Update and Comments – 18 April, 2021

Hopefully, some of you noticed that I have added an extra section to my blog called “Coffee and a Chat”. The reason for my starting this is that, on so many occasions, I feel that there is something which, although not earth shattering, happens to appeal to my senses in one way or another. It is often watching a bird or even a small lizard getting on with its day-to-day activities, that gives me a feeling of pleasure, and a reason to be alive in this crazy, confusing world in which we find ourselves currently. Things such as those I have mentioned above may take me just a few sentences to describe or, who knows, something simple may justify a couple of paragraphs. One way or the other, I will be attempting to post on a fairly regular basis, and hence will attempt to prevent writer’s block from paralyzing both my mind as well as my hands!

On a slightly different note, it was such an emotional afternoon watching her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, sitting in the chapel at Windsor Castle, observing her husband’s funeral service. As she arrived at the entrance, she seemed so small and fragile, and one just felt the need for someone to hold her arm and escort her safely to her pew. After all, at 94 years of age, albeit fit and healthy enough to still ride her horses, a stumble could so easily have occurred. Fortunately, nothing untoward did happen. Many of us watching the ceremony must have felt a great sadness just seeing her enduring the service so very alone with her grief.  She has lost not only her long-time beloved husband but a support system which cannot be replaced. Extremely sad indeed.

Well, that’s my bit for today, and I do appreciate knowing that there are a number of readers out there who do seem to enjoy at least some of the writings which are on my blog.

Bye for now and see you on the Magic Roundabout!

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Update and Comments: 18 April 2020 – Lockdown!

Lockdown

I heard the best ever reaction to our lockdown, from my 6 year old grandson. When he was told by his mother that our president had extended the period for our isolation, he apparently was absolutely thrilled, “Oh, great! I love lockdown. I wish we could always have lockdown!” The reason for this euphoria is all due to his parents devoting hours and hours (whilst they still have had to try to work from home) finding exciting and unusual ways to entertain two boys of 6 (going on 7) and 2 (going on 3)years of age.

I imagine that when this is all over, and we are able to return to some semblance of normality, the parents of these two children will breathe a united sigh of relief as they will probably be far less exhausted being back in their respective work environments than they are in their own homes right now. Everything from finger painting, building Lego, making a fort using their bunk beds as well as outdoor furniture, having an indoor obstacle course created for them, bouncing as a family on the trampoline, chasing around the garden, making muffins ….the list goes on and on. They are very lucky to be living in a home where there are parents who are able to give them this kind of attention and also where the fear of having no food to eat is not part of the equation.

At the other end of the continuum are the millions of poor families who suffer so badly whenever anything unexpected takes place. Whether this is bad weather, illness, a collapse in the economy resulting in job losses or, as is the current situation, a previously unknown epidemic, they are the ones who need to be remembered and helped wherever possible. Unfortunately, where a country has an almost collapsed economy the plight of millions of people becomes a bigger problem than the epidemic itself.  It is, however, heartening to hear of the extremely generous donations being made by people such as Nicky and Oppenheimer – R1 billion; Mary Oppenheimer and daughters  – R1 billion;  the Rupert family and Remgro Ltd. – R1 billion; the Motsepe family and associated businesses – R1 billion, as well as R1.5 billion donated by Naspers, part of which will go towards the Solidarity Response Fund established by the government to help limit the lockdown’s impact on the economy and those who are living in poverty.

As is so often the case, there are normal individuals who have put their hands in their pockets to give whatever they are able to afford, as well as giving time to assist where they can, for example sewing masks for local hospitals.   Radio stations have come on board together with big companies in trying to help those suffering the most but only time will tell just how bad the outbreak is going to be and how quickly all the informal workers as well as the self-employed can start working once again and avoid an even greater disaster than the pandemic itself.

The whole world is reeling from the shock of this epidemic and all we can do is to try to remain positive and to keep in touch with others who may be in isolation and alone. A phone call to say that you are thinking about them may make a big difference in their lives at this challenging time, just knowing that someone cares.

Wash your hands, sanitize, wear that mask if you go out, and more than that let’s all try to enjoy the day we have today and hope that tomorrow is here for us all and finds us well and still sane!

Bye for now and see you on the Magic Roundabout!

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