The Apocalypse is in full flow now. *Cue menacing music*. You cannot escape the barrage of information if you read the news or go onto social media. This ‘end of the earth’ feeling was enhanced by the insane weather we had on Monday.
The howling wind was bashing the trees and making the doors and windows rattle so loud I thought they might blow in. When we went to bed it was hard to sleep as the banging and thumping was very loud. Any noises make me jumpy in case it is a break in, often the criminals use bad weather as a cover for their activities. My anxiety was already at a high from the virus news, add in crazy weather conditions and I was convinced it was the end of times. I have a very vivid imagination and watch too many weird things on telly.
Last Sunday South African President Ramaphosa addressed the nation regarding the government’s plan to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
He declared a national state of disaster.
The transcript of the full speech can be found HERE.
The key points are:
- All schools were closed on Wednesday. The Universities also closed and the students were instructed to clear their accommodation if they reside on campus. This will be a huge challenge to some students, they may have no where else local to go and may not have the funds to get back to their families.
- There are 72 points of entry into SA which are via land, sea and airports. Of the 53 land ports, 35 were shut down with effect from Monday 16 March. 2 of the 8 sea ports will be closed for passengers and crew changes. A travel ban was implemented on foreigners from high risk countries and all visas have been cancelled. However this did not stop the Dutch tourist who was positive and visited up to 30 wine farms on a tour of the wine lands. They are calling him Patient Zero for the wine lands. His visits resulted in several wine farms having to close their doors as staff were exposed to his group.
- SA residents were asked to avoid local travel by plane and to not travel to high risk countries and if they did so they would be forced to self quarantine. My daughter in law Amber just returned from international travel as she works off shore. Her and my son Trevor are now both self isolating.
- Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. Many events have been cancelled to avoid contamination. No applications for special or events liquor licenses will be considered during the period of the national disaster.
I am glad that the President acted quickly to try and reduce the influx of people to SA who are sick. As mentioned in my most recent blog, if it takes hold in the townships there could be a massive death toll due to the over crowded living conditions and the fact that so many people who live there have HIV and TB and will be vulnerable. It is most likely inevitable that it will affect some people in these areas but we can only hope it is not too widespread.
Last Monday morning Norm went to do a shop in case we ended up restricted to our home. As there are just two of us we never have more than a day or two’s food in the house. He found that several of the shops were out of everything and almost all of the shops were out of toilet paper. This is our local Spar.
The panic buying continued and on Wednesday Norm made another venture into the shops where not only was there an absence of loo roll but there was very little food in the entire shop.
Norm has had to pop into the village for milk or other items and he said that the shops are now fully stocked and people are maintaining distance between themselves so hopefully he will be safe on his excursions. Due to my various health issues he will not let me out. (Not in a ‘gimp box under the bed’ sorta way, just in a ‘I will look after you’ sorta way.)
On Wednesday our President took an extra step to control the spread of the virus. All establishments (including bars, clubs, shebeens and restaurants) that sell liquor must close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays and at 13:00 on Sundays and public holidays. If they also serve food it seems they can stay open and just not serve booze. I suspect that the anticipated benefits of this decision are that it should reduce social interactions and it should reduce the amount of drunk drivers on the roads as the police have stopped conducting random breath tests. However some people are ignoring this and asking the restaurant owners to still serve them drinks. They do not seem to realise (or care) that the owner would lose his license if caught. Some people are so self serving.
Actually if they were self serving there would be no issue….self centered is probably a better term under these conditions.
Our friends Trish and John were supposed to come down this week to spend a few weeks with us but as the virus has now taken hold in SA they decided rather to try and get back home to Scotland. John has some health issues which would mean he is highly at risk.
My middle daughter Caitlin (the stubborn Taurean one) was invited to a wedding in Durban and despite the whole family trying to dissuade her from going, she decided she would be fine and on Thursday night she flew. The family she is visiting were like a second family to her when she was a child and she is godmother to the groom’s sister’s boys so she was very keen on seeing them all. The flight was worrying enough, but the bride and groom flew in from the UK. I have to just trust that our ancestors keep her safe.
As mentioned in my last blog, my colleagues and I had applied for VPN access so that we could work remotely but the red tape of approval delayed it. On Wednesday I spent hours in the client’s IT division getting a remote desk top log in set up via VPN. Unfortunately the entire company was doing the same so it was slow going. I’m now officially working from home and Norm and I are self isolating as much as possible. Hopefully we won’t kill each other, starve or run out of toilet paper 🤭
Norm popped out to the shop on Friday afternoon to buy a bottle of wine and when he returned home he shouted upstairs to me ‘I bought you a present’ and I was so excited! What could it be? Chocolate? Jewelry? Flowers?
I rush downstairs to find a 9 pack of toilet paper and a beaming Scotsman.
The romance is officially dead.
We have had a few issues with things breaking in the house and had to have suppliers in to resolve them. On the morning that we were leaving to go to Lily’s wedding the garage door would not open and this week we ended up having to replace the motor as it was so old they could not find replacement parts for the broken doohickey.
Then the pool pump / filter / other thingymajig started shooting water out of the top of it.
Luckily Michael from Pool Guru had the replacement parts and on Friday afternoon he came around and sorted it quick sticks (from a safe distance).
The animals are loving having us both at home but seem a bit baffled. Pixie, Panda and Navajo keep close by in fact Pixie wants to be in mine or Norm’s lap half the time.
The rest of the time she is on guard.
Navajo lies between me and the door to protect me from any virus laden marauders.
Blue and Lola are taking turns making nuisances of themselves.
Norm went out and bought a trestle table and office chair for me and set up my own little workstation.
The view from my new little office is pretty amazing though so I cannot complain about that!
I love having my morning coffee on the patio while gazing at my mountains. we are so blessed with this view.
To comply with data security regulations I usually work from the client’s computers so my personal laptop needed to be upgraded and some communication apps set up so Friday was spent doing back ups and trying to remember passwords. I set up a team WhatsApp group called ‘All Stars’ for my 2 developers and myself to communicate. We like to think of ourselves as the best consultants in the company but then the other consultants probably think that about themselves too. We know the truth.
Norm and I are trying to eat healthy to keep our immunity boosted. On Monday Norm roasted a pork fillet. He steamed cauliflower, fried mushrooms in butter and made roasted sweet potatoes to go with it.
We made our fave, the low carb high fat pizza. I made a home made sauce. I fried chopped red and yellow peppers and a chopped carrot (carrots are not low carb but they add a bit of sweetness and nutrition). Once they were half cooked I added a chopped onion and a large spoon of garlic. I cooked it down then liquidized it, added in tomato passata, tomato paste, seasonings and a bit of beef stock to stop the acidity and then simmered it until we finished preparing the crust.
We layered on the sauce, chopped green olives, sliced artichoke hearts, mozzarella and salami. It was delicious.
Norm cooked a very tasty dish with chopped up chicken breasts and broccoli in a cream sauce and served it with sweet potato mash. It was simple and delicious.
Yesterday it was quite warm out but I decided I wanted a yummy Mommy comfort meal and so Norm popped down to Woolies for a roast. They had a pork shoulder and so I baked that, made potatoes au gratin, fried cabbage and onion and garlic mushrooms.
I had not had potatoes since December and potatoes au gratin is one of my favorite things ever. I did not have a recipe, I basically just peeled and par-boiled my potatoes then sliced and layered into a buttered glass dish. I only had double thick cream which was too thick for pouring so I diluted it with a bit of milk. I poured a drizzle of cream and a layer of cheddar on top of each layer of potatoes and then used the mozzarella left over from our pizza night to top it.
It was all so yummy and it went really well together.
We had takeaways a few nights, with me drifting away from low carb. We had Italian one night and sushi on Friday night. Probably why I am not losing any weight but with my current stress levels I am surprised I am not eating a few kilos of chocolate every night.
The SA virus count has topped 200 and is going up quickly. So far we have had no deaths and luckily 2 people have recovered. However we now have cases of people who did not travel internationally coming down with it. At the point of writing, there are 240 people infected in SA.
This LINK is the best for tracking the statistics internationally in my opinion. It provides the breakdown per country as well. Italy has now surpassed China in death counts. Italy has a high number of elderly residents, however we watched a report from Italy on Sky News and they said that they are seeing people as young as 30 badly affected.
I do not want to scaremonger but I feel that many people are not taking this virus seriously.
Especially when we see reports of eejits like this on Spring Break in Florida.
Such a strong sense of social responsibility and care for others. NOT. I bet their parents are Trump supporters and these kids are following his lead on believing that the virus is not a risk. Trump started out by saying it was a hoax by the Democrats, that it was not an issue worse than the flu as so few were affected, that it was under control, etc etc.
He is also spreading false information.
Of all of the countries who have high levels of infection, the UK and the USA seem to have handled it the worst in my opinion. For once I am actually proud of our SA President and his actions.
I really feel for those who are alone and self-isolating. It is bearable for those of us who have nice, safe homes and have someone with us to talk to, play board games or watch telly with but if I was here alone I know I would be working myself into a state. I cannot imagine this situation is good for anyone’s mental health but for those who are already suffering from issues this isolation could be very dangerous. Check up on your friends from time to time and make sure they are coping and are not ill.
It is a stressful time for us all. I wish you and your loved ones good health and as much toilet paper as you need.
Until next time, check on your friends and family, keep away from large groups of people, wash your hands, do not buy more than you need and try not to panic.
Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo