Corona Diaries

Day 8 of Lockdown 🔐

So we’re just over one week into lockdown and in general I would say that it’s going ok in my household. We’re all in relatively good spirits. We still have enough supplies – we have no real reason to complain. Some days I look at Table Mountain from my window and I wish I could go outdoors for a hike or a run, but mostly I’m just satisfied. And I’m grateful that we are safe.

It’s been eerily quiet on the news front – there don’t appear to be so many new cases Of COVID19, compared to the spike we saw last week. Everyone says it’s the calm before the storm. I hope this isn’t true, but I think it might be.

I finished my first beading project tonight. Rather pleased about that. A rosary! Want to make a blue one next, and then a green one too. In another past lifetime I used to be a staunch practicing catholic, but I can’t call myself that any longer. In fact I’d rather not be labeled as anything to do with religion because I’m just not very religious any longer. I have a relationship with my maker, and that’s good enough for me.

Despite this however, I find it comforting to make rosaries. Interestingly, I also find it extremely comforting and reassuring when I hear people praying the rosary – in my mind there’s and association with praying the rosary and a safe space. I don’t believe I’ll ever pray the rosary again myself, but I have memories of people who are important to me like my mother and grandmother praying the rosary in my formative years and I think that may be why.

Anyway, now I just think that rosaries are so very beautiful and I particularly love making rosaries with seed beads. So here is the red one I made. My plan is to make a the other two, hopefully before lockdown ends. And then I just need to find some catholic people to give them to!

I’ve also been productive this week in terms of work. Spent most of my time on curriculum development, but also a lot of time strategising and gathering data. I’ve concluded that despite my ability to continue teaching online, it will be grossly unfair and unethical if I do – thus, I’ve abandoned thoughts of doing that. My students do not all have access to either data, a device to study with or even a safe and comfortable place to study. Even in this modern day and age, that is the reality.

I don’t yet know how or what next, but this is a signal to me of a gap that I have to start working towards closing. But that’s a topic for another day.

All signs of the times… the world as we know it and understand it is going to change. I don’t think any of us can anticipate how for sure, but what we can be sure of is that it will.

I’ll end on a lighter note…. also sign of the times, I have been invited to my first online birthday party tomorrow! Isn’t that weird but exciting? Although I wish it was a contact party, I know that’s not possible right now and so I’m so very glad that my friend decided to do something. So curious to find out what he has planned.

We are adapting, finding new ways of doing things. And since no one knows what the new ‘normal’ is, the cool thing is that we can make it up as we go along….. I think I’m gonna get dressed up for the party, with perfume and everything – why not uh!

Corona Diaries

Day 4. Lockdown 🔐

I’m not complaining, but I’m pretending to be complaining ok. Pretending that this struggle is real.

I have my minions with me every day. 24hrs a day. No drinking copious amounts of alcohol and I have to cook at least one wholesome meal a day, …. something with frikking vegetables (Note to self – cheese toast with french fries is not a healthy meal for kids), like everyday. 🤦🏾‍♀️😄

Things are just going on. More than just going on, there’s something that seems to be developing on the horizon in terms of my career – something about e-Learning, but it’s too early to tell if it important or not. Basically I’ve been communicating with my students and asking them what THEY think we should do. This is something almost unheard of in HE circles. But I’ve never been a conformist, so that doesn’t bother me.

What bothers me (pretend frustration) is having to cook every day, and then of course (feigning even more frustration) doing household chores with the kids. The struggle is real …. not.

I am grateful. So very very very grateful. So tomorrow, like today, we’ll work a bit (school work and work work) and feed the cats and water plants in the garden, wash the dishes, clean the bathrooms and do either laundry or ironing, maybe a little Netflix and then talk. Just talk. Simple life. Best life. ❤️

Connected

So my plan is not to do a day by day synopsis of lockdown, but today was yet again another interesting day. On day two of lockdown, despite our social isolation I feel more connected to the world and all my friends than I have in months.

We’re in a new world. Strange unfamiliar territory. There is an enemy out there, but we can’t see it. It might be lurking just around the corner, or it might only be in the neighbourhood 15km away – I just don’t know. I haven’t left my house for any reason for over a week, and I was surely expecting to feel like I have cabin fever by now, but the truth is I don’t feel that way. Not at all. Instead, I feel … SAFE.

My life has slowed down. Literally, after years of chasing my tail, and some or other deadline, I’m in a place now …no correction, We are all in a place now, where no matter how fast we go, or how efficient we think we are, we are not going anywhere – at least not for three weeks. So trying to rush anything won’t make a stitch of difference. There’s a strange sense of relief and comfort in that. We don’t even know if this lockdown will actually even be over in April…. We just don’t know. Strangely, there is reassurance in the fact that we all do not know, because not knowing for sure means that logically we can’t plan anything for sure. The universe says Be Quiet and Rest.

So that’s what I ended up doing. I’m working a little bit. I’m reading a bit and playing Catan Online. I’m doing some household chores, and preparing meals with my kids – the three of us were all in the kitchen this afternoon cooking. We’re having meals that have been prepared without the usual rush, and we taking more time to eat. That feels nice. Really nice.

From my interactions with friends this morning, it dawned upon me that what we’re all feeling today is ‘acceptance’. We’re staying in touch with each other and we’re sharing what we are doing to pass the time. We are also sharing information that we have that will help us all adjust to this new way of life. I realised that a healthy way for the kids and I to get through this time is to set up a new routine. One of my friends, Roberto sent me some pictures of a mini golf course he set up in his front garden, and he said he would start doing that every morning – and that made sense to me. To make sense of this whole situation we have to do what will make sense for us. So during the day, we’ll allocate times to do specific tasks together, and the other time can be free time. A new way of thinking, a new way of life.

So as I sit on my bed tonight reflecting, I smile thinking about this new way of life – how I’ve been in lockdown today and I’ve had more meaningful engagements with people today than what I did last Saturday when I wasn’t in lockdown! People are reaching out to each other. I’ve had proper heartfelt conversations with my high school friends, previous classmates from university, colleagues who are also friends, friends from my Meetup group, my business partners who are also good friends, my two best friends, my brothers and my parents. I even had two group whatsapp calls today. I feel supported, I feel important, I feel connected, I feel loved. I feel like I am part of Gaia. It’s a good feeling, it is indeed.

Lockdown!

Reminiscent of my teenage years, just like that, we’ve been grounded for three weeks 🇿🇦 starting midnight 26th March till the 16th April…

It just got real!

Well, it felt real last week, but it feels realer than real tonight.

As I was listening to our President’s much anticipated announcement, my heart sank. Last week I heard France had a lockdown, but a lockdown in South Africa still seemed incomprehensible just a few days ago.

I don’t believe it’s a drastic measure at all, seeing we went from 274 confirmed cases yesterday to 402 confirmed cases in South Africa (SA) today. Just the beginning of last week we still only had 60 confirmed cases. We don’t have a handle on this thing in SA. We need to flatten the curve.

But as I listened to our president speak, I could not immediately stave off the fear of the unknown and the anxiety associated with that. Loneliness gripped me and my heart dropped to my feet. I cried a bit. I was alone at home working at the time of the announcement, and for the first ten minutes after it ended my phone was silent. I believe that we were all in shock.

However, the unrelenting spirit of our human nature prevailed, and a sense of community then kicked in. After the cursory WTFs, we as a collective started to shake the dust off.

Some of my friends praised the president for his bold decisive announcement, but most of them started making light of a really heavy, heavy reality. The memes and the jokes then came flooding in. I always like to always give credit when I use someone else’s pictures, but there’s no way that I can trace the originators of the few memes which were shared with me and that I’m going to share now.

If these are your pictures, I thank you so much 🙏🏾🤗❤️

About an hour later, things just started to feel ok again. Ja sure, we still in this crazy real life Black Mirror episode with no end in sight, but what we gonna do? We just gonna dala what we must 🇿🇦

So then I put a very special edition bottle of bubbles from the Boschendal Wine Estate which one of my friends gave me as a graduation gift last year, on ice. Just as soon as I’m done with my work tonight (curriculum design – no less), I have big plans to have a candlelit bath with champers and listen Judith Sephuma playing in the background. Why not…. we gots to keep living!

 

Defining Lockdown:

Lockdown is an emergency protocol that requires South Africans to stay at home except for essential purposes. Only grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential industries will remain open. Only heath care workers, employees of pharmacies, grocery stores and petrol stations may go to work. Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will also remain open. All non-essential activities are suspended. The full national lockdown begins at midnight Thursday 26th March and will continue for 21 days until the midnight 16th April. Anyone who breaks the rules of lockdown could be punished with imprisonment for up to one year or have to pay a fine.

Energy Shift

Something happened tonight. The best way that I think I can describe it is there has been a shift in my energy… an awakening.

I’ve been battling with an immensely challenging personal issue since the beginning of this year which was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. This situation had characteristics of previous experiences but nothing in the run up or any of my previous experiences were like it. It took me by complete surprise. In hindsight, every time I’ve said that before, admittedly there were always warning signs – but who wants to live your life like that?! Questioning the validity of everything? – certainly not I.

But be that as it may, what happened happened. And the only thing to do was (is) deal with it. And I have been trying, the best way that I know how. Little by little more of myself (my strengths and perceived flaws) were revealed to me…. and then tonight, after weeks of internal struggle, I realized something big, something that was staring me in the face all the while, but somehow I wasn’t ready to see it until I was Ready. And then it happened, my energy shifted.

Suddenly, I feel an immense sense of lightness and relief, and almost excitement or anticipation for the next stage of my life to begin. Even greater than that, a sense of gratitude- true gratitude that I can’t remember ever feeling before in my life! I’ve been conditioned to be grateful- growing up that was an all too familiar thing I was told ‘Bronwyn be grateful, there are plenty of children in Africa that don’t have what you do!’…. yes, true how could anyone ever argue with that!

But tonight my gratitude comes from a place deeper than that – a place I did not know existed in my heart.

With everything currently happening in the world right now, the world truly feels upside down. Since the beginning of the year in South Africa alone we’ve been plagued with rolling blackouts, violent student protests and now this COVID19 situation.

…I mean really now, instinctively one wants to reach for a bottle of tequila just to deal or to just get some reprieve or sleep. But tonight I can’t fall asleep for a very different unexpected reason. My heart is beating strong and faster, I’ve song in my head and it feels to me like I’m just radiating energy…. good energy, loving energy, kind energy.

Tonight I want to tell the world, “Don’t worry, it’s all gonna be just fine