South Africa

Lockdown | Diary of a single, Soweto mom: 'Hitting the shops, long lines and masks'

Lockdown | Diary of a single, Soweto mom: 'Hitting the shops, long lines and masks'

April 4. It's day nine and everyone seems to be over the lockdown.

On Friday afternoon I was forced to head to the shops to buy the essentials I needed. I had last gone shopping just before everyone got paid before the lockdown and I was shocked when I saw a long line at the gate, as only a limited number of customers were allowed in at a time.

For a good 20 minutes I contemplated going back home, convincing myself that I didn't need half the things I went to buy. But I couldn't, because I really needed nappies for my son. So I braved the cold and rain until it was my turn to shop. 

Social distancing was observed throughout and our hands were sanitised upon entrance to the store. Each group of about 20 was given just 15 minutes to shop before another could be allowed in.

I was impressed by the diligence of my Taxify drivers who both wore masks and offered to sanitise my hands immediately after I hopped into the car. In fact, after requesting my rides to and from the shops, both drivers called to inform me that they only take one customer per ride.

But in my neighbourhood, it seems as if people are over this lockdown and are no longer fearful of coronavirus. Throughout the weekend, I stood by my window and all I saw were people going about life as if we're not on lockdown at all.

The sad thing is that most of us here don't have access to quality medical care. So observing the regulations of the lockdown and going out only if there's a genuine need could save many of us from this deadly virus.