Operation Oysterhood: Day Fifty-Two

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


The Cats and I spent the evening yesterday watching a wonderful documentary on Luciano Pavarotti. I love opera, but Pavarotti was ‘before my time’, and the documentary put his name into context and was enlightening in all kinds of other ways. Loved it.

I slept through the night in my bedroom bed. Yay! The nights are getting colder and my home is turning into its own winter version: a fridge. Soon, for about three months, we will be experiencing temperatures of about thirteen degrees Celsius in the house, unless I light a fire in one of the fireplaces to make a room more bearable. My TV bed doesn’t have an electric blanket, and my hot love is all alone in his own bed across town, so my feet take forever to heat up without help. In the next two weeks or so I will have to move permanently into the bedroom and reserve the TV bed for insomnia emergencies only.

It was a remarkable period, not only because of the high mortality but because, on occasion at least, South Africans rallied round to help one another in a way that has not occurred since.

There were ‘sorrows in the air.’

… was the most lethal runaway disease outbreak in the country’s history.

In effect South Africa was a country under siege. Cape Town’s main streets ‘are almost deserted in the middle of the day’, observed an awed journalist. ‘Business has become quite a secondary consideration, and sight seeing and amusements have lost all attraction … Cape Town is like a city in mourning … and nothing is talked of or thought about other than Influenza.’

In the face of the terrifying crisis, assistance across the deep barriers of race and class flourished briefly as the interdependence of everyone’s health was made abundantly clear. When it came to health, no man, woman or child was an island.

Recurrent in their recollections are words and phrases like ‘bodies wrapped in blankets’, ‘carts’, ‘coffins’, ‘mass graves’, ‘soup kitchens’, ‘pulling together’, ‘pitching in’ and ‘co-operation’.

As one of them remembered, ‘Cape Town was a veritable city of the dead.’

Excerpts from In a Time of Plague: Memories of the ‘Spanish’ Flu Epidemic of 1918 in South Africa by Howard Phillips (2018).

It is uncanny to read this book NOW.

BTW: I love – LOVE – book ribbons! In a Time of Plague has one :)

Bundesliga_social distancing

I should have been watching ‘my’ new team, Bayern München, tonight, but DStv has not delivered and I am not desperate enough to connect to other sources. I had a look at Twitter a few times just to see what’s happening on the field:


Also saw this:

BeerI could say, ‘Rub it in!’ But I am going to be all smug with my one remaining can of beer and my popcorn, and try live Korean baseball instead. Ha!

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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