to defy the appeals to avoid crowded spaces amid a general atmosphere of hesitation in the streets that followed the announcement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa of a series of drastic measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.