The novel coronavirus, named Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation, is raging in South Africa and across the world. This is a time of extreme danger, and so governments have generally responded with urgency, albeit to varying degrees.

Because South Africa is a country still grappling with vast inequalities, there are some who will hardly be affected by the virus, and many others that will be hit hard.

Our Lockdown Life blog gathers personal accounts from people living under the initial 21-day lockdown, which came into force at midnight on 26 March and was due to end at midnight on 16 April but was extended for another two weeks until midnight on 30 April. South Africa is currently at a level 4 lockdown situation, with level 1 being the least restrictive.

Our contributors are located in several provinces and their environments range from the inner city and suburbs to townships and rural areas.

#LockdownLife rules of participation

We will keep adding to this gripping and moving account of South Africans’ everyday experiences with this unprecedented crisis.

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Bribe money

All support to CW for all you've done for South Africa

Merle Payne, a Limpopo resident, shares her story of how difficult it is to access the Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme from Unemployment Insurance Fund for her employees even though she has been contributing to the fund.
A man walking alone at night

The days of corona - when simply walking is risky

Walking home one night, a resident of Braamfontein wonders whether Covid-19 or muggers is the greater risk.
Corruption Watch schools report

Groups, NGOs bemoan plans to reopen schools

Concerned groups have demanded that the Department of Basic Education reconsider its plans to reopen schools for grade 7 and 12 learners. Education minister Angie Motshekga said schools would reopen on 1 June, but faces stiff resistance to this move.

Covid-19 has worsened an already tough situation

An unemployed father of four shares his personal experience on how the coronavirus has impacted his livelihood.

Give small business opportunities

A small business owner is appealing to the government to give him and other business people opportunities.
A road in South Africa stretches to the horizon

Busting the curfew to get home

A Johannesburg resident who had been in Durban since lockdown began, shares his experience of trying to get back to Gauteng before the interprovincial travel window closed.

Load shedding blues for some communities

A resident from Govan Mbeki Municipality in Mpumalanga shares her experience during the lockdown.

"The people are starving, many families are out of food"

Residents share their struggle for access to food during the lockdown. Their pain is the pain of millions.
A person smoking some kind of drug

Drugs an extra element of danger in Covid-19 pandemic

A resident expresses fears that drug users will spread Covid-19 in their area.

"We are helpless and the corruption is killing us!"

A resident of Ext 28, in Vosloorus shares how accessing food aid during the national lockdown has been a struggle for him and his community.
A tap with no water

Corruption means no fresh water, no explanation

A resident of Elandskraal Village in Limpopo struggles to get fresh water.

Food parcel distribution falls prey to corruption

Complaints and allegations of food parcel corruption have been leveled against ward councillors and families that are should not be benefiting from government's food parcel programme.
Young woman doing yoga

Living under lockdown: 2020 AC (After Corona)

A young mother reveals the trials of trying to exercise in lockdown, with two small children.

Keep fit and eat healthy during the lockdown

Professional footballer Lucky Mkhosana, originally from Zimbabwe and now resident in Florida, US, encourages people to stay fit during lockdown.

Community realities during the lockdown

Residents of Soshanguve, Phalaborwa and KwaZulu-Natal, share their experiences during the national lockdown.

Food distribution turns dangerous

A volunteer helping distribute food parcels gets caught in a violent situation.

Our Facebook family members speak up

Our Facebook family shared their personal experiences regarding the national lockdown with us.

"Our community obeys the law"

Residents of Chatsworth, in Durban, share their experiences during the national lockdown.

Lockdown life. Ja neh.

Soraya Ebrahim Kathrada, an elderly woman who lives with her husband in Vryheid, KZN.
Brick wall

"Since lockdown, I found myself walking into a wall"

A pensioner in Port Elizabeth.

Rebellious kids make the job harder

A child and youth care worker shares her experiences with children who don't understand the lockdown.

Irresponsibility puts the elderly at risk

A Pretoria-based resident.

Challenges beyond the virus

A resident of Alexandra township.
Two-storey community housing

Fear and uncertainty in mining communities

A lawyer specialising in the extractives sector.
Water supply

Covid-19 and a tale of two countries

A journalist based in Johannesburg.

Ordinary people are real heroes too

A resident of Roosevelt Park extension, a suburb in Johannesburg's north-west,

In an ideal system we’d all be ok

A resident of Mayfair West, a suburb of Johannesburg.

The calm before the storm?

An intern at Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg.

Everything in order but nothing feels normal

A resident in Cape Town's southern suburbs.
N95 protective mask

Covid-19 - stockpilers beware, karma can be unkind!

A resident in Randburg. north-west of Johannesburg.
South Africa township

Seeing people the day before lockdown was beautiful

A resident in Johannesburg.
Informal traders in the city centre

Uncertainty is the biggest challenge

A resident in the Johannesburg CBD.
Tembisa Hospital

Lockdown in Tembisa

A resident in the township of Tembisa.
Glenvista suburb satellite view

It's all quiet in Jhb's southern suburbs

A resident in Glenvista in the Johannesburg southern suburbs.
Schoolgirls playing

The education department must act to curb infection

A learner in a primary school in Gauteng.
South African township

Lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic

A resident in Tembisa township, north of Johannesburg.
Queue for social grants in Tzaneen

Break the Covid-19 stigma

A resident in Cosmo City, west of Johannesburg.
Question marks

Covid-19 - some personal musings and impressions

A resident of a Randburg suburb.