The COVID-19 Lockdown Chronicles — Day 1, 27 March 2020

Well, here we are on day 1 of the 21-day lockdown of South Africa because of COVID-19. It is also the day of the first two deaths from this illness. For a few weeks now, the inevitable creep of the illness and then arrival of the illness in South Africa has featured prominently on the news. On Monday evening (23 March) President Ramaphosa told us about the 21-day lockdown that started at 12am today.
Because I’ve still been at the office until Wednesday, I’ve seen the streets empty out day by day as the schools closed and offices closing one by one. On Wednesday I went to pick up my chronic meds — the first time that I’d been in a shop for almost 2 weeks — and the new security measures were quite a shock. I also had to venture out on Thursday morning for some human food and pet food before setting up for my first day working from home.

I’ve been trying to find words to write for the blog, but there just seem to not have been any. I’ve also been struggling with really bad panic attacks over the past few weeks. I can’t say my anxiety is suddenly a lot less now that I’m home, but I do feel safer because I’m not constantly surrounded by other people.
I’m hoping that I will be able to write my way through this strange time. I wrote a short piece yesterday, the first fiction I’ve written in a while (I’ve put it right at the end of the post). So I hope that that’s a good sign.
I also watched the video of Chris Fox that came out today (I’ve embedded it below) and find what he says to be very helpful.

I’m trying to keep my eye on as much positive content as possible instead of only focusing on COVID-19 stats. This includes some daily vlogs and my favourite podcasts, some of which I’ll share here in the days to come.
While one part of me is scared out of my skin at the thought of what could happen should the illness get into the informal settlements outside the large cities (not to mention rural areas where medical help is well… basically nonexistent) and I feel sick to my stomach, another part of me knows that this needs to be documented — even if it’s just for me to look back on. (The other part of me is probably trying not to throw up or have another panic attack.) I find focusing on one country’s plight at any one time is a bit less nausea-inducing that only looking at the world as a whole all the time.
So, in light of that, I’m going to try and blog here daily during the lockdown.

I’ll share the projects I’m busy with (you can probably expect a lot of stress crocheting and knitting!) as well as other content that I’ve found helpful.
Oh, and there will probably also be pictures of Sir Tristan the Wonder Cat, and the budgies Frodo and Samwise.

To everyone reading — keep safe and keep healthy! Until tomorrow.

The Woven Stars

The tower was older than the city. Much, much older. Where the city’s walls were of finely cut stone that was yet to show wear, lichen and moss covered the pockmarked, ancient grey stone of the tower.
A single door at the bottom of the tower had long ago been shut and locked so that it could never be unlocked until the world had wholly changed.
There was one window high in the tower. Some, if they squinted in just the right light, could see that a few of the panes had been shattered by storms during the long, long years.
Some even said that they saw a figure at the window at times and a faint light could be seen on the darkest nights.
She sat at the spinning wheel while the world went scurrying about beneath her window.
The wisps of straw that she spun into the finest of yarns and knotted into patterns were coloured by snatches of voices and music that drifted up from the city, by emotions that she remembered or still felt, by the birdsong and eagle cries and thunder and wind and rain and other nature sounds that drifted in through the broken window — blue, silver, and gold.
The dark clouds came without warning and, with it, a foul air that made people dash inside, locking their houses and peering in fear through the windows as a figure of pure midnight approached. Best Knitting Needles for Scarves/Shawls
There were no stars anymore, no moon, no night sky with wisps of silver clouds.
At last, the figure came to the door of the tower and hammered upon it.
She rose from where she had been kneeling and knotting the fine threads, went to the window, and pushed it open for the first time in a hundred years.
She peered down to the void the figure left.
“Think you won this time?” she called out to the figure with its strange face and long beak.
A laugh that seemed to emanate from the bowels of the earth shook the city.
“I have won. The darkness is complete.”
She stepped away from the window for a moment and then, with a flash of light, the threads she had woven and knotted fell from the window and rose with the winds, light as a feather, to cover the darkness of the night sky.
And the woven stars shone.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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