Yesterday was Day 2 of #SALockdown, and I did my nut. As with day 1, I had the front door open, but the safety gate was shut tight. This is the only portal for fresh air, aside from a few small windows.
We’ve been warned not to allow anyone access, including people that say they’re doing tests for COVID-19. Yes, that is the level to which some criminals will stoop.
Some kids from down the road were kicking their ball in the street. It usually wouldn’t bother me, I’m used to the sound of skateboard wheels and the bounce of a ball on the tar, but the lockdown rules strictly forbid this. What irks me is that these kids’ parents are well aware of the rules (and I assume the dangers of this dreadful virus), yet they allow their children outdoors.
If you’re fortunate to have a back yard, you’re allowed to venture outside there. The number you’re supposed to ring to report non-compliance rang until a mechanical voice answered. Why am I not surprised?
I eventually slammed the door shut, loudly enough for the disobedient kids to hear, and soon things were quiet again, save for a cricket chirping in the distance.
The thing is, everyone in this country is making a sacrifice of some sort, whether financially, physically, or emotionally. And yes, before someone stones me to death, I am well aware (and grateful) that I live where I do. Some people are living between seven and ten people to a one-roomed structure. My sacrifice pales in comparison, but it is still a cost.
I don’t have the benefit of a back yard, and The Cave is not a space that gets a lot of natural lights. Under normal circumstances, it doesn’t affect me much because I am at work during the day, and on the weekend, I can venture out to do something. I can’t now. It’s as simple as that. I don’t want to needlessly endanger my health, nor that of others if I was to be asymptomatic.
I don’t often talk about my depression and anxiety, but maybe this will put some things in perspective for those thinking that I’m making a big deal about kids having innocent fun in the street. It is imperative for my mental wellbeing to spend time outdoors every day.
I often do this by taking a short walk in the garden at work, or taking a drive into town and sitting on a bench at The Point, or having an ice-cream with Elizabeth at the local waterfront close to our homes. Those few minutes of sunshine and fresh air help to maintain my sanity.
I am not allowed to now because people are dying worldwide, and I must do my small part to avoid the spread in my town and country. Do I like it? Hell, no! Do I accept it? Yes, because this lockdown is not just about me.
In a depressive state, those that suffer with the illness don’t even want to get out of bed some days. Having to make your bed, take a shower and brushing your teeth are mammoth tasks; so is eating something. Simple things that ‘normal’ people do every day are extra tough.
Today I made myself a small salad of half a tomato, an eighth cucumber, 30 grams of cheese, a small handful of biltong, a boiled egg and two gherkins, for lunch, even though I am not remotely hungry. I haven’t been since Monday when the lockdown was announced. I also fell back into biting my nails – something I haven’t done in over five years. Already then, my brain was seeing a bear and activating my body’s fight or flight response.
Elizabeth checks on me twice a day to ensure that I’m awake, and that I’ve eaten. I also speak to The Bean and The Toppie every day because they worry about me just as much as I worry about them. Eliza also called this morning to find out if I haven’t completely lost my marbles yet.
Having a job every day helps me deal with my illness because it keeps me in a routine. I am still able to work remotely, but my routine has been thrown off-kilter. I have moments where I feel like a rudderless boat bobbing in the ocean, other times I feel like sleep is the only way to pass the time, which is not a good sign, but it is a way for me to cope.
This lockdown is hard for everyone, especially the law enforcement officials and the other essential services that have to deal with morons who don’t grasp the gravity of the situation.
It is (hopefully) only going to be for another eighteen days. All I’m asking is to think about the people that are completely alone at home, particularly those who may have a mental illness. It’s hell for us, and it makes us mad that you would willfully flout the rules and endanger your kids and your neighbours. You at least have your children’s (and maybe a spouse or partner’s) company during this time. You won’t if they get sick!