It’s taken me a little longer than I planned to write another post, not because nothing has been going on, but because too much has been going on! All you people talking about being bored, or about how we should all be doing fitness challenges, or learning a new skill, or baking up a storm, or even reading more during lockdown, please know that some of us don’t have more time on our hands, we have even less than usual!
Today was the first time I have ventured out since lockdown began last week Thursday. In fact, I haven’t left my house since last Tuesday afternoon, so I was interested to see what it would be like out there. I needed to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, and to Woolies to get a few groceries. I was actually a little nervous as I drove out of my complex, not knowing what to expect. I know someone on my neighbourhood WhatsApp group was stopped by the police last week when she went to buy groceries, and asked to explain why she was out and about, and I also wasn’t sure what the situation would be at the various shops in terms of crowds and access. It’s quite weird when you live in a complex, because you are honestly completely cut off from the outside world – you can’t see into the street to see whether there’s still traffic or people on the streets, so it’s hard to picture what’s really happening out there during lockdown. I probably shouldn’t have watched Zombieland (one and two) last weekend. Anyway.
So off I drove, and the streets were definitely very quiet, but not as quiet as I would have expected. There were still a fair few cars around at some junctions (although absolutely none at others), and a couple of pedestrians on the street. To be fair, lunchtime on a Friday was probably not the best time to attempt this little outing, but it was really the first opportunity I had. My first stop was my local Clicks pharmacy, which is in a pretty small shopping centre, and there were only a handful of cars in the carpark. No queue to get into the shop, and bottles of sanitiser to sanitise hands waiting at the door before you could enter. At the dispensary, there was a short queue of people, and crosses taped onto the floor to encourage people to keep their social distance (which everyone did). There was also barrier tape set up to maintain distance between the pharmacists and customers. Everyone was friendly, the queue moved quickly, and since I put my prescription through my medical aid, I didn’t have to wait in another queue to pay. So that part was quick and painless.
Feeling a lot more confident about the whole situation, I then set off to buy groceries. My first attempt was a really big Woolworths food store, about 3km from my house. Mistake. The queue to get into the store was epic. I didn’t even park, I just drove straight out of the parking lot and went to my local Woolies food store, which has a much smaller selection alas, but I thought it might attract fewer customers. There was still a queue to get in, with everyone maintaining social distancing while they waited, but it wasn’t long before it was my turn to go in. And guys, that’s when I panic bought. I don’t mean I stockpiled, I mean I was so conscious of all the people waiting outside to get in (the queue was growing by the minute) and of the limited time I had before I needed to get back to work, that I shopped like I was on one of those trolley dash programmes. I’m not even sure what I bought. What I am sure of is that many, many of the shelves were bare. There was literally not one loaf of bread. Hardly any fruit or vegetables. Very little fresh meat. Again, there were social distancing decals on the floor and the tellers were all being super lovely. Mine whispered to me that I should try Checkers, as they may have more stock. Pfft. I wasn’t even going to consider the possibility of another queue, even though I’d only been out of the house for under an hour at this point.
But I did need bread. So, I popped into the petrol station in my road on my way home to buy some. Then I thought, I can’t just buy bread here. (Why not? I don’t know). So I bought chocolate. Like five slabs. The guy ringing up my purchase thought I was hilarious. He kept saying “So much chocolate, soooo much chocolate!” Then he asked if it was all for this weekend, and when I said no, for the next two weeks at least, I’m not coming back, he seemed pretty sceptical. To be fair, he may not be wrong. These are interesting times, and if I decide to eat five slabs of chocolate this weekend, the fitness challenge people can just jog the fuck on. In the comfort of their lounges of course.