As we get to the end of the year, I cannot help but reflect on the last twelve months. Around this time last year, I was gearing up for my precious two week break over Christmas. I was SO excited because I had been working my ass off on three TV shows as well as a group novel AND this blog AND a separate screenplay AND my individual novel. No, I’m not making shit up. That is literally the kind of workload I have.
So, imagine my horror when my husband was diagnosed with Covid on day three of my break which was a few days before Christmas, then the washing machine broke (wait, you will see the relevance of this) and then I was diagnosed with Covid on Boxing Day.
This meant that I spent the whole of my break taking care of my husband and feeling terrified that he would drop dead, washing clothes by hand in the bath (we were in quarantine – no one could come in to fix the washing machine and we couldn’t send clothes out) trying to make Christmas a tiny bit merry for my kids and then so sick myself that I was frightened I was going to be carted off to hospital and/or drop dead.
I can still recall how horrible it was having to have a socially distanced Christmas and New Year with my kids, how we waited with growing anxiety for the dreaded day 8 where rumour had it you either started to get better or took a turn for the worse.
How I watched a colleague of mine, who got sick at the same time as me, tweeting about how he was in hospital because he couldn’t breathe and how lovely the nurses were and then suddenly I was so sick, I couldn’t go on Twitter (yes, you can just imagine how sick I was to be off social media) so I couldn’t track how he was doing.
Then when I started to get better, I got the news that he was in a coma…and then he was gone. Just like that. I still see his name popping up on scripts and every time I see it, I’m reminded of how he didn’t make it and I did.
I can understand that if you’re employed by a company that wasn’t affected by the pandemic, if you didn’t lose anyone close to you, if you yourself were not particularly ill with it or maybe never had it, you could possibly think to yourself that everyone’s just making a fuss about nothing. I have lost more than eight people I know, and I was as sick as a dog and my husband’s business has yet to recover (you think I work on all these shows FOR FUN?? Okay, they are a tiny bit fun) so I’m not one of those people that can treat this like oh, it’s just the flu.
The figures in Gauteng are showing a sharp uptick which means that we are more than likely going into the fourth wave, plus there is the emergence of this worrying new variant. Because I have had covid and am double-jabbed, I have very gorgeous immunity and feel confident that if I got it again, I would pull through. However, I am worried about giving it to someone else so I will still be masking up and sanitising.
If you have not been vaccinated, go and get jabbed. It is no different to all the vaccinations you had as a kid, and the actual jab does not hurt (and believe me I am a wuss when it comes to injections). Everyone in our household, including my seventeen year old, and our staff has been vaccinated – my housekeeper led the way and got her first vaccination in Zimbabwe.
If you have had the virus, you might have a reaction to your first jab, if not you could react to the second jab. You will feel fluey for a day or two and your arm will be sore but it is NOTHING compared to actually getting Covid. I was properly sick for four full weeks and I’m a contractor – if I don’t work, I don’t earn – so the first script that I wrote this year was written in bed, propped up by pillows because I was too weak to sit up by myself.
Don’t be one of those people lying in ICU, gasping for breath and expressing their regrets about not being vaccinated.
It is not too late to protect yourself as the fourth wave rolls in. Even that first jab will give you some protection.
Book recommendations: 56 days by Catherine Ryan Howard. I am a big fan of Catherine’s. She writes fabulously intelligent thrillers set in Ireland. I have not been able to go near anything with a Covid theme but this one I did enjoy. It’s about this couple who start dating as the whole Covid nightmare starts and then because it’s lockdown they move in together and then one of them lands up dead…
Go Away Birds by Michelle Edwards. I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle at Exclusive Books at Rosebank Mall. It was the first in-person interview I did since this shitshow began and it was such fun. As grateful as we’ve been for the Zoom interviews, it’s great to be doing them with real live people and getting your book signed.
When Secrets Become Stories edited by Sue Nyathi. It is the start of the Sixteen Days of Activism against GBV. I’m not sure if these kind of special days do anything for the issue at hand but buying this book and educating yourselves about what women go through will certainly help. This cover has also made the finals of the Good Book Appreciation Society’s Cover Competition. Go and get yourself a copy.
In bookish news, there is a summer book faire (the extra e makes it fancy) at the Rand Club tomorrow, Saturday 27th November and faves Lorraine Sithole, Gail Schimmel, Fi Snyckers, Karen Lane and Dudu Busani Dube will be there. Check out the poster for details.
TV recommendations: The Chestnut Man, a limited drama series on Netflix based on the Scandi Noir of the same name by Soren Sveistrup. Creepy as hell with brilliant tension, I’m loving it.
You know the drill everyone…mask up, wash your hands, keep your distance from people and GO AND GET JABBED. Vaccinations really do save lives. Happy reading xxx