Covid 19 Lockdown Day 1 27 March 2020

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Although Lockdown officially starts today, my wife had to return from the UK 8 days ago and we went into self-isolation. Effectively we have been in lockdown 8 days already.

From the start I realised I had to do things to keep busy and productive. Boredom is a terrible thing and leads to negativity and I can become very unpleasant when I am bored. I want structure and purpose for my days. Therefore I will learn about meditation, financial trading, read books, take part in conversations on Facebook and keep contact with people via Whatsapp. Reach out to people I know who are on their own. Keep a balance between alone time and social contact. Keep away from negativity. (As the English version is a day or two behind, I have already a few less Facebook contacts).

The church sent out an email suggesting that we Journal. I think it is a good idea. I have never journal-ed before, or even kept a diary. It is new territory. I will write as I think. Or perhaps as if I am sharing my thoughts and feelings with a friend. That sounds easier. Talking to myself is not always a good experience, as I am too hard on myself.

I will add structure to my journaling. I will listen to music, read or recall a section of Scripture and share my feelings and thoughts.

At the beginning of Covid 19 Lockdown, I feel that the old Shepherd’s Psalm (23), is a good place to start.

My music is Tchaikovsky – Hymn of the Cherubim  (embedded below).

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
The LORD is our shepherd we lack nothing.
He makes us lie down in green pastures,
he leads us beside quiet waters, he refreshes our souls.
He guides us along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though we walk through the darkest valley,
we will fear no evil, for you are with us;
your rod and your staff, they comfort us.
You prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.
You anoint our heads with oil; our cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives,
and we will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Last night I lay thinking about my feelings. Uncertainty is definitely a big one. What scares me? What makes me excited? Where does the stress come from?

I am not scared of the virus or my own death, I made peace with that a long time ago.

What scares me, is the economic devastation it is causing. What scares me is the financial impact on small businesses (many of my clients). I know these people and I feel for them. It will affect me, too, but my income is spread over many people. I am afraid for my family – my wife, children, grandchildren, my elderly sisters, friends. And I am one of those who are affected by other people’s suffering, so I do worry about the street guy who pitches up at my door at least one morning a week for coffee and bread. Although the stupidity of some people angers me, I am disturbed by the potential extent of suffering in the informal settlements.  I am worried about our domestic worker and gardener.

I have that same feeling that I so often had as a minister of religion. Words are so cheap. Action counts. Prayer is so easy, and then you walk out of the hospital and leave the person with his cancer. You go to somebody who lost his job, and no matter what you say, he needs a job!  To me, praying is doing. Values are seen in action. I feel powerless because I cannot help.

And as I am translating here, that same guy came around again. He will be able to go into shelter today. I would gladly help at a shelter, but my wife’s  immune system is compromised because of leukemia. My responsibility to her is bigger than to the shelter.  Am I helping?  How can I add value somewhere?

This was my first journal.  Perhaps it means something to somebody somewhere.  And by day 21 I am hopefully a pro!

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