In late March 2020, South Africa declared a state of disaster as the COVID-19 virus hit our shores. We were immediately forced into a new way of living, with strict new rules to help slow the spread. Infograms popped up everywhere from work emails and malls to websites and TV. How to wash your hands for 20 seconds became a popular search on YouTube and sanitizer was a must in your car, your handbag, your kids’ backpacks – literally everywhere! Back then we thought things would go back to normal quickly, but that was not the case. We hit 180 days of lockdown sometime in late September.
Lockdown has been eased quite dramatically since then and South Africa is now on lockdown level one, meaning most of our regular activities have gone back to “normal” again. We can predict some rules, like wearing a facemask, will remain mandatory for months to come and some of us are happy to shop this way forever.
We share a few tips on how to adjust back to normal after lockdown.
Stick to the Rules
Many of us expected that things would eventually to go back to normal – like it was pre-COVID. That is unfortunately not the case. Instead, we have to accept the new normal. We have become accustomed to many new rules, processes and regulations. Laws even changed. People are still getting infected and it is still important to stick to the rules.
According to a Health International article by Michael Faucher, we may find it challenging to adapt, particularly from a mental health perspective, but there are two key points we need to accept which will help make the transition period easier. “First, any restrictions that remain in place are there to protect your health and the wider global community, helping to save lives. Second, view this new normal as a staging post on a journey back towards what life was like before the pandemic”.
Settling in at the Office
Unless your job was an essential service, you most probably worked remotely, from home. This in its own was a major adjustment for many. Making sure you had a fully functional office at home was quite stressful, but we did it and it suited many people’s job description, making it a permanent thing with many of us remaining to work from home. Others, have slowly but surely made it back through the office doors and things are different there too now.
Michael continues “your employer will likely implement social distancing rules and other restrictions in the workplace as per government advice. If you have any queries or concerns, you can ask your manager for more information. Some people may not be able to return to the office straight away if they have specific vulnerabilities to COVID-19, so consider what is best for you as per local public health advice.
If you are back in the office, remember to stay connected to those who may not be, to ensure they still feel part of the team”!
Hanging with Friends and Family
Let’s be honest, many of us broke the rules when it came to visiting friends and especially family during the height of the pandemic. I, for sure, broke a few rules and having said that, following certain precautions did help, and these precautions should most probably stay in place.
Michael advises that we should follow the restrictions put in place in your local community, particularly when it comes to protecting the vulnerable and elderly. “In many countries, there are still restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather in public spaces or restaurants, so you may need to start small and see what works best for your family. One option is to try and meet up in outdoor settings, such as a walk in the park or a bicycle ride, as the evidence points to COVID-19 transmission rates being much lower outdoors in comparison to indoors.
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As lockdown eases up, supporting local businesses is a way to not only get the economy restarted but it makes a real difference in the lives of families and business owners who have put their all into keeping their doors open. Here are some local businesses you can support in the cosy and welcoming city of Bloemfontein that you can support during and after lockdown.
Started by coffee-loving radio presenter turned barista James Kilbourn, Stereo Cafe has been pioneering Bloem coffee culture since opening in 2013. The cafe is currently closed so you can’t run in and grab a delicious cup of coffee on the go but you can order online for delivery and help support staff members Nkosi, Mamello and Nthabi by contributing to the virtual tip jar.
Stereo Cafe has also partnered with fellow Bloemfontein based business, Freshbox to bring you weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables, yoghurt, cheeses, bread and, of course, Stereo roasted coffee.
Jack & Jill’s Food Co.
Jack & Jill’s Food Co. have added their own flavour to home delivery with #RingAndRunDeliveries. You can request to have Jill send the weekly menu to you via WhatsApp or email. To ensure consistent quality, personal service and safety daily orders are limited to 15 so get your order in quick!
Urth Lifestyle Centre
You may be missing a seat among the flowers at Urth Lifestyle Centre but you can enjoy their food delivered to your home. Their hot menu includes curries, peri-peri chicken and beef koftas to share or enjoy all on your own. We suggest checking their online store regularly to see any new additions such as seasonal flowers, seedlings, quirky home decor items and custom design face masks.
Known for stunning clothing, dance and athletic wear, Fancy Fitness is a home-based business who have added masks to their line of products. If you are looking for small-run custom designs that support your neighbours, this is the company to support.
Boet & Sus
Boet & Sus is a “mengelmoes” of beautiful gifts, trinkets and homemade treats. They are not currently open to the public but are definitely a first-stop place to visit once they reopen.
Be Human – Middlewater Farm
Itching to get out once lockdown is over? Be Human – Middlewater Farm just outside the city is the place to go. There is an incredible amount to do for the whole family from the Saturday market, live music shows, festivals, animal farm hotel, splash pool, jumping castles, quad bike riding, hiking trails and game drives. Too tired to drive home? There is even an award-winning hotel and self-catering unit.
Langehoven Boeremark (Farmer’s Market)
The Langehoven Boeremark is a chance for locals to sell their fresh produce, handmade goods and other products. The market is the sole source of income for many stallholders who have taken a knock since the market can currently not take place. Make sure to go out and support it “doors” are reopened.
Angel Hearts – Workshop for People with Disabilities
Angel Hearts is an NPO that supports people with disabilities by creating a space where people can learn to make different decor items and handmade gifts that can be sold. Along with beautifully painted items such as trays and signs, handmade teddy bears, pillows, shoes and bags, the team are currently making unique two-layer masks.
Find more businesses to support here.Read More
The concept of a Grand Tour comes from the 1800s when young, upper-class Englishmen would go on an extended tour of continental Europe to attain new skills, improve themselves and become more cultured. Luckily these days, self-improvement is freely available and there is no need to go to Europe for a Grand Tour. (more…)Read More
Isn’t it always wonderful that during uncertain times, there are always people who can crack a joke! We salute you jokers. It helps us with a good laugh every day. These are some of our favourite COVID-19 sayings during our official South African lockdown. (more…)Read More
Cleanliness is Godliness and that is more relevant now than ever before. COVID-19 has affected over 100-million people around the world, with many countries facing second-waves as they wait for vaccine rollouts to begin. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These can be inhaled by others or it can be left on surfaces where the virus can live for days. From levelling up your handwashing stations to clean-down routines for the family here are our top tips for keeping any virus at bay.
You are going to have to level up your hand-washing stations. Make sure you have handwash or soap handy at all your taps in and around the house. It is recommended that we wash our hands for 20 seconds with any soap. It does not have to be anti-bacterial. Supply paper towels or hand towels that can be used to dry hands off with. Have a small laundry hamper for dirty towels or a bin for used paper towels.
Make sure these handwashing stations are regularly cleaned. Keep alcohol wipes nearby to wipe faucets down regularly.
Focus on cleaning areas that have a lot of traffic like doorknobs and handles, TV remotes, light switches etc. Make sure there is hand sanitizer in these areas. If you are using hand sanitizer, remember that it needs to have at least 60% alcohol to be effective against the Corona Virus.
It’s a good idea to double up this time around, especially after visiting the shops when having to go out of your house for other essentials. Use soap and water to clean surfaces. This removes dirt and germs but does not necessarily kill them. Preferably use a disinfectant after cleaning to kill germs.
It’s a good idea to start a new sanitizing routine for when you or family members get home. As soon as you get home remove your shoes at the door and outer clothing close to a laundry bin so that it can go straight to the wash. After that, it is a good idea to wash hands or even jump in the shower. The Corona Virus is said to attach itself to hair and clothes as well.
Take care when carrying in your grocery bags. It is advised to remove as much packaging as you can. Wash your hands after handling anything from the grocery store.
As mentioned above, you can get COVID-19 from it being on your clothes. If you may have been exposed to the virus you should wash your clothes immediately. You should choose the hottest setting that your clothes can handle and if possible give it a tumble dry afterwards.
The heat is a great friend when combatting any germ or virus. Once you have handled the laundry, it is also recommended that you follow your handwashing and sanitizing routine to ensure your hands are as clean as it can be.
Don’t forget to get the kids in on the daily routines. Let them choose a handsoap they like, sing a favourite song or cite their favourite poem for twenty seconds and make sure the basin is easy to reach if you have littles.
Find more lifestyle tips on the HOMEMAKERS Ideas page.Read More