Today I woke up excited. I got to go into the outside! I got to put on a bra and actual shoes. (Sorry guys, not essential items for us when we are home!) I did a quick shop run for the essentials, but it was mostly for my sanity. I realised how much I miss the things that annoys me under normal circumstances in a normal day. And then I realised how bad I am at adapting to change.
I got to my destination of buying essentials and ended up queuing at the door. Normally, a queue would annoy me. Who has time for that? Today, I had all the time in the world! Today I was grateful for the queue. I was grateful to see healthy people. I was grateful to just hear voices in general and not just those in my head!
But I was excited as people were finally kind to one another. We were patient, sticking to the rules. Respecting space and smiling kindly when the security officer with a replica mask of Darth Vader said, “you may enter”. It was weird, let’s face it but the point is, we stuck to the rules without getting impatient.
They limited the amount of people in the store at once, which was cool as we all know that there is not really traffic control when shopping, nor do we follow the “stay left, pass right” rule. Bottom line, less people touching me. But this was not just social distancing, you would have to be a clumsy idiot to bump into someone. (which obviously I was while getting excited over bananas) I got in, ran through, stacking everything on my poor Albany loaf. (There are literally people waiting in a queue for you to leave!). It was fun to finally pay for something. My debit card breezed through the machine and the ABSA SMS was music to my ears. “Money and Time well spent” I thought to myself. The cost of sanity and toilet roles is expensive, but it might also be all the stuff I bought to make me fat.
Traffic from and to everywhere are usually the cause of by me being extremely frustrated and use ugly, not very nice words. Today, there was silence. No delays. Not even time to karaoke my frustration away to one song on KFM! My frustration today was for the opposite reason. Today, I wished for a taxi to flash his head lights and drive in my boot for no reason, and I was disappointed that none of the traffic lights were red! I sat in my car when I got home thinking that this all happened way to fast and that I wasn’t ready for that!
Working from home is a mission for me. Guess what? I am not comfortable working in the comfort of my own home! And having no forced routine really sucks! Usually the stress and the number of impossible tasks I need to complete in a normal day gets me down. Now, I am thankful that I don’t have time to be bored. That I don’t have time to google “Why isn’t 11 Pronounced Onety One?”. I can still tell time in seconds and not months.
Through this crisis, I feel that we have been forced to take a step back. Go back to the basics of human decency and respect. Go back to basic hygiene and back to the love and the care we should have for our neighbour (or stranger). It forced us to be humane. Is this because of fear? Lack of being educated on what is going on or are we just working together? Me checking both ways when driving through a traffic circle, has zero trust in humans, yet I was stunned by the discipline showed today. Maybe the real reason is that we are scared to be without wine for so long? Not sure.
Point is, I will never take the norm and my normal for granted ever again. And in this time, I have learned to even appreciate the bad. I am grateful that I am only losing my mind on day thirteen!
Introverts, please remember check on your extrovert friends frequently. We are not doing ok!
(day 13 of National Lockdown in RSA)