Operation Oysterhood: 2-9 July

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

— @HaggardHawks

Friday, 2 July, I passed my breaking point. All the tools I needed to function professionally were taken away from me one after the other (looooong story), and despite making alternative plans and finding temporary solutions, the uphill battle became Sisyphean. And this at a time when, personally, I was facing tough challenges on top of the bloody pandemic and the ruthless third wave. A mild breakdown followed. Not major, because I could still somehow get up the next day after a nearly sleepless, anxiety-ridden night, make a plan with my by then numb brain, and for the next week follow through with it, completing the three projects I felt I could not let down (if at all possible).

Two Karavan Press books are at the printers, latest issue of New Contrast has been distributed.

This weekend, I am still tying up some loose ends, but afterwards, everything else – on the professional front at least – will have to wait until I feel human and sane again. On the personal front, I have to take care of Salieri and myself. We are both not well, but at least I can communicate what is wrong with me. She just refuses to eat and is listless. We are going to the vet later this morning again. My heart breaks seeing her like this.

My love, despite his own challenges, has been a pillar of strength for me. He gave me a bunch of pink and white roses mid-June. The pink ones have all wilted, but the white ones continue strong almost a month later and I see them as a sign of hope, perseverance.

Reasons to rejoice in the past week: my Mom got her second jab (and a new haircut, first since the beginning of the pandemic) – she had two rough days after the second jab, but is okay again; my brother got his first jab – when I told him about my eligibility for a vaccine starting in August, he said: ‘Zuma has been in jail for one day and things are already falling into place!’; sanity won over gaslighting and one of this country’s chief gaslighting experts is behind bars (probably not for long, but it is such a relief to see a little bit of justice being done); I renewed my driver’s and car licenses within an hour (!) in Fish Hoek (the most efficient and friendliest service); AND I am still physically healthy.

The NICD has reported two and a half thousand official Covid-19 deaths in the past week. The infection numbers are through the roof. It is difficult to imagine that level four will not be extended beyond Sunday.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I had to pick up something from my local printer. They are opposite a small Catholic church. During both trips, I witnessed a funeral taking place at the church. A handful of people in masks grieving. How does one grieve at a time when grieving has become a way of life for most of us?

How are any of us still coping? I really don’t know.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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