View of Joburg from the Melville Koppies

Joburg COVID-19 Lockdown Journal: Day -1

Read all my lockdown journal entries.

South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown begins in about 24 hours.

View of Joburg from the Melville Koppies
Lockdown photo -1: View of Joburg from the Melville Koppies this evening. The Koppies are supposed to be closed already but they’re not.

As of today, South Africa has 709 documented cases of COVID-19 and no deaths. Yesterday we had 554 cases and the day before we had just over 400. More than half the cases are in Gauteng province.

It was beautiful day in Joburg. The streets were peaceful, and when I went to the grocery store nearest my house this morning it was only mildly more crowded than normal. (Although Melville people seem to be a lot more chilled than average in this regard. I’ve heard stores in other areas are packed. We will be able to shop for groceries during the lockdown, but I can also understand why people are nervous and want to get their shopping done now.)

A few random thoughts I have today about the impending lockdown:

  1. I now feel grateful for the tiniest things, like the opportunity to walk, smell a rose (cliché but true), or smile and say hello to a stranger on the street. I cheerfully greet everyone now, even those who clearly aren’t interested in greeting me back. I take every opportunity to walk outside (while maintaining appropriate social distance). We reportedly will not be able to walk outside at all, except to buy food or medicine, from Friday.
  2. My internet company is doubling our internet speed for two months and this is really cool.
  3. Two of my friends are adopting/fostering rescue dogs. What better time to have a dog around than now (as long as you have a yard, because dog-walking will not be allowed)? I also think this is really cool, although I’m personally sticking with my cats.
  4. I wish people would stop virtually yelling at other people/the government/the world on the internet, shaming them for doing/not doing various things. It’s not helpful and we’re all doing our best under difficult circumstances. (Except Donald Trump, you can still yell at him.)
  5. COVID-19 is increasing my already acute procrastination problem, by tenfold.

Lockdown Journal

What I did today:

2:00 a.m.: Wake up, can’t get back to sleep (see yesterday’s journal).

6:00 a.m.: Lie in bed, read internet, freak out (but not as badly). Procrastinate.

7:00 a.m.: Make coffee. Eat breakfast of blueberries and Baker Brothers cheese sticks. Procrastinate.

8:00 a.m.: Mediate. Unroll yoga mat, do stretches. Procrastinate.

9:15 a.m.: Go running around Melville, hoping to bump into people I know. Say hello to every stranger. Talk to security guards. Chat with Collin outside the Pink Church with the Blue Door. Chat with Lucky through the gate of the garden where he works. Mutual freak-outs. It’s so nice to see them.

10:00 a.m.: Return home, take a bath, stare at computer, procrastinate.

11:00 a.m.: Greet two workmen who have come to make a repair. Walk to grocery store, buy food essentials for workmen (who will have no work after tomorrow). Buy wine. Wash hands 100 times.

12:00 p.m.: Stare at computer. Skim corona news and virtual yelling on social media. Attempt to determine if veterinarians will be open during lockdown. (It seems that they will.) Procrastinate.

1:00 p.m.: Prepare and eat a delicious egg-avo-and-rocket sandwich.

2:00 p.m.: Stare at computer. Listen to podcasts. Procrastinate. Start to write this post.

4:00 p.m.: Take a walk on Melville Koppies with neighbors Andrea and Marco. Maintain social distance. Smell roses. Admire skyline and rocks and grass and beautiful clouds and dogs. Take photos.

Dog on the Melville Koppies
A beautiful dog on the Koppies.

5:30 p.m.: Return home. Finish this post. Contemplate dinner and wine.

I feel better today than yesterday. Talk to you tomorrow.

Also please support me on Patreon. And please donate to this excellent GoFundMe campaign for unpaid domestic workers in South Africa.

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  • Reply Catrina March 25, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Dog-walking will not be allowed? That’s rough.
    How about exercising? In most countries, they allow people to go out for walks or to run, as this helps physically and mentally. As long as not more than 5 people (in some countries 2 people) are involved and they keep the social distance.
    Good that you’re feeling better!

    • Reply 2summers March 25, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      There had been a LOT of discussion about this and the final answer is still unclear. But it seems like the answer is no for dog-walking and exercising outside. It does seem extreme but…we don’t have much choice at this point.

  • Reply dizzylexa March 25, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Love the idea of fostering dogs during this period. I need to get over getting upset on social media by scanning over those posts, as I’ve now begun to realised that not everything is set in stone even for our ministers who I’m sure are having a very hard time making decisions.

    • Reply 2summers March 25, 2020 at 8:28 pm

      Yes. It’s all very confusing and many details to figure out. I guess we’ll see!

  • Reply Mike Abrahams March 25, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Hey, it’s gonna be just fine…:) we stick to the rules, you write and discover more of your creative side and then it’s over!

    • Reply 2summers March 25, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      I truly hope so! Thanks Mike 😊

  • Reply Monica March 29, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience! These are strange times, especially for us American expats living abroad. Stay healthy and keep on writing! 😊

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Indeed they are. Where are you based?

      • Reply Monica March 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm

        Zurich for now!

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