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Lockdown SA

Lockdown SA

I have to say, it is not easy being confined to one’s space without the daily productivity I’m used to. Yes, I have days where being at home and away from people is the best, but I have this thing of not being able to do what I’m told. Not to say I’m defiant but just like every south African is feeling right now, it wouldn’t hurt to step out for a minute or, so right? Anyway, amidst the rapid spread of the coronavirus in our country, the president, after careful consideration and advice, has asked every south African to stay home for the next 21 days.   

“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.

The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.


Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.”

World Health Organization

What does it mean for the average South African? It means not leaving one’s premises for any reason unless to get medical supplies, food or in case of emergency. This lockdown excludes essential employees to the state like nurses, police officers, etc. As the pandemic grows, the aim is to keep it contained before it spreads and gets out of control. I personally feel that the numbers don’t lie and as we locked down last night the rate was at 1170 confirmed cases and this morning 1 death was announced.

See now I know and love my country, but our lack of common sense and arrogance is astonishing. I took to social media to check out how people are locking down; I was surprised to find people – who like- me were amazed that in townships there are people who ignored the lockdown notice. Whilst the rest of the country is working towards stopping the pandemic from taking over, there are people who do not seem to care. The hard efforts of the government to keep the nation safe are not recognized instead they are ridiculed.

During a conversation I had with a friend, I was smacked in the face with some facts I hadn’t considered due to lack of knowledge.

Me: We use public transportation and go to public spaces so we could very well be locking ourselves up with it.

Him: that’s the point!

Me: but what about the people I’m locked down with? Do they not then now face the risk of contracting it from me?

Him: here’s the thing. You are on lockdown. You are on lockdown with people and that’s all the people you can be exposed to. You can’t get it or give it to the next household because well they are locked down too. Secondly, you are young and presumably HIV negative, so your chances of survival are pretty good; very low probability of you dying from it. Thirdly, if you are aware of the symptoms then the chances of you spreading it are low while you are asymptomatic as you have the option to self-isolate for 5-14 days. Hopefully when that time comes you haven’t spread it then you go and seek the help you need.

Me: that could all be true, but ignorance would mean people won’t even pay attention to the symptoms.

Him: at least with their ignorance they only spread it to the handful of people they are locked down with instead of tens of thousands more who did not have it and are now quarantined. It’s the lesser of two evils I know but other options are scarce.

In all honesty, not everyone is looking at this as the end of the world. We are all different and over the next coming days I will be following up with more ground-breaking articles circulating around this pandemic. From my home ground to the world and beyond.

by Thembelihle Shiloane

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