Operation Oysterhood: Day Fifty-Seven

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


My favourite small person in the world has turned five today. This morning, I had a look at his baby pictures of when he was born and sent him birthday greetings via his parents. In return, I received a video of the birthday boy with his cake and his balloons and a photograph of him and his dad. I will never forget the day he was born and I went to the hospital to meet him. A few hours old, he hummed in my arms – it was pure magic. He stole my heart there and then and has had it ever since. A happy day.

Another good night in my own bed and a morning of reading with Salieri. Then, a long productive phone call with an author, a few hours of work at my computer and a visit to our vet (nothing wrong, I just needed to get some stuff for The Cats). I was really impressed with the way they have approached the whole safety first procedure. It was the first space where I really felt completely safe outside my home. Everything took a long time, but I didn’t mind at all – I felt that we all knew that we needed to do this carefully in order to take care of one another. I also went to the post office in the hope of being able to post something, but no – they are open, but mainly for their banking services. No posting of anything. No courier services either. I asked the lady whether there is any indication when these services might resume. She shrugged, ‘Maybe at level three?’


Patience is the one virtue that I have without any doubts. I can and will wait.

People I saw in the streets did not inspire much confidence for our safety. I wonder how many have to die for most of us to realise that Covid-19 is to be taken seriously?

‘They didn’t take it seriously at all. And by the time they took it seriously, it was really very bad.’ Verbatim interview with Dr Margaretha Emma McKerron (born 1895) on 15 December 1987 by Howard Phillips, included in In a Time of Plague: Memories of the ‘Spanish’ Flu Epidemic of 1918 in South Africa (published in 2018).


I keep hearing from friends that they are gradually all finding ways to sustain their drinking habits, so I don’t feel too guilty about writing that this evening has been all about a good meal and a really, really nice wine. And now, I am ready for the weekend.

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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