Lockdown Journal – Day Sixteen of Twenty-One

Day 16 – Saturday, 11 April

Weekends in the Oosthuizen home have become entirely predictable. If it’s a sunny weekend, it’s lounging on camping chairs under the sun umbrella, book in hand, feet stretched out to catch the rays in the hope of a post-summer tan. And, of course, being interrupted at intervals by a cold, wet nose pushing itself against bare hands or feet. Then I put the book down and spend time rubbing furry bellies and high-fiving paws, eventually chasing the dogs in the bushes. Sometimes the cat will hop and sit on my lap, trying to escape the dogs that bother her lazy slumber.

When the weather is not so fine, which seldom happens on this longitude and latitude in the world (bless the South African weather), we slouch instead on the L-shaped couch, choosing between board games, reading or watching TV. My latest obsession is Outlander (read: handsome Scotsmen), but generally, I like to spend the weekend in the company of my own handsome man (bless the good-looking South African men, too).

This weekend, the country’s Easter time, the sun filters happily through the many gaps in the white puffy clouds, announcing bright holidays and somewhat uplifting my mood. We spend the day outdoors in the small garden, the Weber hissing and puffing smoke in the corner, slowly coating chicken meat and potatoes in a delicious golden and amber combo. After spending some time on my lap, the cat has stolen my husband’s seat and curled herself into a white ball in the comfy camping chair. Can’t blame her. My eyes are increasingly droopy, my body numb and dazed under the sun, still pleasant and warm at this altitude (circa 1700 metres above sea level in Pretoria). 

I am making progress with my book, lazily spending hours confined to the chair, the very definition of being in quarantine, physically locked from the outside world. While the pandemic talk intensifies and lockdowns continue worldwide, I grow more sceptical about the whole situation and the new world order that will result afterwards, like it or not. It’s difficult not to have an opinion about the topic, but I try to stay away from mass-media news coverage, unfounded advice and political blame games. Getting better and staying positive are my main goals these days. I remind myself that self-care is the top priority. Sometime in the following days, I will have to resume my work activities. But not just yet. 

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