A South African Perspective in a time of COVID-19.
Photo Cred: CDC

I am not naïve to the significance of what is happening – but what I do know, is that with collective positivity and love, it may just give us that little bit extra, that will help us get through possibly the hardest thing the world has ever faced.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (25 March 2020) – This is a difficult time for the world and one South African has penned his thoughts on why he hates the Coronavirus COVID-19 and yet has somehow found an appreciation for the things it is teaching him.

This is my Love-Hate relationship with COVID-19

I cannot believe what an inconvenience this is. I had to go out to buy extra food and extra cleaning materials that cost a fortune.

I can’t go into work for meetings and have to “zoom” in where I battle to hear and see people. Face-to-face is just easier.

As a single parent, I have my kids at home for a full week and as a father, battle to keep them entertained. I have no patience for Monopoly, puzzles and building LEGO. I also find it so frustrating that toyshops keep sending SMS’s with special deals – do they not know how irritating it is receiving messages when you are trying to plan for 21 days with no access to the rest of the world. For the next 21 days, my kids are now going with their mother to stay with her parents. I actually can’t believe how unfair this is! I’m not going to see them for 3 weeks.

I had to buy hand sanitiser, and because I left it so late, it cost an obscene amount of money for one small bottle.

I’m in the process of studying, and as all the universities are closed, lectures now take place online which again is an inconvenience – how do they expect you to focus for so long, especially when you have kids running around. It cost a fortune, and they should have thought about this more and made a better plan.

The gyms are closed – so now my fitness levels are going to go to shit.

Bottle stores are closing – surely, they should also remain open like the supermarkets, what do they expect us to do for the next few weeks.

I had two holidays planned which had to be cancelled – this was something I was really looking forward to.

Fuck!

None of my family is together – we all live across the country and at a time like this, we should be together, but we simply can’t be.

My girlfriend lives 7km’s away, so I guess I’m not going to see her for 3-weeks. FUCK, I am so irritated.

I can’t even see my friends.

How shit is this all?

BUT, the reality is that I am one of the millions of people who hate what’s happening. There are people who have lost loved ones, lost jobs and will unlikely ever have the same life as before COVID-19.

I love my children. I love my family and friends. I go to church on Christmas and Easter so one would argue if I’m religious or not. I’m spiritual but not “one with the fairies”. I’m an optimist but also a realist. I love having money but realise it doesn’t bring happiness. I love South Africa but hate the economic and political issues we have – ironically, right now it’s one of the safest places to be. We have a president who put South Africans first. And finally, thankfully, I’m not a full-time writer.

So, what is there to love about COVID-19?

Well, here is some perspective:

  • I am fortunate to have some money so that I could buy groceries – it taught me to appreciate the basic essentials that you need to live. It taught me to be considerate to fellow shoppers. It made me more conscious to mine, and my children’s hands cleaned.
  • I appreciate that I have a house to clean – there are so many people who have nothing even to call home.
  • I appreciate more than ever that I have a job today, tomorrow and in the next 3 weeks. I have access to technology so that I can continue to work. There are some people who have no jobs to go to from later this week.
  • I am a father. I love being a father – I always have but my god, hearing the innocent laughter of my children having fun is priceless – they don’t know the extent of what’s going on. Still, like every parent, I will protect them with my life, love them more every day and make sure I spend more time enjoying hearing them laugh. And I don’t care if it is as a result of them watching YouTube.
  • Today was the first day I have had a hotdog for lunch with my kids – I need to make more time to do this.
  • I have money to buy board-games, puzzles and LEGO – there are some children who don’t even have a roof over their head.
  • They have a loving mother and grandparents – they have a place to go where they will be protected and loved…and will be safe.
  • I have sanitiser – 90% of the population doesn’t!
  • I am fortunate to have access to education – some will never have the opportunity.
  • I have my health. I have a garage where I can skip, do push-ups and sit-ups.
  • More importantly, the people who work at the gyms have the opportunity to protect themselves and their families.
  • I’m glad the bottle stores are closed so people can too be with their families but sad for the jobs that have potentially been lost.
  • Holidays will come and go – and the thought of creating new memories…whenever that may be, is a feeling that makes me appreciate what I have.
  • Friends are friends for life – we are all facing the same challenges.
  • I have my family. I love my family. Maybe we are not all together now, but collectively we are safe, and we will soon be together.
  • I have a girlfriend who has re-taught me to love and be more confident. Right now, she has a job to keep her son safe. I’m lucky that we have each other – 3 weeks isn’t that long.
  • Finally, I have not lost anyone to COVID-19 and will, therefore, not have to explain this type of loss to my children.

I am not proud to be living through this pandemic and am saddened by the significant loss and hardships some people have had to experience.

I am South African and proud to be. I love COVID-19 because it has reminded me of who I am, what I have, and what it takes to live with love and compassion for everyone around me.

I am not naïve to the significance of what is happening – but what I do know, is that with collective positivity and love, it may just give us that little bit extra, that will help us get through possibly the hardest thing the world has ever faced.

Be safe.

“There is no limit to what a man can do as long as they don’t give a damn who gets the credit” Nelson Mandela.


Source: User Submitted (anonymous) | COVID-19 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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