Operation Oysterhood: Day Sixty-One

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

@HaggardHawks

I can’t believe that I am reading about tobacco, but here we are. Yesterday ended with the Tobacco Wars and this morning began with them: fascinating stuff, reads like a thriller. The author’s personal story of complicated complicity and deep regret resonates with me in uncanny ways. The rest makes me happy that I’ve never picked up a cigarette. I like lighting candles, braais and fireplaces, but that’s about it.

438

This gorgeous creature came to visit today. Moths are considered messengers of death in many cultures across the world. But I don’t need to turn to symbolism to read the signs. The weeks ahead are spelled out in quite clear letters across the landscape of this city and beyond.

The last time I visited the CTICC, it was Valentine’s Day and I went to see Sue Greeff’s exhibition at the art fair. I find her work stunning. Knowing how much I like it, my love contacted the artist and bought me a beautiful artwork that I took to at the exhibition.

Today, I saw the chilling footage of the hospital for Covid-19 patients established in the CTICC in anticipation of what’s to come. Roughly at the same time as the centre was being considered for this purpose a few weeks ago, I also heard discussions about the identification of suitable spaces for mass graves. There is talk of them again. We are readying ourselves for these hospitalisations and deaths and burials and yet I don’t think that most of us understand what lies ahead.

And I have just read about the places of worship reopening at level three… Really? Really???

The phrase “a nail in the coffin” is all that comes to mind. But there might not even be a coffin. A cardboard box or a shroud might have to suffice.

Very little makes sense any longer. Did I write something about a vision the other day? Forgive me, for I have sinned.

And yet: I see people declaring their ‘religions’ on social media and feeling deprived that they can’t have their nails done, have tea with friends, or see their favourite show live. I get it. Of course it makes sense. Compared to a religious gathering, some of these activities are probably much, much safer.

But for now, I don’t want any of it. Not as long as that new hospital in the CTICC looms large, waiting patiently for our sick and all the prayers that will accompany them when they suffer alone without their loved ones to hold their lonely hands.

I will do anything I can to avoid this fate.

I will love my loved ones in ways that do not put them at risk. I will try to fulfill all my professional obligations as long as I can and as safely as I can. I will perform essential tasks, do essential shopping and walk in the rain. I will cuddle with The Cats. My home, my Family (human and furry) and Friends, have always been my sanctuary – may they continue offering me their hearts for sheltering in place.

We need to take care of one another.

Mother's Day

Today, my brother and I celebrated Mother’s Day with our Miś. She said that all she wanted for Mother’s Day was to be with us, so my brother organised a fancy take-away meal that was delivered to Mom’s home and he was there to receive it when it arrived. Then they set up everything and they connected with me on Skype. We chatted, ate, drank wine and laughed for over two hours together, and the world felt a saner place again.

Our reality doesn’t have to be forever like this, but if we keep it small and safe for long enough, there will be a tomorrow, and the day after, and eventually we will meet again and hug and cry with joy.

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

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

— NICD

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