Don’t wish for it to be over
In South Africa, we started our nationwide lockdown on Friday 27 March at 00:00. It was to carry on for 21 days until midnight on Thursday 16 April. That was 3 weeks. All we could do was go to the shops or go to the doctor pretty much. If you were not essential services, you stay home.
Companies had to adjust quickly and send staff home to work from home. Restaurants, bars, public places were the hardest hit. Everything had to remain closed.
Two weeks in, everybody got into their groove, not too much bitching and moaning going on anymore because it was the same for everyone, the rich, the poor, black, white, coloured, indian. No-one was exempted. This made it more bearable.
On Thursday 09 April, we heard that the president would address the nation in the evening. We were all eagerly awaiting news from him. He started with praising the public response and cooperation, the healthcare workers’ dedication and commitment. Then he said that’s it’s too early to tell whether our efforts to curb the virus has been successful and imposed a further 2 weeks of lockdown. The lockdown will now extend to 35 days, until the end of April. There were mixed emotions. We had one week to go and all of a sudden the 3 weeks had started all over again. Businesses who were suffering were now pushed into a further 2 weeks.
About a month ago patient zero arrived on our shores. Who would have thought? I bet these are the words on everyone’s mind. How did this thing come out of nowhere and so quickly disrupt my existence to the point of some losing jobs and later all hope?
Who allowed that to happen?
As you are now confined to 4 walls with your partner and children, you have never spent more time with them. You’re not sure if you want to anymore. Your spouse is driving you crazy and you wonder, where were the days that you could drop your kids off at school or the daycare centre and get on with your life? I want answers you think. Someone must pay for this.
After all the ranting and raving and punching pillows, you know it’s not going away. No use fighting it any more. You always said you would build the dollhouse, well now is the time. Might as well keep you busy and not just with trips to the fridge.
Your kids will grow up and you will never have this time with them again. You won’t have all this time again to start that side hustle that you always dreamed of. Everything is going digital anyway. Maybe it’s time to offer those online piano lessons. Or to learn code, or to take up cooking lessons.
First, you have to start with a plan. Work out a daily schedule for the remainder of the lockdown and include everything, even trips to the fridge.
Read, meditate, catch up with friends and family via FaceTime. Call your parents, every day. They are the most vulnerable.
On the other side as well, it’s a great motivation to re-adjust your budget and expenses and save. You just realised you can do without all that eating out and daily Starbucks coffee. Put money away for a rainy day, because although the rainy day is here now, you will be better prepared for the next one
Only hard cash is king. Make sure you have at least 6 months of expenses saved up. Yes, we all thought that day would never come. Well, all we can do is ride the wave, make adjustments and come out of this strong and ready. I will and so can you. We can make money again, find other jobs, but we can’t bring back life.
Good luck and all the best during these turbulent times.
Just remember, this too shall pass.