Tuesday 7 April 2020

Lockdown is hard on some people

In case you didn't know, South Africa (along with most of the world) is currently in lockdown to help flatten the curve and curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. At the time of this writing, the lockdown is slated to end on 16 April 2020.

For the most part, I’ve been enjoying lockdown immensely. 

I’ve always been an introverted loner at heart, so the prospect of not being ALLOWED to go out and interact with people, even if I wanted to, has been strangely comforting to me. It’s renewed my soul, recharged my batteries, and is rekindling passions which have dwindled to little more than embers in recent months and years. 

But I’m also acutely aware that I have friends and family members who aren’t like me, and for whom lockdown feels like the worst punishment.

These are friends who thrive on physical human interaction, for whom video just isn’t enough. Friends who maybe even live alone—I can imagine just how terrible that must be. 

Or friends who, unlike me, aren’t lucky enough to live in free-standing houses with private outdoor areas that they can spend time in in seclusion, and still be more than a safe distance from their neighbours. 

Or divorced friends who are used to seeing their kids every second weekend and now aren’t sure when they’ll have physical contact again (bearing in mind that it’s entirely possible they’ll extend our lockdown way past 16 April). 

Or who’ve had loved ones pass away in other provinces or countries, and can’t attend funerals, or even be there to comfort and be comforted by their families. 

Or what about people who have to live with people who drive them crazy? Maybe it’s housemates... but maybe it’s even family; we love our spouses, children, and parents, but sometimes we can only handle them in small doses! 

Or (God forbid) friends who’ve either been diagnosed with the virus, or know people who have, and now find themselves scared and alone, with no idea what to expect. 

To all those friends and family who, for whatever reason, are having a terrible experience under lockdown, I need to tell you that I’m sorry for my selfishness.

And if you have any friends or family like that, please reach out to them. We introverts, we natural hermits, can often forget just how difficult it is for our extroverted friends. Pick up the phone (however much you may hate talking on the phone. I know I do.), give them a call. Find out if they're all right.

I promise you, they'll thank you for it!