How is everyone doing? I’m feeling pretty emotional. Tonight at midnight we officially enter into our 21day lockdown. The world out there has been chaotic – people fighting over the finer details of the rules, panic shopping, the complete judgment of people’s choices, and everyone seemingly out for themselves. I’ll admit the pandemic felt very outside of my reality for a long time. It was something happening out there. It was sad to watch the struggles of the world but life at home carried on as normal. And then the virus hit our country, and as Murphy’s Law would have it, my son gets sick – tonsillitis and bacterial conjunctivitis of all things. This was when I first saw the panic the virus had on people.

I made a doctor’s appointment for my son (all very normal and easy), but when I got there, it was like nothing I had experienced. Stopped and questioned, sterilized and busier than I had ever seen. When we saw our usual doctor he was already tired and panicking at how they were going to deal with normal patients and this pandemic at the same time. And really, this was a few weeks ago, when SA only had a couple of cases. I hadn’t thought of it before, the fact that other illnesses and patients are still needing care – it’s not like everything else stops ‘cos the new hotshot Corona is in town. My heart went out to the Medical staff – if they were this busy now, I could only imagine how things would escalate in the coming weeks. Since that day I have been pretty much home-bound with my kids, so it feels like we’ve been in quarantine for ages.

In a way, I feel like my head has been in the sand as to the panic and chaos that has since ensued. My husband is the only one who has been braving the stores and pharmacies. Then there was the presidential address announcing the lockdown. I’m not sure why it hadn’t hit me until that moment, but suddenly the weight of the virus fell on my heart. It was hard to hold back tears realizing what the impact of this would be. Last night we ordered in for the last time until after the lockdown. The delivery guy told us he had just been made redundant in light of the lockdown, and that the restaurant probably wouldn’t survive. It was heartbreaking. And this was just one of many. It seems crazy that just 21 days can have such a huge impact.

There has been many, many articles and threads of advice on how to make the most of the 21 days – some productive, some philosophical; and while some can be helpful, some can make us feel like we need to behave in a way that will earn us some kind of lockdown award when its all over. So, at the risk of joining the ranks of advice, I will say this: Just don’t – don’t plan any major transformations, don’t micromanage your kid’s day, don’t get down on yourself for watching T.V. three days in a row. This is something we have never experienced or gone through before. Just because you feel fine, doesn’t mean you are mentally up for introducing new habits or plans. Rather, just take it day by day, give yourself and your kid’s grace, and keep your expectations low. Let’s not make an already stressful situation more stressful.

I hope you all stay safe and healthy during this time, and that we all come out of the lockdown stronger and more united than before.

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