Lockdown Chronicles 2020

Dear friends, we miss seeing you in real life! I am writing this post to you where you may be in a similar situation in another town or country, most likely also confined to your home, just to touch base and let you know what we’ve been up to. Also for our kids, who will (hopefully) not remember too much of these strange times in a few years. And strange the times indeed are!

We are at the end of week 4 of lockdown in the Erongo Region, Namibia. Initially it was only two regions that was under lockdown for three weeks, the Erongo and the Khomas region, but some days before the lockdown was to expire on 16 April, it was extended until 5 May 2020, and this time the entire country was included. So far we have only had 16 Corona cases in Namibia, none of which were critical and 7 of which are already recovered. Why the stringent measures of a hard lockdown, you ask? We are not sure. Has it been the country’s saving grace thus far? We are not sure. But yet, here we are, also not sure as to what lies in store for us in the immediate future.

To be honest, we have enjoyed our extended time at home and in each other’s company. It has not been entirely different from how we usually spend our time here, playing and schooling and Nico doing his desktop work when not travelling. But obviously with some real exceptions.

Besides the usual major things for which we are super thankful for, like our good health and food on our table, we are grateful for space and the natural beauty of our surroundings. In Damaraland, the month of April is traditionally a time of thunderstorms (albeit in the far off distance) and mayyyyybe a tiny splattering of rain of our own. Last year we had very little of the either, but this year we got to thoroughly enjoy both the cloudy sunsets as well as sufficient rain for our hyper arid region.

We got to play in the rain. In Damaraland! And even enjoy a little (short-lived) greenery.

As well as a few colder, foggy mornings.

Thankfully, our lockdown included the freedom to keep on exercising outside the way we love to.

The in-house sports committee also organised a nano-Ironman. But because our pool doesn’t allow for more than two lap-swimmers at a time (or that even), we had to split up teams.

First up, Mr Z and Dad competed in heat 1 while Brother cheered like it was the Olympics.

Then Mr V and Mom battled it out in the second heat.

There’s been a whole lot of family baking, cooking and braaiing. Celebrating Namibia’s Independence Day with flag cakes (yes, they are flags!) on 21 March.

After rain there must be pancakes, right?

There has been some proper back yard camping …

On 7 April we experienced the rising of the biggest and brightest super moon of the year. And on 20 April we saw a meteorite, part of the Lyrid shower, crossing our night skies from north to south in a clear, bright, yellow-burning fireball for the longest part of 3 minutes.

I got to run in a short but refreshing rain shower.

Since we haven’t been to Swakop for more than a month, we have had to make do with what we can find in the little U-Save shop that we have in Uis – for which we are immensely grateful! There we can find most everything we need to get along like some basic veggies, yogurt and cheese, canned foods and baking ingredients and all the cleaning products we use (yes, and toilet paper! – I am still baffled how TP has become the token hording item of the COVID-19 outbreak). And treats.

We are not lacking treats! Although not Easter specific (thank Heavens?) we were able to lay our hands on enough sweets to have a decent Easter Egg Hunt. I have been refilling the same basic Easter-goody containers for the past 8 years, although the reusable plastic eggies are now on their last legs. Discovering the (same old) bunny box with a treat hidden inside, Mr Z said: “Mom, we must have a huge stack of these in the garage already!” (uhm, actually only two, my baby)

There was an Easter Egg Hunt.

The month of April is a busy one in the Scholtz house, with Easter and two birthdays that get to be celebrated! Mr V turned 7 a few days after Easter, and the Hubs had his birthday on the 21st. This year, sans friends to invite to a birthday party or any sort of prezzies shopped, we had to be extra creative in making everyone feel special. I hope we succeeded.

Luckily we had balloons! Brother’s gift to li’l bro was a card that he typed in which he grants him 20 minutes each day on his bike. Dad made him a special video of highlights of his 7 years that we all watched on the TV. Mom made him a collage of photos of himself doing big boy stuff, and we watched all the special messages from friends and family on the TV.

Mr Z and mom’s attempt at a camping cake, as per request.

There was some bike sharing, indeed …

Hubby enjoyed his birthday exactly the way he prefers: quietly at home with his besties and cake. Guess what colour balloons we had left in the stash … (thank goodness)

We launched another attempt at growing our own vegetables…

Some more braaiing and camping as part of birthday celebrations.

During this time we are even more grateful than usual for reliable internet and being able to contact friends and family. Without it this time would have been a whole different scenario. Two of our parents had health issues during the lockdown already, while our parents in the Kavango had to deal with a threatening flood. Thank goodness all of the situations had more or less positive outcomes, and we are incredibly thankful that we were able to stay in touch with them through it all.

Whether it is the African way to deal with disaster or not (I suspect it is more international, considering the the Dadosaur clips for one), but I have never seen so many funny memes and videos than since the outbreak of Corona. And not to disregard or to sound insensitive to anyone’s struggles and fears and hardships, of which I know there are plenty, but I don’t believe I am alone when I say I think laughter is the shortest way to a fresh and positive outlook. During these times of isolation I have come to appreciate people who have been able to balance the fine act of being both sensitive and not unnecessarily letting things get the better of them. Life is too precious and short for that.

In a few days we will hopefully know what our immediate future will look like regarding the (partial) alleviation of the lockdown. Until then, everyday is Friday in our house. We hope everyone is safe and exactly where they need to be.

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