Covering covid-19 in Africa: ‘The virus cannot stop this life and energy’

The Guardian’s Africa correspondent on life in a country that has fought and faced down more than one epidemic

In the evening I went for a run, down to the gate from my guesthouse, past a huddle of round huts and through the fields of sugar cane to the lake. A dog barked, a child howled, someone laughed, and tinny music played somewhere in the gathering darkness.

Eshowe, a small town in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, is a place of astonishing natural beauty. The run did not last long. I stopped and watched as weavers, glossy starlings and sunbirds swooped through the trees, catching the last rays of the sun. To the north, low dry hills lined the horizon. To the south, the breakers of the Indian Ocean crashed on miles of wild shore. Eshowe was memorable for something else too: the very human suffering I found there, and equally human hope.

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