Braamfontein sunset 2012

The COVID-19 Paradox (Lockdown Day 78)

It’s Day 78 of the South African lockdown. Today I don’t care.

Since I don’t care about photography or anything else today, here’s a picture I shot during a photowalk in Braamfontein back in 2011. I discovered it while archiving old photos — the only work-related task I could manage today because it requires almost zero mental energy.

The cold front has finally descended and the low temperatures have turned my brain to sludge. We had a high of 9 degrees Celsius (48 Fahrenheit) today. This morning it was a blustery -2.

I realize that sounds really wimpy to those of you living in cold climates. But try working from home in that kind of weather, when the inside of your house is virtually the same temperature as the outside.

Right now I’m counting down the minutes until it’s an acceptable time to curl up on the couch under a blanket and watch Schitt’s Creek.

Last night I was chatting with a friend on WhatsApp and we were having the “I know I have no right to complain, but…” conversation. You know what I’m talking about, right? That conversation when you’re complaining and complaining while at the same time feeling obligated to acknowledge you shouldn’t complain?

Lockdown sucks! But it could certainly be worse. There’s no work! But at least I have savings. I’m bored! Boredom sure does beat starvation. I’m freezing! But I have a roof over my head. I’m lonely! But at least I don’t have to deal with a husband and kids.

Oh, the angst of it all. Life during the pandemic is hard. But also it’s easy. I’m so annoying, especially to myself.

I’ve come up with a name for this confounding phenomenon: The COVID-19 Paradox.

I’m not sure this is the proper literary usage of the word paradox but…You guessed it. I don’t care.

Good night.

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  • Reply Rob John Wood June 12, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Welcome to the coronacoaster

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 5:10 pm

      Hahaha. I’ve been on this coaster for months! I really want to throw up.

  • Reply dizzylexa June 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    I feel you. I’m just so angry and despondent in the human race, that I don’t know if I ever want to come out of this. Take care and stay warm, I’m watching the clock for bedtime.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      Hahaha. I hear you. Sleep well.

  • Reply Litza June 12, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Well said. I feel exactly the same!

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Glad I’m not alone 🙂

  • Reply catji June 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    🙂 ha, the climate again. …And comparing, thing is, it feels different, so we have RealFeel nowadays. imo cold is worse when it’s rainy and windy. And snow. And ice. …In those very cold places, it’s more serious. My wife was from a very cold part of the States, where the weather has the Lake Factor, she told me about snow and ice. Like when you come out of work and you have to shovel snow out the truck. ….And you know when people are not locals when they slide on through the intersection. 😀

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Yes, that kind of cold is absolutely also very unpleasant. The Joburg cold is a different thing entirely for sure. It’s like apples and oranges really. I like the term RealFeel!

  • Reply Brenda R June 12, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    It sounds like South Africa is still building otherwise nice houses without real heat or insulation and ridiculously pretending it doesn’t get miserably cold. It does!

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      Yes. We live in an ever-changing world, but the reality of unheated South African houses will never change. Luckily winter really only lasts for two months and thanks to climate change it’s getting shorter all the time. Haha.

      • Reply catji June 13, 2020 at 10:42 am

        Interesting. What i was thinking of when I mentioned wife being from MN (as in like really serious winter compared to SA.) Sometimes she felt the cold more in Joburg. Start with ill-fitting doors and leaky windows. But generally [comparisons and generalisations] it’s pretty much the same anywhere. Depends, mainly on how much money. Older properties, before any “genteelisation”, don’t have insulation [and so on]…until they get renovated, then they get roof insulation.
        More important is building orientation, does it get afternoon sun. Especially with hi-rise apartment areas…it can be like sunset at 2pm, and Joburg, when the sun dips, the temperature drops rapidly.

        • Reply 2summers June 13, 2020 at 3:51 pm

          Yes. The sun just disappeared from my lounge and now I am SO COLD 😩

  • Reply Nancy McDaniel June 12, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    I hope you have heat in your place. That’s the big difference I think. That southern Africa homes are not BUILT for cold whereas ours in the Midwest US are. I hope you have sun tomorrow. That always helps. at least psychologically.

    • Reply 2summers June 12, 2020 at 9:18 pm

      Ha! That’s the thing, there is no such thing as heat or insulation in a South African home. My windows don’t even close properly 🙂

      I do have a gas fireplace, which is very fortunate, but it’s only effective when you stand less than 12 inches away from it (which is where I’ve been all day). Otherwise I rely on my hot water bottle.

      Luckily it’s literally always sunny in Joburg during winter, as it’s our dry season. The Capetonians have it harder — it’s been cold and rainy there this week.

  • Reply Catrina June 12, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    I hope that by now you’re tucked in with lots of blankets and a hot water bottle.
    We had visitors for the first time and we sat outside in our garden. It felt like the good old days. 😊

    • Reply 2summers June 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Sorry I somehow missed this comment until now! Yes my water bottle is pretty much keeping me alive.

      • Reply Catrina June 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

        Haha! No problem! Glad you’re warm! 😊

  • Reply Brenda Reiss June 12, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    It sounds ridiculous but back in the 60’s Anglo- America built some sort of huge new plant in Witbank and my parents’ friend, a Sottish immigrant, was appointed manager. The wife, a South African, was asked to supervise building a fancy new house for them and future managers. No expense spared and all paid for by Anglo, but she refused to have central heat put in. Put it in but don’t use it? Not an option. Of course this was a subject for a lot of chat among the many immigrants and it divided along national lines with Americans and French horrified, Brits trying to stay on the fence, but lots of South Africans didn’t think it was strange!

  • Reply Lani June 13, 2020 at 3:58 am

    These are incredibly trying times. As I turned on soothing music and imagery this morning, I started to feel better about controlling what I can (because EVERYTHING else is not), my thoughts and me brain was like ‘okay, be in the moment’ ‘stop thinking too much’ and it has helped! Well, I’ve only been awake for 2 hours. Hahahahhahaa.

    • Reply 2summers June 13, 2020 at 6:58 am

      Sounds like a good thing to do. Maybe I’ll try it 🙂

  • Reply Kate June 13, 2020 at 10:58 am

    The cold is really affecting my mood, too. I’ve been ok with the lockdown so far (I’m with my hubby and dogs), but the cold weather here always makes me grumpy. It wouldn’t really bother me if there was central heat in my house- but when you’ve got a morning of 30 degrees F in an old house with high ceilings and wooden floors- good grief, it’s unpleasant. Cape Town really does have it worse off, and I my heart truly goes out to all the poor/homeless people in this city.

    • Reply 2summers June 13, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      Yes. Grumpy is an understatement! 😂

  • Reply Kate June 13, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    know that you aren’t alone in the grumpiness😁 ❤️ when spring comes and this lockdown ends 🤞🏻, we’re all going to go wild! 🎉🎊🎉🎊🎉

  • Reply Rosemary June 14, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Greetings from a balmy 23 degrees in London! But the Summer here is as short as the winter you have… don’t get me started on the seemingly never ending grey skies… going to work in the dark- coming home in the dark (dark at 4pm). Fantastic photograph…

    • Reply 2summers June 14, 2020 at 6:52 am

      Yeah I know we really have nothing to complain about when I comes to the weather! That paradox again, haha.

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