While the 21-day national lockdown period, which was ordered by President Cyril Ramaphosa to contain the Covid-19 virus, had been challenging, people are trying their best to keep themselves busy at home, staying safe and connecting with their families.
Several people, including community leaders, a dance teacher, a principal, an artist and essential services workers shared their experiences being confined to their homes.
Some have more time to connect with God, others discovered a passion for housework while those working remotely had their hands full trying to juggle work and home life.
Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, former provincial head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and now ANC member of Parliament, serving the broader southern suburbs constituency, which includes Steenberg and Grassy Park, said: “I am running and co-ordinating a legal advice desk of 10 attorneys, advising non-government organisations on government directives and regulations while my children are helping me from home to co-ordinate the distribution of food for homeless during this lockdown period. I am also involved in a national task team advising government on some of the regulations to be relaxed which have already been approved this past week.”
He said on the home front, his children demand from “me to make them lunch every second day which I do with lots of pride. My daughter Haneem loves my butter chicken. My biggest frustration is having to wash clothes as my helper is not in during this period. Even the local laundry is closed,” reported Mr Mohamed. He said he continues to pay his helper during the lockdown period.
Lewies Davids, spokesperson for Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, which is among the essential services said, personally he was doing well. “Just working around the clock, putting measures and preventative actions in place to avoid (the spread of) Covid-19 at Pollsmoor. No cases have been reported so far. Since we’ve been on lockdown no visitors are allowed. There are very few offender movements because of the plans released by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services,” said Mr Davids.
Felicity Mopp from Retreat, who founded Earth Angels, a group that started various community outreach projects, said she was “very sad” to see what is happening in the world. “My family get together every day at noon, and then my grandson of 9 years old reads Psalm 91 from the Bible, then we all pray together.”
Ms Mopp added: “This (pandemic) is very serious as many people lost their lives. The Earth Angels would have liked to hand out bread to the needy but we will rather wait until we are safe to do so. My advice to everyone is to stay safe, be obedient, never give up hope and keep on praying.”
Parkwood gospel singer and guitarist, Lionel Smith, said the lockdown has a positive and negative side. “I’m indoors and have practised new songs, which I’m going to add to my programme for my up-
coming concert next month. Unfortunately a March open air show had
to be cancelled due to the lockdown.”
Mr Smith said there are benefits to the lockdown, “to some extent”. “Outside is quiet, no people walking around, no drinking, less smoking, and no loud music when we have to go to sleep.”
He said he is glad to see the people run inside when they see the police, and there is less crime.
Ridwan Samodien, principal of Kannemeyer Primary School in Grassy Park, said although he had been nursing a flu for about three weeks now, and switched off from social media to find time to relax and get better, “I have been in contact with children’s parents via WhatsApp and sending them links to educational resources.”
Dale Hendricks, of Restoring Hope in Retreat, who is a fitness trainer, said his family had been keeping busy working out, playing board games and baking. “We agreed to a lockdown routine. As a community worker I’m doing a series of inspirational advice and tips that will be beneficial to everyone at home. As a fitness trainer I have been doing online workouts that families and individuals can do at home without any equipment.”
Mr Hendricks said they train every day for 30 minutes. “If anyone wants to do the workouts, they can go on our YouTube channel: DDJ Workouts.”
Wendi Abrahams, dance teacher of 34/18 in Grassy Park, said she never knew how “good a housewife” she was until lockdown started. “What a new experience. I never knew I was going to become such an avid housewife. I cook, I clean, because it is exciting. Usually the domestic worker would do the cleaning while I go off to the mall.”
Ms Abrahams said: “As a family we Skype, we WhatsApp to keep the spirits up, we exercise on the lawn and we enjoy the funny jokes going around. We have learnt to sit down and watch a movie and not try to fit it in (a schedule). All the things we didn’t have the time to do, we do now.”
She said she sends her dancers lessons. “I will also have my son capture me on video to show the girls the steps and some different movements in dance, to keep them busy.”
Ms Abrahams added that most of the time “we eat, eat and eat”. “When we are done with that, we are thinking of what we can cook next. But at least it’s all on the healthy side, because we
are not running off to get
Bona or McDonald’s (takeaways) because they are all closed and
in a way we are also saving