I’ve just sat down and decided to start writing. No idea what I am going to say or what the subject is going to be but inevitably it will revolve around a virus that the orange one in Washington wants to rename after an Asian country.
Maybe I will just lead with emotions and go from there. I have no better ideas so here we go.
When Mr. Ramaphosa (I like to refer to him as Sizzler, a play on Cyril, for some reason) told South Africa that we were heading into lockdown I actually felt a sense of a challenge to be honest. Like the world needed this and maybe so did I.
The reset button was about to be hit by Sizzler and other world leaders on a world that I had been struggling with for the past five years or so. The hate that has been flying around, the negativity of social media, the witch hunts in the written media and people generally just not taking responsibility for their own actions and blaming everyone else. Politician’s, whose agenda is to tell you how bad everyone else is and not how good they themselves can be for you.
I won’t start on Millennials, their heads are probably exploding right now on how they can sue the Corona Virus for the impingement on their human right to choose which Virus attacks them! Best left alone.
Weirdly, one of my first thoughts was; How?
How in this modern world can a virus from a bat be allowed to kill and infect hundreds of thousands of people? That’s for Hollywood surely?
Then I thought of Lenny Henry. Genuinely I did. Weird hey?
I thought about all those years in the U.K. when we have sat on our sofas during Comic Relief, munching our takeaways and donating our Tenners to help the causes in Africa as they fought diseases that we couldn’t even pronounce and assumed we’d never get or experience.
‘That would never happen to us, we’re a first world country. I’ll send them 10 quid and they can get some vaccines. Good deed done!’
It was a good deed and one that should continue because there are people fighting for their lives every day and it is not reported anywhere in the media because it has become part of the fabric intertwined in the victims and their families’ lives.
Now we’re having to do the same. I may be in South Africa now, but back in Blighty, Europe and the US, as well as everywhere else in the world, we now have a virus that has become part of our fabric with regards to day to day living.
It’s tough, my word it is tough. We are into day 2 of isolation now and I have to say, the next 20 days scare me. I say that with a guilty heart because the sun is shining, we are able to go into the garden, watch TV, jump on the trampoline and have outdoor space to hide from the onslaught of kids wanting to colour in, build a jigsaw, bake and play on the Nintendo Wii all at the same time. That’s right, the Wii is back out and I shot 211 this morning on the bowling. Never lost it.
I’ve said it so many times before, this country has humbled me immensely since arriving as I have met some inspirational figures but this Covid-19 is what will take my humility to the next level.
My thoughts are with the townships and the communities that can’t have outdoor space, trampolines or modern technology to get through this uncertain period. Their sanitation, way of life and means doesn’t lend to surviving, both literally and metaphorically, in these conditions.
I’m not saying that I would waltz into one of these areas tomorrow like Mother Theresa, but the fact that I can’t even leave my front gate means that no one can do that. They are Isolated by the Isolation and that is what worries me.
There is a hashtag for you to use gender neutral millennial. You’re welcome!
The figures will rise in South Africa and people will worry about us all but the first place we should look is into the demographic of the ill and the people who don’t successfully fight this disease. That figure is the most important to me.
Anyway….we are where we are with this virus and what I have noticed is that people do have a lot of time on their hands judging by the videos, memes and GIF’s that have been streaming in to my phone. Some good, some bad and some quite shocking….delete, delete, delete.
People’s imaginations have been running wild as well. It’s great to see. Some very novel ways of showcasing your skills and talents I must say.
As for us as a family, it is important that we try and stay sane by staying busy.
Mrs. D is in the garden doing her Mum proud and the kids have been incredible so far. Our six-year-old understands what is happening and why she can’t go out on her new bike. Her maturity astounds me at times.
Our little rat bag of a four-year old is a different story though. She loves a few tears when things aren’t going her way. It probably didn’t help when I celebrated in her face after shooting the 211 on the bowling!!
Exercise has become key to our day as it certainly gives you a boost. Joe Wicks is our new hero. 9am UK time he is doing a live stream exercise class which is so much fun for the family to get involved in. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
We are trying to stay away from social media and have bans on using phones during the day at certain points. That helps more than I thought it would actually. Walk into the bedroom, put the phone on charge or under the pillow and force yourself to colour in with the kids or re-arrange that cupboard you’ve been meaning to do for months.
Have a break from the inevitable bad news, it unfortunately isn’t going anywhere fast.
My therapy is writing. I haven’t done it for far too long either for sport or about us as a family and every time I finish an article I feel great. Maybe try it. Open up the laptop, log on and just start writing about anything. I promise you, you will drift off and away from all the negative thoughts in your mind. Even if it’s for just an hour whilst the kids watch Peppa.
I’m over a thousand words now and have a kids obstacle course to build for us to have family fun with later in the garden, before the 1,000 piece jigsaw of the planets gets opened.
Oh my……I almost forgot one thing that is helping with the coping. 6pm. It’s Gin o’clock and if there is one thing I am not missing out on………it’s Gin o’clock!