No! We learnt about two weeks ago that lockdown can’t end abruptly, it needs to be phased out. We have to move through 5 levels and how long each level lasts will depend on the criticality of the spread of Covid-19.
This has enormous implications for many, including my family. My contract has come to an end and according to the phased resumption of business, my husband can only reopen his studio when we have reached lockdown level 1. Now my husband doesn’t make a lot, he is a one man show. But this lockdown has already been intolerable for him. Let me explain.
My husband is completely blind and when he doesn’t wear his hearing aids, also completely deaf. So it’s possible that he could have become a recluse, a lonely old man and live completely within himself. But he is a sought after massage therapist and reflexologist. I think his biggest joy is chatting away to different clients every day! As a blind runner, he has run 5 Comrades, 5 Two Oceans marathons, and we’ve lost count of all the ultramarathons that he has run. His other great joy was his early morning run with friends, who rotate the responsibility of leading him safely on the road. He also loves ‘watching’ rugby and cricket on TV and listens to audio books most nights before bed.
With lockdown, nearly all of that is gone. He has little to do during the day, except to read books. After a week, he finished all the books he had. My daughter and I panicked for a few minutes. He can get quite grumpy when he has nothing to do! Luckily we were able to source a book app that has a variety of interesting books and isn’t too pricey, and this is keeping him quite occupied for now. But one can only read so much in a day, in a week. And I’ve caught him sitting staring into space every now and then.
So it was with great excitement that outside exercise was introduced at the end of level 5. But with the entire South Africa making plans to run on day 1 of level 4, I decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go out. But then my husband started getting calls from his friends about their plans to run, but they can’t run with him because his leather strap doesn’t leave enough distance between him and his running partner. I could literally feel depression sink in as he wished them one by one a good run. And so the next day, I pushed my fears aside and I took my husband out for a run, I’m the only one who can for now.
The roads were quieter than I expected but it was very busy at the dam. And there were so many who were not complying with restrictions. I tried hard to not be judgmental, but I think I failed quite miserably at times.
The dam itself didn’t disappoint. The scenery was quite magical. The sky and water had amazing clarity. It was beautiful.