Plagued with Problems

The entire planet seems to be in a panic about the risk of contracting Covid-19. At the time of writing this, South Africa was reporting 51 cases, and all of those infected people had traveled overseas. This was an increase of 13 additional cases from a report I had read the previous day and an increase from the day before that. We seem to be averaging about 14 new cases per day.

One of these affected people is an employee at the same office where I am currently based. He also contracted it while traveling overseas and luckily he did not come into the office when he returned from his trip.

WHO has now officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

Our family has been directly affected as Norm was due to fly to Nairobi Kenya today and he received notification that his flight was cancelled as the Ministry of Health for the home country of the company he was doing the work for had declared a ban on overseas travel. Norm has had endless issues with Expedia and trying to cancel his flight. He has spent over 3 hours on the phone with their call centre and each time, after an hour the service drops the call. The hotel he booked his accommodation with was 100% the opposite, they dealt with his attempts to contact them in a prompt manner and gave him a 100% credit. Expedia is unprepared and ineffective.

My consulting house has requested we work from home assuming that the client will approve this decision. In preparation we have applied for VPN access. In case you aren’t familiar, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As the name implies, it provides users with a virtual network that is private so that they can connect to the internet in a way that is safe and secure. Essentially, the ultimate goal of a VPN is to keep your private information private. This means we log into a virtual network as if we are actually working via our computer that is based in the office. As long as I can access the client’s database then I can work remotely with minimal impact. The biggest challenge will be whether we have electricity!

To add to the stress in our daily lives, electricity load shedding started back on Tuesday when Eskom announced yet another drama. Some days we have had 6 hours a day with no electricity. Our phone service also goes down as the constant lack of electricity affects the cell tower’s ability to recharge the batteries. It impacts everything from cooking, to sleeping to our security. It often happens at night when we need to prepare dinner, or later when we have finished dinner and want to relax in front of the telly. The alarm cannot be put on without electricity. It impacts Norm’s ability to work from home. As I will soon be working from home too this is a worry.

The drought has raised its head again in the Western Cape, residents have been overusing their allotted amounts again. Dams supplying the Cape Town metro have declined by 1.5% bringing the level down to 65.9%. 

Water consumption for the same period has increased to 755 million litres a day. Consumption the previous week was at 743 million liters a day.

How quickly we forget. What impact will constant hand washing have on consumption?

Another crisis in South Africa is the ongoing abuse and murder of our women and children. Despite the promises from President Ramaphosa that no men who were jailed for crimes against women or children will be given parole, the murders continue. It is not only women and girls who are victims, it is young boys too.

In our own village we had a 12 year old boy go missing. The last person he was seen with was his basketball coach, Marvin Minaar. When Minaar was questioned, he confessed to the murder of 12 year old Sibusiso Dakuse.

Our entire village was traumatized and devastated about Sibu who was a clever, talented and lovely child from all reports. He attended our local music academy.

Another young boy was also murdered by a man on parole.

The body of Reagan Gertse, 8, was found after he had gone missing earlier that same day. A 53-year-old man was arrested for the murder of Reagan. The man was a family member who had recently been released from prison.

It is so heartbreaking that these boys who had their whole lives ahead of them had those lives cut short unnecessarily by men who should have remained in prison.

If I am stressed about all of these concurrent cluster fecks of chaos, I can’t imagine how people in the informal settlements are going to cope. They don’t have running water in their shacks, they have to share a common stand pipe. They cannot self isolate as they not only live in very close proximity to the surrounding shacks but there are often many people sharing one dwelling.

Many people are daily workers, meaning if they don’t work they don’t have an income. So many others are self employed and do not have sick pay. Many businesses are not of the sort that CAN work from home. They involve manual labor and some mean interaction with clients who may cancel these services until the virus is under control. The impacts are not just to the lives of those who get ill but to the overall economy.

We had such a lovely weekend last weekend but it took me days to recover. I had such leg pain and swelling on Monday and Tuesday. My feet and ankles were like elephant feet. I usually only experience that after traveling so I’m not sure if it was the hours sitting in the car for the road trip or the excess of alcohol and sugar, neither of which I had been consuming the weeks prior to the wedding.

Lily’s videographer posted a little drone clip from the beach as a teaser. I can’t wait to see the whole video of the entire day.

We have been very busy at work implementing and testing changes. I’m enjoying the work we are doing and the team I am working with so that makes it easier.

The client had a team building day on Friday and insisted we attend. It was held in Bishopscourt, one of the wealthiest areas in the city. The property is 2 hectares and the gardens are absolutely stunning with views of the mountains.

The morning was misty so the view was compromised but you can see all of the vineyards over their fruit trees and vegetable garden.

I settled in under a big sun umbrella by the pool, kicked off my shoes and grabbed a coffee and pastry when I arrived.

Some people couldn’t handle the heat and settled into the cosy garden room.

The pool was very large and in the afternoon several people sat with their feet in the cool water while sipping a beer.

I was worried we were going to have workshops, role play, lectures and other nonsense but we just chilled out, chatted, drank and ate. As we are so busy on the project I wasn’t that keen on taking the day off but in the end it turned out to be a very relaxing day in a stunning venue so I was glad I went. Sometimes you increase productivity by taking a bit of a break.

At home we have mostly stuck to low carb with a few exceptions.

Norm made chicken wrapped in bacon, steamed broccoli and a salad with home made blue cheese dressing on Monday.

He roasted a pork fillet with sweet potato and pumpkin the next night but I forgot to snap a pic.

We had take aways a few nights when we had no electricity.

On Friday we cooked together and made our low carb pizza crust. We topped it with home made napoletana sauce, tons of mozzarella cheese, garlic mushrooms, artichoke hearts, green olives and pancetta. I like the pancetta on top so it goes crispy.

Our party animal neighbor had a few women around on Friday night and those hoes were playing trance music at obscene volumes, screaming uncontrollably, cursing loudly and had some colorful laser lights flashing around in the trees by our pool. The music and screaming was so loud we could not hear our own television. We finally resorted to closing all the doors despite the heat and we still could not hear each other or the telly. The neighbor is probably in her 50s but it sounded as if there were a hundred drunk and vulgar teenagers next door. I wanted to scream at her over the fence but Norm wouldn’t allow it. Silly rude cow. (The neighbor, not Norm)

I’m not sure what was happening cosmically on Thursday but I had a bit of a nightmare of a morning. When I got into the car I managed to drop my lunch upside down. Traffic was light so I got to work really early and I was the first person to arrive in the office only to discover that I had no access card, I had left it on my desk. I had to wait outside for about 15 minutes before someone arrived to let me in. Load shedding was in effect so all of the coffee shops were closed except for one. Therefore the queue was right out to reception. Just as I got near the front 2 women appeared and joined the girl in front of me and they ordered all sorts of nonsense and then fought about paying. I wanted to stab those silly queue jumpers with a wooden coffee stirrer.

Rude little mares. (There is a barnyard theme in my interactions this week).

Anyway……I’m more than a little bit on edge.

I have started watching a few new series this week.

First of all, series 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race has started on Netflix and I am so excited! I love Mama Ru and I love this show!

There has already been drama concerning one of the queens but I won’t give anything away in case you don’t know. As always Ru and his girls get 5 Kitten stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

The other ‘watch on my own’ new series I started is ‘I am Not OK With This’.

It is very interesting and not your average teen angst nonsense, it is apparently based on a comic book. I give it a solid 4 Kitten Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

The new series Norm and I are watching together is Goliath. We are watching it on Amazon Prime.

It is quite a good story line. Norm and I love Billy Bob Thornton. I don’t love his dodgy toupee in this show though. William Hurt does a brilliant job playing a creepy psycho in the series. I give it 4 Kitten Stars (the toupee is worth a demerit of a star) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Saturday was a bright and beautiful day and not too overbearingly hot.

Norm took Pixie and Navajo to the vet when we woke up as Navajo has another ear infection and they both needed an inoculation. Panda was not happy he was left behind so I sat on the patio with him to have my coffee.

Lola also wanted her share of attention.

I made toast with peanut butter and honey for breakfast and gave the empty jar to the dogs. First Navajo had a go, then Panda.

It has no added salt or sugar and they love it. It had the added benefit of keeping them amused for a bit too.

We had takeaways for dinner and I had sushi from K1. I had my usual order of prawn roses, salmon roses and cucumber roses topped with prawns.

It was delicious and perfect for a warm summer evening.

Today I went to my drum circle. I had a coffee outside staring at my mountain before I left.

We have been rehearsing for a Dance To Heal The Earth which is scheduled at the end of April but like so many other events it may be postponed. Already several large events in SA such as the International Jazz Festival, AfrikaBurn and the Two Oceans Marathon have been either postponed or cancelled entirely.

Our city relies on the income from these events which are all attended by many international visitors so these decisions to cancel or delay were not taken lightly I am sure. So many businesses will suffer greatly from this pandemic but the precautions are necessary to prevent it wiping out even more people.

It is a period of great uncertainty and I wish you and your loved ones the best of luck in enduring it.

Until next time, hold your loved ones close, keep away from large groups of people, wash your hands and don’t panic.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

One thought on “Plagued with Problems

  1. Pingback: Going Viral | Kitten in the City

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