Tragic Couple in South Africa
People all over the world are trying to make the best of being in lockdown. Many have shown great ingenuity and initiative, coming up with ingenious hacks for everyday problems. Unfortunately, improvising solutions can sometimes have tragic consequences as shown by a couple in South Africa who died after drinking homemade beer.
Tony Hilliar, a 54-year-old estate agent and his 42-year-old wife Alida Fouche, living in Port Nolloth on the north-west coast, brewed the alcohol themselves to counteract the country’s strict drinking ban, enforced in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Hilliar and his wife each drank a bottle of homemade beer before succumbing. Despite being in great pain, he was able to call an ambulance and later died in hospital. However, Mrs Fouche had already died before the ambulance arrived. The police stated probable cause of death as alcohol poisoning and sent the used beer bottles away for testing.
Strict quarantine bans alcohol sales and consumption
The tragedy highlights the possible dangers of trying to manufacture your own alcohol. Apparently this has become increasingly common in South Africa since lockdown began at the end of March. The country’s quarantine measures are said to be some of the strictest in the world, and many consider their alcohol ban excessive. The decision to ban all alcohol has, unsurprisingly, drawn criticism from certain quarters. Some people who may be dependent on alcohol will be suffering withdrawal and be unable to get treatment. Others will simple just want to enjoy a drink while in lockdown. There will also be a lack of routes to treatment as support services are shutdown or move online.
Reportedly, South Africa is now loosening some of its restrictions but still prohibits the sale of alcohol. The ban was a controversial decision which the government deemed necessary to try and stem the spread of the virus. Some may question that course of action, but it can be difficult to choose the right path during an unprecedented pandemic.
It is just a shame Mr Hilliar and his wife accidentally joined the unfortunate victims who have lost their lives during this outbreak.