After blogging mostly every day for the first 100 days of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, I took a full week off. This is weird. It feels like I’ve been gone for ages.

In fact I haven’t been gone at all — I’ve been right here, in my house, the whole time — and very little has changed.

Baby daffodils
This pot of baby daffodils was a present from Carol, my lovely landlady. Watching the blossoms explode into bloom has been a rare source of joy during this dreary week.

Actually, a few things have changed: 1) I’m a year older, as I celebrated a birthday last Wednesday; 2) South Africa has tens of thousands more COVID cases and we are officially entering a viral surge; 3) Alcohol has been banned again and I feel like I’m living in the Soviet Union; 4) I no longer remember what day of lockdown we’re on.

I’m glad I took a break. I definitely couldn’t have kept up with those numbered lockdown posts any longer. But I’m disappointed I didn’t accomplish what I set out to accomplish during my blogging holiday.

In hindsight, I suppose it was unrealistic to expect I would write a memoir, redesign my blog, and come up with an entirely new plan for my future over the course of one week, during the dead of winter, in a global pandemic.

I did not accomplish any of those things. Here is a list of what I did accomplish:

  1. Cut-and-pasted some memoir-like bits into a Google doc. Hit save.
  2. Ate two delicious red velvet cupcakes.
  3. Ordered and ate a pizza.
  4. Exercised three times.
  5. Read part of a book.
  6. Counted approximately 27 new daffodil blossoms.
  7. Scrolled Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for approximately 47 hours.
  8. Listened to approximately 537 podcasts.
  9. Watched 39 episodes of Grace and Frankie.
  10. Pet each cat approximately 4513 times.
  11. Listened to Fetch the Bolt Cutters approximately 22 times.
  12. Purchased loungewear (online).
  13. Cooked one pot of soup.
  14. Completed one knitting project, started a second.
Completed scarf/cowl
My completed scarf/cowl thing, which is very warm and happens to perfectly match the teal and gray Salty Dog Café hoodie I wear five out of every seven days.
New scarf being knitted
My new knitting project, which I am very excited about even though I screwed up the first few rows.
Trixie on the bathroom
More cat.

I feel freaked out about how little I’m doing, or want to do. Other people I know are out doing socially responsible activities, like walking around the neighborhood, hiking on the outskirts of town, cycling, shopping in stores (with masks on). Not only am I not doing any of these things, I don’t really miss doing them. I don’t yearn for the day when I’ll be able to drink a glass of wine in a restaurant. I don’t wish I could get out of the house. I’m not dreaming of future trips. I just…don’t care.

I’m worried there’s something wrong with me. But as a friend reminded me today: There’s something wrong with everyone. She’s obviously right.

Also the president made a speech last night, and I’ve noticed everyone in South Africa is in a pissy mood the day after the president speaks. Every presidential speech is a reminder we’re in a pandemic, things keep getting worse, and nothing is going to change for the better until at least 2021.

Did I mention there’s loadshedding in South Africa now, and the power goes out nearly every day for 4.5 hours, and loadshedding puts everyone in a pissy mood even at the best of times? Did I mention it’s cold, and it’s Monday, and basically everything sucks?

On the other hand, writing this post is one thing I did look forward to when I woke up this morning. Blogging, even when I’m in a terrible mood and have little to say that isn’t a whiney complaint, is one of the few activities that makes me feel quasi normal during lockdown.

I’m happy to be back. Are you happy I’m back? I don’t see why you would be but if you are, thank you.


I promise I won’t subject you to a post every day, at least not until I have more interesting and positive topics to write about. But you can expect a couple each week. I think the next one will be better.

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