Day 2 – Cabin fever?

Not for me (yet), although there have been some worrying developments.

Firstly, this one:

which is not great when everyone is stuck at home and needs to use the internet. It also almost crashed the blog, which would really not have been good. Although 6000.co.za is hosted locally, when I tried to update a plugin  – a process that usually takes a few seconds – it went to get the update from overseas, got stuck and for a while, I was only able to see:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

on any blog page or post I tried to access. For several or more minutes.

Fortunately, the blog obviously realised that something wasn’t quite right and reset itself before I went to work with a large virtual hammer in the the back end (careful now).

Phew.

The update will now wait until there is a decent connection to America (or wherever) again.

Then: the neighbourhood group has been alive with fake news on the current situation. Was that Whatsapp voicenote real (no, it wasn’t), should we clean our bin handles (yes, we should), is that man allowed to walk his dog on the school field (no, he’s not). And then in the middle of it all, this gem:

I have just microwaved our newspaper. ( Saturday one is only one we haven’t cancelled because of poor quality even though quality of Sat is not good either)

(Genuinely, I promise)

wut?!?!

For the record, microwaving may or may not kill coronavirus. It may or may not burn your house down as well. Do not microwave your newspaper. Just no.

Finally (for the moment, at least): As promised, I have set up an album called The Lockdown Diaries on Flickr. One photo a day during the lockdown. Don’t expect magnificence: this is just giving me something to do while I’m stuck at home, and I’m not going to get images of mountain ranges, racing cars or herds of wildebees being stalked by lions. My scope is a bit limited, which is why it will be a challenge.

Day 1

Day 1 of the lockdown. First impressions: it’s quiet. Now I know that may sound blindingly obvious, but it’s startling just how quiet it is. Other people have said that it’s magical to be able to hear the birds singing, but all I’ve heard is pool pumps, a lawnmower and some screaming kids.

We’ve had about ten cars go past our place this morning. I have no idea if they are out and about legally or not. One guy just went past in a Qashqai with all the windows down. He was wearing a mask and gloves and was reading a book propped up against his steering wheel while driving.
I’m pretty sure that’s still illegal.

To be honest, nothing has really changed from any other day that we might have voluntarily spent at home. I guess the change comes when I would have walked out of the front gate and gone for a run, or taken the beagle out (not in an assassination kind of way) or wandered down to Pick n Pay for some milk.

Social media remains really anti-social, with more people than ever finding crap to support whichever political, racial or moral narrative they’ve chosen to follow. I dip in for the latest news and then dip out again very quickly. Sadly, given the fluidity of the situation and my thirst for information, it’s something I feel that I have to do fairly frequently.

I need to find a way to only get the news and avoid the rest of the nonsense.

Finally for today, I have a plan to try to take a photograph each day while we’re all stuck inside (or inside our property, at least). Some will be snapshots, some will be more technical – when I’m not busy with other jobs and I can find the inspiration.  I’m going to put them into an album on Flickr, but I haven’t made it yet. Check back tomorrow for the link and to see what disappointing image I’ve rushed through this evening.

I sure know how to sell an idea, don’t I?

Keep well, stay home, wash your hands.

Lockdown!

From midnight tonight, South  Africa is on lockdown.

( a word first coined in this year…)

Meaning that unless we have to go out to buy food or seek medical attention, we have at stay at home. The full rules are here, but for the majority of us, that one sentence sums it up quite nicely.

Bizarrely, there will be no alcohol or tobacco products sold during the 21 days (not legally, anyway), and so huge queues – with no social distancing – formed outside those kind of shops this morning. It does seem bizarre to put the population into lockdown like some sort of guinea pig in some dystopian experiment and then not allow them to access any of their usual goto coping mechanisms.

This will not end well.

Not that it was going to end well anyway.

I went for a last (out and about) run this morning, and got some last minute chocolate in to placate Mrs 6000, just in case there was a late rush.

We managed a late afternoon family dog walk. With the family dog.
The school field was chained up already. We had to walk around the block instead. The beagle was disappointed at the lack of Hadeda-chasing opportunities.

And now, I guess this is it. We stay home unless we have a genuine reason to go out. The situation is changing every hour, every day. But as it stands at the moment, I can’t see three weeks being enough. Nowhere near. Six or eight, maybe.

But who knows? See you all on the other side*.

 

 

* blogging is classed as an “essential service” and will continue throughout the SA lockdown.

Temporary escape

I mentioned that I had had to leave Cape Town for a urgent trip before we lockdown on Thursday evening.

It wasn’t a decision I took lightly: travel is one of those things that needs to be curbed if we are to stop the spread of Covid-19. But it’s been two months since we’ve been able to get down to Agulhas, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to get down here for probably another two months now, and so I needed to make sure everything was ok at the cottage.

It was… it is. Well, just about. It wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t have come though. We needed electricity putting on the meter, the gutter had been damaged and needed some work. Nothing huge, but nothing you want leaving for however many weeks either. All the minor things that would normally have been done if we’d popped down for the weekend like we used to be able to before real life and sickness and now lockdowns got in the way.

And so the trip was worthwhile and we have had minimal contact with the locals: this is usually a pretty quiet place anyway.

But it was life as usual all the way through – restaurants are open (but quiet), Caledon and Bredasdorp were relatively busy and bustling with shoppers. But not in any way manic.
Struisbaai was also busy – lots of activity in and around the harbour particularly.
In Agulhas, we were the only customers in the 7/11. It was fully stocked, and the guys in there were stocktaking and getting their next order prepared. Nothing out of the ordinary. And that was weird, because normality is now weird.

We walked along the beach here (not Cape Town, so not closed). A few fishermen, same as always. Some birds. Sunshine, light breeze. You wouldn’t know that the world had changed.

Half of me wants to stay here, a million miles from anywhere and seemingly several weeks back from the present. But it will all change. It has to. And I don’t want to be here when it does. This place has always been a perfect escape from the stress of modern, daily life – something it’s proving again right now. I don’t want to see it polluted by reality.

Let me rather return when things have settled – however long that may be.

But right now, I need to get back to the braai. Because some things will never change.

Dash

I’ve had to make a quick trip across (a bit of) the country, so might not be able to get a blog post in later.

Nothing desperate, but really not ideal either: just some pre-lockdown admin. Got to be prepared, because I really don’t believe that three weeks is going to be enough…

Anyway, thoughts to follow if I get chance. And if not, at least there was this here today.