After 293 days of lockdown, Kim Nicola Stephens has updated her original list of middle-class suburbia lockdown categories (to bring them into 2021)… and it hits the nail on the head while being incredibly funny but may leave you in tears.
South Africa (13 January 2021) – Kim Nicola Stephens – one of our favourite writers in South Africa – has really helped South Africa deal with the trauma of the past year with humour, and we love that she is keeping it up in 2021!
She has given us the top 10 middle-class quarantine categories, a hilarious depiction of how confusing level 4 actually is, the beauty truths of the burbs during the lockdown, the runners versus smokers debacle and she weighed in (hilariously) about how everyone in South Africa has suddenly become an expert on nearly everything.
South Africans have a way of getting through the toughest times, usually with a side dish of humour, and her writing is on point.
Kim has permitted us to post her latest piece on Good Things Guy, and we hope you enjoy the brilliant humour.
The 8 middle-class lockdown South Africans… updated for 2021!
So 2021 came along and said, hold my pineapple beer.
My original levels of lockdown and pandemic response across South African suburbia needs an urgent re-write. Not like the Matric Maths re-write that almost saved us all from the frolicking, super spreader masses at Ballito Rage… no, an actual re-write. One that actually happens. So, also not like the South African COVID-19 vaccine Pep-Store-Ish lay-bye payment that we missed. A real happening.
Here we go…
1. The Denialists
I’m getting this one out of the way nice and early in the game. They have retreated from their “this is the flu” rhetoric, and graduated somewhat up a level to “but not me”. They point out comorbidities with an acutely annoying prove-a-point arrogance and being caught out after curfew, arrested or corrected by authorities, is an instant police brutality accusation. Because they are suburban, accustomed to getting their way, and their little pool party / new year’s bash / boozy book club is NEVER the same as those taverns or taxis! Sweets, you need to get the absolute fuck over yourself, see? And it goes over your nose.
2. The Lifers
We’ve lost them. For good. Neighbours haven’t seen them since level 4. They have built such radical lockdown lives that they are NEVER COMING OUT. Kids have online tutors, training is done via Zoom classes, they did a YouTube tutorial sponsored by HTH and fired the pool guy, they built a treadmill for the dogs, their home offices boast innovations such as hadeda-proof window glazing and rotating background screens, they have a bio composter that powers the gas stove using sewage emission, they dug an underground wine cellar with stock for 2 years, they have Netflix, Showmax, Apple TV and for everything else there is the Checkers Sixty60 app.
3. The Embracers
No, not actual embraces. Those are cancelled. This lot embraced the apocalypse in its entirety, ages ago. They opted out of mainstream media, unschooled their kids, planted their own food gardens and started making their own clothing out of old sheets. That “do” they used to get at Edge Cavendish is now a bunch of dreadlocks tied up with a lightly used tea towel, and two out of their three kids can speak mandarin. Fourth kiddo due in June. Could be the most sane of the lot of us.
4. Okes with Cheekache
“My guy, business is FLYING! Like, I cannot keep up. Full on, flat out hey.” As they grin maniacally, just shy of dry humping the hot air around them, convincing anyone who will hear them that their enterprise is doing flick flacks around the pandemic. Yes bru, some kindness for the peeps who haven’t been as lucky, yeah? Read the room, china.
5. Mightily Confused
Ja, maybe the majority. They are reading and sharing every list of every lockdown law, every hospital stat, every doctor’s report, every variation of level 3, every piece of fake news, at a rate that gives them whiplash. “Is this true? This? Look at this?” They pepper the family WhatsApp group with a barrage of opinion pieces, and they are the reason the mute button was invented. Breathe, put your phone down, read the final government gazette AFTER a presidential address, and anything Tweeted by Mandy Wiener. You’re going to give yourself a stroke; otherwise, never mind Covid.
6. Conspiracy Theorists
7. The Innovators
Not just the ones who have given up on mainstream income and launched an OnlyFans channel (I don’t want to know, no judgies, you just do you!), the obsessive loop-hole finders. It’s become like a full-time gig for surfers. “Drop-in from a helicopter, bru. Surf with a fishing rod!” Fuck, don’t poke your eye out. And beach lovers. Coastal towns have never sold so many R199 kiddies fishing rods. I was in tiny little Kenton On Sea when the post office processed 474 fishing permits in one day. That old photocopier saw more action than the OnlyFans innovators. Wine in a teapot is SO 2020; we are next level tricksters now. I love it; just use your kop in terms of risk assessment in all planning. I’m going to lose friends now. But for reals, be smart and don’t fight for the sake of fighting. We know what to do not to spread this thing. Tying a bunch of daddies’ boats together on the Knysna lagoon and throwing a big, boozy bash was piss poor behaviour.
8. The Exhausted
A moment of sobriety.
We’re looking at bottles of zinc and vitamin c, and we just want to stop. We’ve lost jobs, lost touch with people we need, and lost loved ones to the virus. We are grappling with crippling grief and financial anxiety. We look at our medical teams in awe, as they literally take their exhaustion to work all day, every day, hoping that there will be a reprieve soon. They experience unimaginable trauma daily. We are coping with the virus; suffering from it, recovering from it, testing for it and avoiding it.
We are exhausted.
Except for that oke dry humping the air because his business is hotter than Durbs in Feb (asshole).
So do me a massive favour. Have a laugh at something today, or reach out to someone. Climb in a bath. Message a mate. Go for a run. Send flowers to the person you’re missing. Play your best tunes. Hold on, ok? Just hold on.
Words by me, Kim Stephens. Tired, like you. Trying, like you. Grateful, too. Need to keep laughing. Love.