My Irrelevant view on Lockdown

“It’s as if the world has sent us to our rooms to think about what we have done…”

Day 5 of lockdown here in SA and what an interesting, surreal 5 days it’s been. Personally, I’ve been well impressed with our President and the SA Government for their decisiveness in trying to “flatten the curve”. I can truly say that that in my lifetime – keep in mind I’m not that old – I’ve never felt comfort and assured after a national address by one of our presidents as I have these last couple of weeks. I’m glad we’ve got Cyril in our corner rather than the Donald or Boris..

I happen to be one of the few that are considered an “essential service” so I’ve been fortunate that for 2 of the 5 days I’ve been able to travel from home and assist in the rehab of a couple of post-op patients needing to be discharged to free up hospital beds for the imminent surge in COVID-19 patients.

In my free time, which I now have plenty of, I’ve been dusting off some of my old text books and varsity notes, particularly the cardio-pulmonary ones to brush up on my ICU and chest physio skills – it remains uncertain when the time will come that I might be needed to treat COVID positive patients..

** Side note: The joke doing the rounds on the physio groups at the moment is that physios are the only people on the planet at the moment that are actually asking these patients to deliberately cough as hard as they can…

It’s been nice to travel on quiet roads in the mornings, which many will argue are still busier than they should be. I’ve seen some of the posts on Facebook about how there are still so many people out and about, at shops, in cars and taxis or walking in the streets. I say, let’s focus on the majority of South Africans that are following the rules and doing their part by staying home.

Sure, there will always be those that don’t abide by the rules and take any opportunity to leave home for whatever reason, whether it be to do odd jobs, chat with cashiers at the grocer or just get outside for some fresh air. But before we stand in judgement let’s remember that there are people out there, probably even family, friends, neighbours or colleagues, closer to home than you realize, that will continue to try work because they are unsure how they will be feeding their families next week, let alone next month, or those battling mental health issues that can’t deal with the silence of being home on their own, or victims of domestic abuse that long for an opportunity to leave home for an hour so that they can say hi to someone that smiles back at them.

I’ve decided to bring my focus toward myself and my family and focus on only what I have control over. I’ve realized that there is so much we take for granted in life and so much that we waste time worrying over. I’m sure over the next 17 days I’ll come up with an extensive list of what I’m grateful for, but today my focus has been on the following:

My Health. I’m grateful that I’m one of the lucky ones that is not at high-risk of succumbing to this virus, that I don’t leave my home in fear of picking up something that my body might not be able to fight off.

Our Doctors, Nurses and Hospital workers, in particular my wife at Baragwanath Hospital, and my younger brother at Tygerberg Hospital. These two are on the front line every day, and I can speak for most of us when I say thank you for what you do.

The Shopkeepers. My parents fall into this category. Not only have they continued to ensure that food is available to be bought, but they have also played a major role in their small community to help educate, train and assist their employees and patrons on ways of combating this pandemic.

All the other essential service workers that often get overlooked. The list is a long one, but I have no doubt we will realize who they all are over the coming weeks.

WIFI, I’m definitely also very grateful for WIFI 🙂

I’m still figuring out how, but the plan is to make these next couple of weeks on lockdown a positive experience. The hope is to share some of what I come up with, but also take advice & guidance from some of you on ways to make this lockdown mean something. Please feel free to share posts, pages, ideas, podcasts or whatever you feel helpful and I’ll try do the same. I’m on Facebook and Instagram (Links below).

Let’s look after each other.