This has been a strenuous time for everyone. A nationwide lockdown is unprecedented in South Africa, and the fact that it’s for a pandemic is all the more frightening. But, as scary as it is, we need to stay calm and act proactively.
Panic buying and hoarding resources ultimately does more harm than any good you may feel it does by “preparing” you. The only reason there wouldn’t be food and other essential products is if people panic buy and hoard these items. Everyone needs to buy their groceries as usual and that pushy feeling we all feel urging us to stock pile food, will go away. Responsibly shopping at this stage is part of proactive acting to ensure that the lockdown is effective.
On that note, the lockdown can only be effective if people adhere to the rules. I get very frustrated watching the news or scrolling through social media and seeing people moving around openly and going about their business as usual. It is so selfish to mindlessly go on with life as if there isn’t anything happening. But maybe I am being too harsh too quickly, perhaps those people don’t understand why the lockdown is in place. In that case, open any news source and educate yourself! As a global citizen, every single person has the responsibility to follow the lockdown rules and FLATTEN THE CURVE of the disease. You may not be afraid of COVID-19, but you still have a moral responsibility to protect others from the disease, especially the vulnerable in our society. South Africa has the highest levels HIV and Aids infections in the world, which means that there are millions of people with compromised immune systems. This is over and above the other factors of vulnerability such as age, health and poverty level. So yes, you may not be afraid of “some flu” (which COVID-19 is decidedly not), but not everyone has the luxury to be so carefree.
On the topic of the lockdown, it’s important to take care of yourself and your mental health. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself right now, it is normal to feel tired and drained by what’s going on. I feel a little lost and helpless because this pandemic is so much bigger than me and I feel like I want to do so much more to fight it. These feelings can take it out of you and you can feel fatigued, anxious and drained. I think it’s normal to feel this way, and we need to be a little more understanding of ourselves. It is also important to remember that we are doing what we can to fight the disease by practicing physical distancing, washing our hands, offering psychological support to those around us, and by staying home if we aren’t essential workers. It is also important to remind ourselves and others that this will pass and that the world will go on.Hope can do a lot in maintaining our mental health.
Throughout the lockdown PDBY will be publishing online editions and regular online exclusives. Look out for those on pdby.co.za and @PDBYMedia on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!
Until next time, look after yourselves, stay calm, avoid fake news and follow the rules.
Illustration: Promise Zulu