Doing essential service work in South Africa during the lockdown

General

How is the situation in your city/ country? Is there a 2nd wave yet?
The third wave has hit recently but lockdown regulations have since relaxed slightly.

How did the atmosphere in your country change within the last months?
Social life has definitely taken a big hit and even social skills for most individuals. It is clear though that most people crave social interaction and events and some even break the rules to fullfill the cravings.

How are you and your family?
About half of my family has had Covid already. For some it was worse than for others and unfortunately we have lost our grandmother recently. We however don’t let the virus make us live in fear and my family is dealing with it very well in my opinion.

What was the biggest challenge for you within the last months?
As I am South African citizen but work in Mozambique, I regularly have to cross borders, and with that comes a lot of Covid tests for each crossing as well as organizing my trip around logistics that have to take regulations in consideration. This takes it’s toll on you and you question yourself wether it is worth all the effort.

About half of my family has had Covid already.

Measures

When did you realize how serious the situation is?
Firstly when the borders were closed and I couldn’t get to work for 3 months, then also when the first family member had gotten the virus.

How did your government react to the crisis? Which measures/restrictions were taken first?
They probably reacted at the right time and very strict lockdown was imposed. Since then the regulations have been adjusted to a more logical approach allowing for some space for livelihood to be maintained.

Are you satisfied with the measures of your government? What was good/bad?
I am satisfied with the measures, however in an African country there is always corruption so the measures are not always applied well.

What would you like to say to your government?
I would like to thank the very few that do their work.

Which sentence of a virologist/politician did you memorize the most?
No specific sentence. Just the appauling actions of South Africas politicians make me lost for words and break my heart.

In an African country there is always corruption so the measures are not always applied well.

The Virus

Do you know anybody who was infected with COVID-19 or even died?
Yes I do have many close friends and family that have been infected and some heartbreakingly past away.

Have you already done a Coronavirus test or have you been in quarantine?
Yes. Many, many tests and a lot of quarantine.

Are you afraid of getting infected with the Coronavirus?
No not afraid at all.

I´m not afraid at all.

The lockdown

How long is/was your lockdown and what was allowed/what wasn´t?
Various levels of lockdown are still in place. It has varied from severe lockdown where basically no one was allowed out of their homes to a more relaxed lockdown where basic precaution must be taken everywhere but borders still require Covid tests.

Did you spend the lockdown time with somebody and what did you do during this time?
I was lucky enough to do essential service work in South Africa and this allowed me to travel a bit and still see my family and friends.

What did you miss the most during the lockdown? What helped you?
Social interactions and sporting events with spectators!
Not being able to get to work (in a neighbouring country) helped to spend more time with family.

I was lucky enough to do essential service work in South Africa and this allowed me to travel a bit.

Changes

How did your work situation change within the last months (shorter hours, working from home, etc.)
The first 3 months I was not able to get to work but since then everything has been back to normal. Excepts for masks!

How did your social life (relationship/friendships/dating) change due to the Corona crisis?
It took a biq knock. Very little social life but I could still see my family.

What impact has the Corona crisis on your financial situation?
Luckily it has not affected my financial situation very much.

Social distancing: How does your daily life look like at the moment?
It has been many months since Covid hit so everyone is now used to incorporating social distancing in their everyday lives. We wear masks most of the time. We hold meetings virtually online.

Everyone is now used to incorporating social distancing in their everyday lives.

Perception

Who are to your opinion the heroes of this crisis?
The people that have been strong enough to keep themselves together and with that also help others. Whether it’s healthcare workers, essential services workers or even just friends and family being there for each other.

What did the crisis show you?
So many things. One of them being that people grow closer when enduring a difficult time together.

What will you appreciate more after the crisis?
The ease of travel and physical closeness with friends and family.

Which images will you never forget?
The regular images of our president speaking to the country.

Which stories/incidents/experiences touched/shattered you the most?
All of the corruption and stolen money in our country.

People grow closer when enduring a difficult time together.

Perspective

What are you afraid of right now?
I’m afraid of not progressing in my career as the economy has taken a big hit.

What gives you hope?
The support from friends and family.

Are you planning to travel within the next months?
I had planned to travel to Germany around middle 2021 but hopefully the travel restrictions will lift soon and allow for easy travel in 2022.

Would you get yourself vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes.

What can we all learn from this crisis?
We need to learn to be adaptable to change.

If you could give 2020 a headline, what would it be?
Unexpected disaster. But hey, let’s make the best of it.

I´m afraid of not progressing in my career as the economy has taken a big hit.