Operation Oysterhood: Day Forty-One

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.



A new phrase in our global vocabulary – “corona jerk”: someone who can’t distinguish between a beer and a virus. No sorry, that’s my definition. The actual one is: someone who behaves like a jerk despite knowing that they are endangering others with an infection by, for example, not wearing a mask. In other words, a “selfish fuck”.

I got the first phrase from CNN, the second from Twitter.

Woke up from another nightmare today, the worst kind. And for two hours, I just continued lying in front of the TV with my eyes closed and I listened to stories from around the world, BBC, CNN, Ö3.

The one about a man being shot because he asked someone to comply with his shop’s regulation to wear a mask inside was the one that really got to me. Two women sobbing in disbelief, saying “Over a mask?”

People my age with no underlying issues who had a rough ride with Covid-19 telling of how they survived was also sobering.

But I cried only right at the end. There was a report about professional musicians connecting live online with ICU rooms in the US and playing to patients on ventilators. The musicians can hear the beeps of the life-sustaining machines become calmer and more regular when they start playing their music. Conscious patients can request a playlist. Doctors and nurses can also make requests. It is an initiative by an ICU doctor who used to be a musician before studying medicine. She believes in the healing power of music. But sometimes those live concerts are the last thing that a person hears before they die, alone.

I want to stay healthy for these people, their dedication and kindness.

Coffee. Reading. Then I put on my own domestic goddess outfit and cleaned the bathroom, washed all floors, vacuum cleaned, did laundry. This evening, a pile of ironing is still waiting. Then the other work, at the computer, had to be done. But I allowed myself a break in the sun in the afternoon and the Cats joined me.

I can report that my farming is going well. Potatoes, coriander, and we might be harvesting some catnip after all, although it doesn’t look too promising…

We always knew that the lockdown had the potential of either bringing couples closer together. Or not. I wonder how many more babies than usual have been conceived in the last few weeks, and how many divorces, separations will result from our “togetherness”. But I never thought that with all three Cats being sterilised and elderly, and me being in my forties, we would still get an addition to the family, and this during lockdown! But, we have: we have added an amphibian to the family. I haven’t told the Cats yet, because they will want to eat the latest household member, but I was delighted to get acquainted. I have no idea how they survive the chlorine, but I have always had frogs in the pool, and a few years ago I even participated in a UCT study about urban frog habitats in Cape Town. Soil samples were taken, photographs, etc. I had to do a questionnaire about, among other things, my relationship with frogs. My favourite moment was being shown a photograph of a frog and having to explain my feelings towards the creature. Yep, the things we do for science.


And with my love lockdown-ed far away, maybe frog kissing is the answer? It has worked for other legendary princesses…

What I won’t be kissing anytime soon will be whatever creatures my rotting garbage will start attracting in the next few days. Third attempt to have my bin collected today, but no luck. I am giving up until next Monday.

Grimm The Frog Prince

Another moving blog post today by the wonderful writer, Gail Gilbride. She is managing to keep sane in this insane time, despite fighting breast cancer. I am full of admiration for her resilience and capacity to treasure life’s small miracles. And she can capture it all in such beautiful words. Thank you, dear Gail.

Ironing, TV, sleep, no nightmares.

Yes, I did watch some Wild Earth live safari again. I even did some writing.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Stay at home.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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