Wow, what a ride the last 90 days has been. March 2020 saw life as we knew it come to a complete halt and the world changed right before our very eyes. This new and strange lockdown world was surreal. Did you, like me, feel as if we were practically living out scenes from a Hollywood blockbuster? A bumpy rollercoaster ride with all these twists and turns, official presidential broadcasts, countless changes to adapt to and numerous families drastically affected by this horrible disease.
And what about the rules, and regulations, so stringent. South Africa you outdid yourself, the strictest Lockdown in the world! But here we are, 90 days and a myriad of conspiracy theories later… and we are not over yet, experts say our peak is still to come.
Although this elusive peak is nowhere in our sights, South African restrictions have mind-bogglingly been lowered and we are now allowed to venture out to pick up the pieces and somehow try to reassemble our shattered lives we swiftly left behind some 3 months ago.
As our government is lowering the restrictions, I cannot help but feel a little out of my comfort zone. Having been cooped up working from home for such a long uninterrupted stretch of time, I have grown used to the safety home brought. I find myself not ready to leave just yet.
In 2008 just after Jordan was born, Japheth and I spent 5 years at home. I resigned from my very stable job and Japheth worked from home, so we both spent those particularly important foundational years at home with the kids. This lockdown reminded me how much I missed that part of my life and how I longed to get it back.
If anything, this lockdown has shown us is how truly favoured and privileged we are. While we were locked away spending time with our little family, sharing every meal together, watching our favourite TV shows in the middle of the workday, playing games, and experimenting in the kitchen, shooting homeschooling videos and attending Zoom parties; millions of precious lives, economies, and entire countries on the outside where being completely decimated by this global pandemic.
Living in our own cocoon has come with a few minor problems, not anywhere near the issues that the world has seen over the last few months but more along the lines of little inconveniences that came along with the lockdown restrictions.
Not having access to family and close friends on special days is something I struggled with. Yoh, those days passed us by in a blur. Judah turned 13 this year and even though we got a kick out of him entering his teens in ‘quaranteen’ it was the first birthday morning which he did not open a gift. He eventually did open it, but a month later.
Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, numerous family birthdays, some of my favourite days of the year have had a muted celebration via Zoom, some parties with cake, some without. But the worst were those great family meals which we would have enjoyed together with laughter and happiness. Those meals were now split-up and sent over in Tupperware and Rama containers. Oh no, now I need to return all those Tupperware containers… ?I swear, the stress of remembering who all those containers belong to, can kill a person! Help, I’m in trouble! I really miss those big family gatherings and celebrations.
Another important thing for me that was the lack of church. This electronic version of church which we currently have reminds me of reading my Bible on the iPad. You can read it, but the experience is not authentic as I have grown accustomed to. Call me old school and unable to embrace modern technology, but I’m sorry, I need to feel the physically pages between my fingers. Nothing beats having that actual touch and smell of the gold trimmed paper and fading leather cover. It makes you deeply appreciate the weight of what you are reading. You cannot overlook the importance of a physical connection.
It dawned on me how important human connections and interaction is on one very sunny Sunday morning. Please do not ask me which Sunday it was. All the days are all mashed up into a single period. It was a Sunday though, I know this cos I ‘went’ to church… ? Yes, I define my week by how close we are to our next Sunday Broadcast. I’m currently living broadcast to broadcast…
Anyways, I was hanging up my clothes out in the sunshine on this Sunday morning and I could hear my neighbours from the adjoining multiplex listening to a live service. As the praise and worship filled the air, they sang and clapped their hands. I am sure they were dancing around in their living room. As this family sang and enjoyed the service, I found myself singing along with them as I pegged my washing onto the line. Call me crazy but if I hear a jam I like, I’m gonna sing along too! You do not wanna hear me sing, but I will sing it for sho! ?
It was then that I realised that for me, going to church was not just going to church to sing a few songs, listen to a sermon, pray, and come home. Personal human interaction, feeling, listening, and experiencing the faith of others is what I prefer. I find that through firsthand experience of a person’s faith you can be inspired. You feel encouraged by a person, who has been through the muck and mire and ultimately came out victorious. It makes you feel that if they made it, so can you! Media broadcasts do not give you that touch and feel of an authentic experience.
The list of things I missed would be endless if I sat and really thought about it, but I don’t want to spend time dwelling on these things I missed, I would rather focus on the parts of lockdown I appreciated. And there is a lot that I appreciated. The list of things I appreciated during lockdown will come in the next post. For now, I just want to say that if you need more time locked in and if you feel that you are not ready to venture out yet, that is ok. You are a thousand times more fortunate than all those who must go out and earn their incomes.
I also want to say, the last 90 days has taught me never to overlook the importance of human interaction. It is of vital importance to everyone’s mental health. Don’t shut yourself in because you feel safe and risk losing out on a simple conversation. Create an opportunity to interact with someone, you never know you could lift them up out of a state of loneliness and despair. This lockdown has found many who are depressed. Make a phone call, send a message, have a Zoom party preferably with cake, but reach out to someone today.