When the Corona virus and subsequent COVID 19 sickness surfaced in China it was a non-event for me. As it progressively spread it became a point of interest. When it hit our shores my mind immediately locked in on the townships in our country and a feeling of dread came over me. As the virus spread and the news of the effects of comorbidities started to surface my parent’s well-being became uppermost in my mind. Then it struck me that my wife and I also fall in the high-risk category because of age. And so did a lot of my family and friends. It became personal.
When President Ramaphosa declared the National state of Disaster I was relieved. In fact, two weeks earlier I questioned the fact that our president had not yet addressed the issue of the virus, much less the nation. I felt a strong sense of pride and allegiance to him. I understood the sacrifices expected of the nation and I welcomed the need to sacrifice. I was a proud South African citizen again. That was the first three weeks.
When the lock-down was extended and the pettiness of the regulations became evident I was dismayed. The absurd and entitled manner in which some of the ministers assumed their responsibilities made me very frustrated. This exponentially increased with the manner in which the police and army effected their roles. When innocent people were manhandled, women and children abused and some were killed I became angry, very angry. This is not the freedom that we fought for. I also became angry when the strident inequalities in our country were clearly displayed by this virus. Inequalities in health care, education, nutrition (or the lack of it), etc. became glaringly transparent.
Now, under lock-down Level 3, when people can earn a living again , when citizens can take the government to court, when all people can be held accountable, I feel easier again. Yes, there are many of our brothers and sisters dying and many more will and we will have to make peace with that. It is not over yet but yet there is hope. We will overcome.
Gerard R Thomas
What’s going on…
puzzled, bewildered, frustrated, disappointed, suspicious? What’s the real story? Sorry about many lives impacted? What about businesses and children’s education? Will the world be the same again? How are the people around me doing? How long is this going to go on for? How is my future going to look? A flood of questions saturates the atmosphere. I either get caught up in all the worry and frustration or I decide to react differently. Take a moment to pause. Consider my life, my values, my interests, my desires, my priorities? How am I doing as an individual? What is my place and purpose in this world? What do I contribute? How is my relationship with those closest to me? How can I make these relationships better? What do I need to do with my life in order to be all that I was born to be and do? Yes, let me retune my mind-set, set my focus right, and follow the ‘internal compass’ towards fulfilling my destiny in this world.
Covid-19 has been thinking and readjusting time. But this time will only matter if I put the lessons I have learned into practice. I will not be a victim of circumstances and societal worries. No. I will be sensible. I will be wise and safe. But I refuse to be restrained from living out who I am and moving towards what I should be, improving relationships, and fulfilling destiny. I choose to think about how I am doing mentally, physically, and spiritually. I choose to make necessary adjustments and ‘calibrate’ essential components in my mental, physical and spiritual self. Yes, I choose to recognise my place in this world and especially my relationship with my Maker and allow Him to be my priority. I also choose to be outward focussed and think about others and how I can add value in this world. So thank you Covid-19, lockdown time for giving me time to think, readjust and choose to run with meaningful focus, passion and determination in the next phase of my life.
A time to reset
It was like a long-awaited movie of which I’ve seen the trailer when the pandemic was announced. The movie had all the suspense, thrills, anxiety, and drama that a good one would portray. We’ve seen it play out on distant shores. Those affected weren’t known to us and it felt it would only stay on their shores.
Some conspiracies said that bats don’t migrate and so the cause would not affect us, but the consequences of one seemingly insignificant act did. Even if the bats flew all over, the receptiveness for COVID 19 would only be for those in areas with 5G coverage.
Surely this movie didn’t disappoint to bring the audience to a gasping halt when it hit our shores. We’ve only seen the trailer, but now the real act is here, playing off right in front of us and with everyone included in the cast. What a script!
Suddenly everything changed. From freely walking around and engaging in our daily routines, to feeling entrapped in our own homes. Where are our freedoms? No exercise, work, visits, hugs, kisses, celebrations. Not even time allowed to mourn a loved one. This was no lockdown, it seems, but rather a lockup. It felt as if all that we have taken for granted was suddenly ripped from us.
Things could not continue in the same vein as it did and a RESET button had to be pressed. It could be regarded as negative, but when a reset button is pressed, it causes the current state to return to its original intent. For me, this has been a time to deepen in relationships: To dig down deeper into God’s word and to put those revelation truths into practice. Growing in relationship with Him, myself, and then with others. To engage more intentionally with family and to enjoy the time and quality of time. Also to realize that when things might seem to be falling apart, God is causing it to fall in place.
This is definitely not an easy time. Conspiracy or truth. Movie or real-life drama. However, you have experienced this time, the realness of this moment cannot be denied. Life as we knew it will not be returning to these shores, but life with greater possibilities, triumphs are here. Live on!
How COVID – 19 has affected my life
COVID – 19, a name this time last year none of us had ever heard, now every social media platform, every newspaper, every news bulletin, in fact, everything you see and hear is about the pandemic. It is here and it is real, no one can escape it, we are reminded by what we see (people walking with masks, sanitizers being sprayed in every shop you enter) and by what we don’t see anymore (children walking to school, people sitting outside restaurants laughing, talking making memories, people enjoying the sunshine at the beaches). In a split second, this all was taken away by the pandemic. When lockdown level five was announced, the streets were empty, the roads were quiet and the shops closed, family gatherings were prohibited and everyone was just home spending time with their families. Little did we know that our lives would change forever. At first, it came as a big shock to me. I had loved ones working in essential services and I was scared, scared that they would get infected and die. I missed seeing my family and close friends. Video calling became our new way of interacting with one another. At times I felt anxious, hopeless and lost. I didn’t leave the house, made sure everyone at home was fine, made sure everyone took their meds on a daily basis, cleaned and sanitized everywhere. I started spending more time in prayer, I made a decision to surrender whatever it is I was feeling to God, and things started to change. God renewed my spirit, and He reminded me of who I am in Him. He reminded me of all the promises that are set out in His word. Something has changed within me, I decided to trust God but also to adhere to all the rules and regulations to keep safe. Lockdown gave me new perspectives. I valued all the time I could spend with my family, and what was special is that for the first time in many years I could spend my birthday with my family, no going out, no friends just us, and that was the best birthday ever. I invested more time in my studies, had a good balance between family time, devotion and work. Lockdown gave us time to reconnect with things and people we lost track with. COVID – 19 might be here for a very long time, but the way I think and react to it is way different than before. We in this together, we can’t But God Can.
When I heard about the COVID-19 in January 2020, I started reading everything I saw on news 24. My immediate response was, “this is no jokes”. I informed my family and our staff members of my views and that we should get ourselves ready for this pandemic. My family thought that it was not serious. Some responses were that the media was exacerbating it. I immediately took the stance that I will not be fearful but will prepare my family for the virus. When people started shopping and panicking, I was logistically prepared. Bought sanitizer, food, enough paint and tools for the days at home. I got my books ready to read and worked out my daily schedule.
It was hard for me not to work from the office because I worried about my clients. But I also started preparing for that. First looked at urgent court reports, completed quarterly work, and contacted all my clients. Most of them were content with what was happening and understood that we were closing down. I gave my personal number for some of my clients in case of an emergency.
At home, my husband and eldest daughter worked a full day, from morning till evening. My youngest daughter works in retail and went out most of the days. The nature of my work involved spending most of my days doing the list that I drew up for myself. In a way the time at home was a “blessing in disguise”. I had to finalize my article for the social work publishers. I completed a lot of outstanding goals I had at home. Every day my husband and I completed one thing on my list. I even started a vegetable garden.
What got to me is the powerlessness of the situation. I saw what is happening to the economy, how many people were suffering, and how poverty increased. How can I contribute towards relieving the situation? I looked for every opportunity where I could donate money or food and contributed to that. The whole journey was a spiritual journey. I also used the time to be still and asked God what is His plan in all this. The concept that kept me busy was that Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. The Christ in us. I know God is in control and that everything will work out for the good.