Succulent in my garden

Joburg COVID-19 Lockdown Journal: Day 2

Read all my lockdown journal entries.

It’s Lockdown Day 2 in South Africa.

Succulent in my garden
Lockdown photo 2: Succulent in my garden. Get ready for a lot more garden photography in future posts.

According to the stats I just saw on the Ministry of Health Whatsapp service, South Africa now has 1187 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This number is up by only 17 cases since yesterday’s total. I have a really hard time believing this — I think it must be a reporting error — but who knows. I guess miracles are possible. Either way we’ve still got 19 more days of lockdown.

I feel much calmer today. I’m not sure if this is because it’s Saturday or because I’m starting to adjust after the traumatic strangeness of Lockdown Day 1. But it’s so very quiet, and silence is soothing regardless of the reason.

Thoughts today:

  1. I really like being alone. I could almost enjoy this if I weren’t so worried about what’s happening outside my little sanctuary. (Okay, I actually do enjoy it a little but I also feel guilty. It’s weird.)
  2. I feel more busy now than I did before lockdown. I’m blogging every day instead of once or twice a week. I’m constantly communicating with family and friends. It’s hard to keep track of all my virtual appointments.
  3. Now that I’m preparing all my own meals and I’m hyper aware of how much food I have left, I’m eating more intentionally than before. I plan meals carefully and keep a mental note of everything I’ve eaten, trying to balance between making things last and using up everything before it goes off. I’m eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and snacking less. Maybe I’ll lose weight!
  4. I’m so grateful for my cats.
  5. I love seeing all the creative projects people are working on to pass the time. Creative inspiration tip: Follow @christystrever on Instagram. Christy creates the most amazing food selfies, and like me she has become a lot more prolific than normal during lockdown.
  6. I still can’t sleep.

Lockdown Journal

6:30 a.m.: Wake up. Scroll news and social media. Get up to feed cats. Make coffee. It’s cold outside. Get back in bed.

7:30 a.m.: WhatsApp message from Xolani (my personal trainer). “Morning Heather”, he says, which is code for, “Are you exercising yet?” Get up, begrudgingly. Brush teeth, dress in workout attire.

8:00 a.m.: “What equipment do you have?” asks Xolani. “A skipping rope and yoga mat,” I answer glumly. “I should have gotten weights.” “Do you have two 5-liter water bottles?” he asks. And I do.

8:00 a.m.: Xolani Whatapps video demonstrations of six vigorous exercises to be performed with 5-liter water bottles.

8:15 a.m.: Run 20 laps around my house. Skip 1,250 times with skipping rope. Perform Xolani’s water bottle exercises. Swing bottles with abandon while rocking out to Ru Paul, Taylor Swift, Eddy Grant, Pat Benatar. Kitties, confused by my behavior, scamper about. Try to do ab crunches as Melville Cat spreads out on yoga mat, licking his butt. Dance badly between exercises. Feel amazing.

9:00 a.m.: Message Xolani triumphantly: “I’m done!” Reward myself with coffee and Sweet Tea & Chickadee biscuit.

9:30 a.m.: Long phone conversation with Dee. I talk to people so much now.

10:30 a.m.: Bath.

11:00 a.m.: Sit at computer. Work — on a Saturday! Eat Woolies bulgar wheat salad.

3:00 p.m.: Tired. Lay on couch and do knitting (knitting photos to come). FaceTime with Mom.

5:00 p.m.: Blog time.

A rose I sniffed the other day.

Xolani’s virtual lockdown workout really made my day. I’ve suggested he start offering these workouts to others, for a modest fee, and he’s working on a plan as we speak. More on that tomorrow.

From now on I’m going to feature one suggested worthy cause to support in each lockdown post. Today it’s the Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa’s top newspapers, which has lost a huge percentage of its advertising revenue and is in serious financial danger. Please consider subscribing to the Mail & Guardian if you have the means. Independent journalism is crucial at times like this.

Enjoy your Saturday night. Don’t stay out too late! (Just kidding.)

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  • Reply violetonlineisonline March 28, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Its kind of funny, I am also busier than I’ve ever been.
    Usually I work from home and do nothing. Now I’m doing everything except working.
    Loving your posts

    • Reply 2summers March 28, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      Hahaha. Life is funny.

  • Reply Catrina March 28, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    I’m enjoying the lockdown as well. Every day feels like a Sunday morning. It’s so peaceful and quiet. Very little noise from cars, trains and planes – instead, I can hear the river nearby.
    Exercise is my go-to stress relief!

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 7:57 am

      Yep, there’s an upside to (almost) everything.

  • Reply eremophila March 28, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Maybe your cooking more will eventually result in a cookery book. Confessions of a non cook, as a title 😁

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 7:57 am

      That’s not a bad idea. I make a mean egg sandwich 🙂

      • Reply eremophila March 29, 2020 at 11:42 am


  • Reply Jenny March 29, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Hi heather – I love the blog! Would you consider featuring the African Reclaimers Organisation as one of your worthy causes? The reclaimers are not yet able to work in the lockdown (longer story) and are struggling to get food, sanitiser etc with no work and need some immediate support. So we’re doing a fundraiser for them. Happy to give you all the details if you’re keen. Thanks, Jenny

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 8:23 am

      Hi Jenny, yes I would love to. I have been wondering about what’s happening to this important sector of society, especially since formal recycling collection in Joburg is suspended! I put my recycling out anyway because I just can’t bear to throw it in the regular garbage (which also hadn’t been collected anyway 😢). Please share the details.

  • Reply Laura Dall March 29, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Thank you for the heads-up about M&G!

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Thank you for reading it 😊

  • Reply Anje March 29, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    I need to know, what’s the process of counting 1250 skips? I’ll completely lose track!

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      Yes, it’s not easy — it’s more like a guestimate. And the plan is to increased the number every day. I guess I’ll have to start doing them in sets of 1000 and keeping notes!

  • Reply catji March 29, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Quiet. In a high apartment above shopping mall, busy/noisy street…It’s like a Sunday afternoon 40+ years ago, when shops closed by 1pm Saturday, when you did the grocery shopping on Saturday mornings. …The 8pm closing, 7 days, is a somewhat recent thing…when more workers “had a life.”

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Life has definitely changed forever.

  • Reply catji March 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    >> “We must outrightly state that these numbers do not indicate a reduction in the number of infections,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
    He said it is merely a reflection of positive results that were received, verified and ready for reporting.
    The National Institute for Communicable Diseases explained […]
    “As such, figures may not always add up sequentially due to the activities being performed with regard to data cleaning and quality assurance of the dataset.” >>

    • Reply 2summers March 29, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Yeah I saw that too. Bracing for the next jump. Sigh.

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