Well, it has been a week. That means we are one third of the way into this lockdown. Assuming that there is no extension… So far so good.
‘How have you been coping?’ I hear you ask. Surprisingly well, is the answer. I have been incredibly busy at work. The first day (last Friday was spent sorting out bank accounts, signing agreements and doing all sorts of admin as we tried to register with government agencies for Covid-19 relief programmes. The weekend was spent with the family playing games and trying to spend some time together. Then Monday was a continuation of the government registration process. I also spent a good deal of time talking to my staff, calming some fears, laying out the situation and getting their support for the difficult time ahead. I then spent a good deal of time communicating with our clients explaining what we were doing and how we would try and get through the difficult times ahead.
Tuesday was a bit of a strange day. The fluid situation we are in threw some opportunities our way and we set about making sure we could take advantage of them. This meant yet more conference calls and more time talking to staff.
This was continued on Wednesday, with frenetic drafting of some legal agreements on the fly and yet more conference calls… I swear I have worked harder in this lockdown than just about ever before and that includes setting up my own business in late 2018… That was a lot more fun and less stressful though.
On Thursday we spent the day dealing with some new proposals and going through data from potential clients.
Today was different, but no less busy. We finally received payment for our invoices issued that were due at the end of March. What a relief! I was concerned that people would be holding onto cash and not paying it over. This meant that we could pay our creditors and service providers (quite a task in and of itself) and make some better more concrete plans for the next few weeks… The relief I felt having got all this banking done was surprising and it showed me just how stressed I have been about money these last few days.
All of this has meant that I have not had time to miss expressing my gender as I have become accustomed. For those of you who do not know, I am semi-closeted in that I am not ‘out’ to my children. My spouse s fully aware and supportive of who I am but I have chosen to not burden my daughters (or any other family members) with this knowledge… There are many reasons which I have touched on before and that I can explore in the future, if you are interested (drop me a note in the comments if you want more of this subject)… I am thus having to present as male when at home (the schools are closed and we are in lockdown so the girls are ‘around’ 24/7). Fortunately many of my everyday clothes are actually women’s clothes that have been pressed into service… My jeans are women’s jeans, some of my shoes are women’s shoes, some of my jackets and shirts are women’s etc. So it isn’t too bad. Not ideal of course but not too bad…
I have been considering that this may be an opportune time to explain the situation to the girls, but something is holding me back. My father passed away in December and it hit them hard. I don’t think they are ready for more disruption…
So I am keeping busy. I have also been cooking up a storm. I have made some massive pots of beef stew and chicken curry that have seen us through a number of meals each. I also made roast chicken last Sunday and a fantastic Bolognese sauce yesterday. So that has been a lot of fun.
My spouse and I were talking and we have actually enjoyed the lockdown thus far. Not having to rush around taking the girls to school and extra murals has been a big relief. And not being able to run to the supermarket at the drop of the hat has forced us to be more disciplined and I have quite enjoyed being home and not having to go out and meet people. We are fortunate we live in a large house. We have a separate home office to work from and the girls have plenty of space indoors to play without tripping over each other.
The two things we are both missing are our weekly yoga class and our daily walk together (followed by my run): we used to take a nice brisk walk around the neighbourhood, followed by me having a quick run. The lockdown rules have put an end to these activities. But again we are fortunate we have a garden and a driveway and we have been able to turn these into an impromptu exercise track. We have been on a few runs and as we finished late today as a result of the banking we had a nice long walk in the rain…
Well, the weekend is upon us. I hope to spend some time with my girls over the next few days and I also hope that next week will be less hectic with work as that will allow me to spend more time with them before they start remote learning after Easter.
With 48 000 tests completed we have 1 462 confirmed Covid-19 infections and sadly five South Africans have died. However as the below graph shows our rate of infection is slowing slightly and we may be able to flatten the curve.
There is a very real danger though that if the virus penetrates into our less affluent members of society things could escalate fast. Unfortunately we have high levels of poverty. The poorest people live in high density informal settlements with very poor sanitation (communal toilets and communal water taps). These people also lack access to health care facilities so an outbreak in these areas will be devastating. The government is desperately trying to increase its capacity to trace the contacts of those infected and to screen these contacts effectively. I truly hope they are successful in this effort.
Look out for more blog posts as we go into week two of the lockdown. I hope you all stay safe. Stay healthy and are as happy as you can be in these uncertain times.