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Lockdown fatigue and a pandemic of exhaustion

Feeling a bit fatigued by it all? Maybe it is worth remembering that most South Africans are absolutely shattered.

I am a bit weary of the inconvenience of it all, all the mask-wearing (and the regular experience of having to go back to the house before I can go to the park with the dogs or to the supermarket because I forgot to take a mask), paying my char and having to clean the house myself, that sort of thing.

I am also feeling a bit tired of reading and thinking about how so many people around me are absolutely spent and exhausted.

Sometimes I feel that I am also losing the will to fight friends and etc who say, Come on, let’s just have one meet up, we’ve been careful, come over to ours, we have got wine etc.

I don’t like to always be the one who says: The wave is coming guys; Let’s just wait a little bit longer; This is the worst time to drop our guard; I do not want to be part of the problem.

Sometimes my resolve weakens. Today I am grateful for this article (Ferial Haffajee, we love you!), which helped me to shake the dust from my halo.

Indeed, things are indescribably bad for so many people. My little sandcastles of hope and belief and small acts of kindness and charity get wiped out by every wave that hits the beach. But I will keep on keeping on because the difference between us and them, the fatigued and the exhausted, is that we have a choice.

Choice is a beautiful word and a beautiful thing, and I have it. So today I stand again with the people who choose to be part of the solution – stay home, stay safe, help people where you can.

I will buy a few loaves of bread, some peanut butter and a few dozen eggs. I will wash my hands thoroughly, put on my mask and make some sandwiches and boil eggs for the hungry.

Ladles of Love collect sandwiches and hardboiled eggs from Red Sofa Café (a small business in my neighbourhood that can barely keep the lights on but finds a way to help others) a few times a week and distributes them to hungry people. Easy peasy.

It can feel like we are a few skinny little people (one of the few times I feel skinny, which must be celebrated … a little) standing against a tidal wave of trauma, poverty, desperation and the ever-present corruption.

Even before Covid, doing the right thing could feel pretty dam pointless. The odds seem so heavily stacked against our side. But if you are not actively choosing to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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