Last week in Woolies Rosebank, a woman was not social distancing in the queue and stood right next to me, I mean so close, we could’ve been dating. I had to turn around and say, “Social distancing, please.” Afterwards, I felt mortified (like that prissy school prefect who always reported you for wearing the wrong knickers) and I was thanking God, the universe and all my ancestors that my mask covered a large portion of my face so she’s never likely to recognise me socially (yes, I do realise I might be giving the game away mentioning it here). In my defence, everything I’ve read has suggested that you’re most at risk of contracting auntie Rona in enclosed spaces with people breathing on you, which is why I get tense about peeps cuddling up to me in queues.
On the other hand I’ve been reading these super judgy (judgey? judgie?) posts on social media this past week after we went to Lockdown Level 2 where CERTAIN people have been telling OTHER people that they should still be staying inside, and are morally deficient for expressing such ecstatic levels of joy at being able to buy ciggies and alcohol. I think what drives a lot of these posts is fear, and the feeling of being out of control.
This virus is going to be with us for a while now and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been craving some human contact and just to feel part of the world again.
Also, I’m very cognisant of the fact that our local restaurants and coffee shops and pubs and book shops need our support, otherwise once this is over there will be no restaurants and coffee shops and pubs and book shops to go to. Which would be very sad. Not to mention all the people who will be out of work, which is even worse.
I know that it would not be possible for me to live under Lockdown Level 5 conditions indefinitely.
Psychologically, I can’t do it. So, I am prepared to take the risk to go out. I’ve read a lot about the virus and statistically, I think it’s a chance worth taking. I hate to be indelicate and mention our very high mortality rates from both car accidents and murder in this country, but they are up there with our mortality rate for Covid (around 21k annually for murders, 15k for road accidents and we’re on around 13.5k for Covid. Yes, the Covid death rate is under-reported but I must say it did give me a bit of perspective.) I won’t even mention our GBV stats – Women’s Month, hahahahahahahahaha, excuse me while I fall about laughing.
Hunger and unemployment are worrying me now more than Covid, not to mention depression. I’m seeing the devastating economic and emotional consequences people are experiencing from losing their jobs. One woman I know from Twitter wrote how she thought about taking all the painkillers in her apartment after losing her job and I can tell from her tweets how SAD she is feeling every single day. That’s why I say to everyone – if you can get out, do. If you can travel, go for it. Let’s get the economy going. You might not want to go out, that’s fine, but no judgies for those who do want to jol. If they’re wearing their masks and not being a maskhole, let them be!
Obviously, not everyone is in the same position.
I have a sister-in-law with multiple sclerosis who cannot take the risk – she and my brother have not been out properly for five months, we miss them terribly but we know it’s not a good idea to see them. I have friends who have their parents living with them, they can’t go out either. But if you’re not in a high-risk category, and you are still employed, get out there and support everyone else. Your country needs you.
We have been supporting everyone with great gusto this week. For the son’s 20th birthday we went to one of our absolute faves The Local Grill in Parktown North. They have a reduced menu and they hadn’t had a chance to get in any booze yet, so they showed us what they had, including some delish grapefruit tonics for our gin and we managed to have a very jolly evening. Plus they are adhering to all the protocols – the tables are well-spaced, the staff are wearing masks, and I really didn’t feel like anyone was breathing on me (I didn’t have to do my prissy prefect rant which was a relief).
We took an uber there, and it was desperate listening to the guy telling us how they haven’t had any work and have been basically unemployed for the last five months. Now that we won’t be able to drive even after the tiniest drink, hopefully uber will get some more business. I have to say that I do love the curfew because you have to leave at 9.30pm to get home or you get to boot people out of your house, which for someone like me, who loves being in bed by 10, is perfect.
Last weekend we hit our local pub The Blind Tiger in Tyrone Avenue, Parkview. We got a table outside and were beyond thrilled to find out that they’re doing happy hour from 4.30-5.30 every day. I adore the tiny bottles of prosecco they serve and they do a very respectable wine by the glass which is served in carafes. I tried the Vinologist Cab Sauv which I recommend. Do try their calamari and they do the yummiest blue cheese dip with their sweet potato fries.
And for books my choice is always Love Books in Melville or Exclusive Books, Rosebank but I see that Bargain Books have also been having the most fantastic specials. I’m not sure if there is one near me?
Recommended series for this week: Dirty John, the Betty Broderick story. The way her husband treated her seems like a textbook case of gaslighting (you may find yourself shouting at the TV), I only wonder why she didn’t shoot him sooner. Very appropriate fare for Women’s Month.
I seem to be getting my reading mojo back and am gobbling up The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. Her books are set in Ireland which being half-Irish, I love and this one is a story within a story – part of it is told from the POV of the serial killer, the other part is from a woman who survived his attack and has written a book about it. Deliciously twisty.
I also started Date Me Bryson Keller by South African author, Kevin Van Whye. Yes, I am promiscuous when it comes to books and often have several on the go at once. This is a gorgeous, romantic, YA boy-meets-boy rom-com. I would encourage schools to stock it in their libraries.
In exciting bookish news, Charlotte by our very own, Helen Moffett comes out in hardback next week. I think on September 4th. If you love Pride & Prejudice, this one is for you. The book is utterly gorgeous and makes a great gift.
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