Lockdown Journal: Day 46 (Face Masks and Feelings)

by | May 11, 2020 | COVID-19, Emotions, Johannesburg | 12 comments

It’s Day 46 of the South African lockdown. Today I have lots of face masks and lots of feelings.

Heather in mask made by Cathy Pinnock
Lockdown photo Day 46: Yes, it’s another mask selfie.

A few days ago I asked Facebook for advice on shooting photographs while wearing a mask. My viewfinder was fogging up as soon as I put my camera to my face, and I kept missing shots.

Through that post I connected with Cathryn Pinnock, another photographer living in Melville, who is making camera-friendly face masks. Cathy sewed a mask for me — I sent her measurements for the length and width of my face and she made it to order — and I’m pleased to announce it works like a charm. The mask sits firmly, a bit higher up on the nose, so the air from my breath doesn’t shoot right up into the camera.

Bonus: The masks are beautiful and made with South African shweshwe fabric.

A picture I took with my mask on.
Trixie in the garden
And another.
Smokey in his new hedge.
And another. During this photoshoot I discovered Smokey has a new hedge to sleep in.

If you’d like to order a camera-friendly mask, contact Cathryn Pinnock on Facebook or send me a message and I’ll put you in touch with her (#NotSponsored).

UPDATE: I dawdled so long on this post today that I wound up receiving yet another mask delivery before I got around to finishing.

Melville map mask from Love Jozi
My brand-new Melville map mask from Love Jozi. (Also #NotSponsored.) The “E” in Melville is exactly where my old house is.

Love Jozi has created a fun collection of Joburg-themed map masks, and when I saw they designed a Melville version I obviously had to order one. I haven’t had the chance to wash it yet so the mask self-portrait will have to wait.

I think I’m fully masked up now.


I had big plans to pour all my articulate and poignant lockdown feelings into this post. Among other things I wanted to fully expound upon the rising levels of panic I feel, coinciding with dwindling levels of motivation. Unfortunately the dwindling motivation prevented me from expounding as such.

I’m really struggling on a number of fronts — as I think many people are — and not sure how much longer I can, or should, keep up these daily posts. My friend Gail, who has been posting daily lockdown stories and photographs on Facebook, said today that she might stop her updates after Day 50. I’m considering doing the same…It might be time to hit the reset button. I’ll use the next three days to reflect and formulate a plan.

Flower and pollen photo
One more photo from today: I love how you can see actual flecks of pollen tumbling off the flower.

Today’s Worthy Cause

Today’s worthy cause is Gift of the Givers. Gift of the Givers has been doing incredible work in South Africa for years (see this post I wrote about a refugee center they set up in 2015 during an outbreak of xenophobic violence), so it’s no surprise they are leading the way in the COVID-19 pandemic response. I think Gift of the Givers is the largest supplier of food parcels in the country right now.

gift of the givers worker
A photo I took at a Gift of the Givers refugee center in Mayfair in 2015.

Donate to Gift of the Givers here.


  1. Graham Burgess

    Please keep the posts going, it’s my daily sanity check. I really look forward to reading them.

    • 2summers

      Thanks! I’ll do my best.

  2. Catrina

    I wish we had such fun masks!
    I imagine that posting every day can become quite stressful, even if you have time on your hands it requires considerable mental energy. Undoubtedly, your audience will understand if you take a break from it for a few days. We’ll be around when you’re back.

  3. lindasneedLinda Sneed

    This mask really accentuates your gorgeous eyes which you have always had. Keep the posts coming, Heather. They are the first thing I read every day. I sympathized with your sadness when your city went up to Level 4 and more decisions were required . It happened here when certain things opened and I realized there was a new normal now. That night the tears were coming down and I hardly knew what hit me. Several other people I know said they hit a wall that week last week). The worst thing is not being able to hug people. Air hugs just don’t cut it!

    • 2summers

      Aw, thanks Linda. Claire told me you had a socially distanced Mother’s Day yesterday. That must have been hard. Miss you! xxx

  4. John Sneed

    Keep posting. Lockdown and Covid are context, not the story. I look forward to hearing from SA, and my daily safaris with Wild Earth are only one piece of the story.

  5. David Bristow

    In a time of crisis, the show must go on. It’s your job (“here we are now, entertain us!”) PS – Gift of the Givers, started by an SA doctor from KZN who had a “Road to Damascus” moment, closed his practice and started doing aid work in crisis areas around the world, from Nepal to Syria. His people gave water to many drought stricken towns across SA last year, both tanked in and wells drilled.

    • 2summers

      Yeah they really seem like an amazing charity.

  6. Eddie

    Warm regards from a reader . Been checking and following your food and view advice for 3or 4 years in Jozi.
    Last year somehow ended up back in China and things getting better than I thought, especially during the outbreak. At least a safer place to be.

    Hope you continue to bring us the fascinating blog and photos And keep well!

    Eddie Liu
    Shenzhen China

    • 2summers

      Thank you so much Eddie! All the best.


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