We interviewed an inhabitant of South Africa in times of Corona. The date of the interview is the 26th of May, 2020. The whole world is in the middle of a pandemic right now and everything is different from how it used to be. We are curious to how people in South Africa are dealing with the situation and that is why we interviewed some people living there. On the news we are reading a lot of things, but the best information is from the people themselves.

I am living with my husband in Retire@Midstream. This is a beautiful village where only 50+ people can live. It is in the Gauteng Province, between Pretoria and Johannesburg. I am a pensioner. My profession was a music teacher and my field of specialization was piano. I am a white South African and I was born here. My ancestors came to South Africa about 1700 from Europe (France and Germany).

Before Corona, our life (from my man and I) was quite peaceful. We could move around as freely as we wanted. But now, our life is very limited. We may do our groceries at the nearest store, but we cannot visit or receive our friends or family. During the first five weeks we could not do our daily walks and that is why we walked fifty times around our own house everyday (25 times in the morning and 25 times in the evening)! Luckily, we can now do our walks again between 06:00 and 18:00. Still, my pilates group and my book club cannot meet.

For me the biggest differences between before Corona and now are in the household, family, friends and movements. Our maid who normally comes once a week, now cannot come anymore. My husband and I have to do all household chores ourselves. We cannot visit or receive our children and grandchildren anymore. We do have a Zoom family meeting with all our children once a week and sometimes some of our grandchildren also attend and that is fantastic! Our children are living all over the world. One is studying in Paris, and another is living in Doha, Qatar and the rest is living across South Africa. They used to live nearby our village and before Corona we could visit each other regularly. Also I cannot visit or receive my friends and the restriction on our movements. For example we cannot go on holiday as planned.

The most important rules in South Africa are wash your hands regularly and use a hand sanitizer. Keep 1.5 meters distance between people and everyone is obligated to wear a face mask everytime you go on the streets. I do feel saver with the rules of the government. Although politics still plays a role, I believe the government is taking good precautions and other measures to manage the pandemic as well as possible.

What I miss the most is my family and my friends. Visiting and receiving our children, grandchildren and our friends. Also I miss my weekly church gatherings such as Sunday worship. What I also miss is drinking tea together with the church members after the worship.

Things that stand out for me are the terrible economic consequences of the lockdown due to the Corona virus. Unemployment is taking huge proportions, people are starving and they are missing the most basic living needs. Also, there are some people who deliberately disregard the rules. Which is terrible, even as the fear of people and the threat of physical contact with others. A positive point that stands out during this crisis are that so many people and groups are coming forward and trying to alleviate the suffering and hardship of others. We are already experiencing the first days of our winter.

The crisis has greatly changed our communication with the outside world - everything is happening digitally. The weekly Zoom meeting with our children (which we find very positive), emails are up for the day, whatsapp messages replace personal conversations, people work off the internet from their homes and no longer go to the office like with some of our children do, some of our grandchildren also receive their schoolwork via the internet, we read magazines and newspapers digitally, my husband, who works as a minister, delivers sermons and devotions via whatsapp to the congregation as church gatherings are prohibited. The personal encounter with people is a great miss. [2]

International Aid & Development - COVID-19
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