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Guest contributor

I have asked people to share their experiences. Like a colleague of mine, I am personally afraid and locked in. Since out last day at the office I only went out the day before the lockdown to see my parents and buy some veggies from the street vendors. I did a WhatsApp Challenge requesting people to spend a minimum of R100 and maximum of R200 for me to buy them veggies and deliver. I bought corn, cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes, onion, potatoes and fresh chillies and delivered to the contacts that responded, one in Kempton Park and another was in Rosebank. These are people who wanted to contribute towards helping the street venders but would not be able to go to the townships to buy due to various reasons.

Seeing people the day before lockdown was beautiful. We encouraged each other and wished each other well. I have been in my home home, inside the house ever since. Yesterday, someone knocked at our door and we did not open. The reason was simple, social distancing.

These are some of the experiences I have been told about:

According to a BSc graduate in eMdantsane, her mother is a nurse, part of essential services. As such, their mother is more exposed but they try hygiene practices. The graduate generally stays indoors and as such there is no change in lifestyle. She indicated that although the normal buzz is down in the township, there is still some unsupervised movement.
An anonymous resident of Thokoza township, east of Johannesburg, works at Eskom. According to him, the lockdown is a psychological one. Life continues to go on as normal in Thokoza. Some people are social distancing while others continue to move around. The resident has his own reservations and is of the view that people must try as far as possible to not have excess fear about Covid-19. Companies must try to stay focused and work on their mandate.
An anonymous resident in KwaZakhele in Port Elizabeth, says people are trying to stay home but he doesn’t think that this will be sustainable for 21 days. But people want to live again without fear.
A civil engineer living in Bhisho, Eastern Cape, recently gave birth. Although she would be home for maternity, she is particularly afraid for her daughter. She has asked her family that only her and her mother can touch the baby and the baby only stays in the bedroom. This is not welcomed by other family members but she says she is too afraid to put her child’s heath at risk.