Why my heart is sad…

South Africa is on a 21 day lockdown. It began at midnight on Thursday night.

To be completely honest, I doubted our countries ability to follow through with this. But in my area, they’re being really strict about it. A friend went to buy bread yesterday, and was stopped by the police – questioned as to why he was out, and then his registration number was taken down. He was warned that he was not allowed out again yesterday – and that he needed to be quick about his bread trip. I’m sort of impressed.
They’ve limited all movement – you may not walk your dog, the beaches are closed, you may not leave your house for any form of physical exercise, even if you’re wearing a mask.

Unfortunately, I woke up yesterday to confirmed reports in my area of eleven house break ins between midnight and 5am – that’s a lot for an area where there are only about 9000 of us living (total population is about 13 000, but the balance reside in an informal settlement.)
As I suspected, despite these strict measures in place, crime is on the rise.

Because we’re a people where the majority live below the poverty line. Our unemployment rate is higher than anywhere else. Many don’t have access to social media or television. They didn’t know about the proposed lock down until they got to work on Tuesday. There are a lot of casual labourers who now have no income whatsoever – and were living hand to mouth anyway on the days they were able to work. It’s heartbreaking. In a place where people are already hungry, and struggling to survive, this was like a death sentence.
There will be no government assistance for individuals or small businesses.
Us self employed people? You just gotta make it work.

Domestic abuse and child rape is alarmingly high here. I feel ill about the 21 day lock down.

Then the government announced on Thursday morning that Thursday would be the last day you could purchase cigarettes and alcohol for this lock down period. And my little area went wild. Alcohol is a big coping mechanism around here – and although I have never been one to turn to it, for some reason I get it.
But here’s where things got nasty.
Because suddenly, instead of buying food to see them through, way too many spent their wages or the stipend they received on stocking up on alcohol to see them through. When you’re an individual, then sure, that’s your choice. When you have a family? They’re paying a price I don’t even want to think about.
Then my mind wandered to the alcoholics with families who just didn’t have the money to stock up at all. What happens when they go cold turkey?

And all these things? They pretty much knocked the wind out of my sails yesterday.

I know these are not MY decisions or choices.
I know I am not responsible for any of it.
I know that ‘carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders’ is a very heavy burden that I should not be trying to bear.
I know that this has nothing to do with me personally. (I may still be affected by the rise in crime, but I am safer than most.)

My heart aches anyway. And I cry despite that knowledge. And I still wish I could do something to change it all.

But all I can do is stay at home, and pray really hard, for my fellow man out there – despite his/her skin colour, sexual orientation, poor life choices etc etc etc.

I know that this is not a very encouraging post to read. I know that this is a little bit unlike me. However, I also know that being honest about the impacts of the virus and not just the virus itself can also lead to an increase in awareness of those around us, and the need to pray, for those who do.

Please do check back tomorrow – my feelings will still be the same, but I promise that I will write something more uplifting ❤

7 thoughts on “Why my heart is sad…

  1. Oh Meg! My heart break with yours for those in your area in poverty during the lock down. The desperate families and those who will be going without food and basic needs and those who fear more abuse and crime. I am praying for the Lord to hedge you in His protection and for His grace to be over South Africa. May God be protecting the most vulnerable and bring rays of hope amidst troubling and uncertain times. My your heart be lighter as you lift up the people around you that are hurting the most. Blessings on you ❤️🙏❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow Megs, I’m so sorry. And I perfectly understand what you were saying at the end. Of course you can’t help but feel bad for those people, and it sounds like there will be a lot of suffering, a lot more than normal. Perhaps it will become easier to deal with as the days go on. I find myself worrying a bit less acutely for the rest of the world as the days go by.

    There is some solace in the fact that the government is taking the lockdown so seriously. Because you can’t afford an epidemic there, of course, so you need such strict measures. We have such a namby pamby society here, that they wouldn’t dream of trying such lockdown measures. Yet that’s what countries should be doing, as China did!

    I’ll be here supporting you however I can. Praying for you and your family to stay safe 💙.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Meg,
    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on this post if only because it helps raise awareness of the issues that has a country and an individual that you face.
    I know that there is a God who will right the wrongs in the world and protect his people has he always has done.
    I hope that one day the South African Government will be brought to account by the government’s of the Western world who talk so much about freedom and liberty and human rights.
    I having been 22 years sober know how difficult life was when I had access to alcohol however my daughter pointed out to me last night that I would struggle today if I couldn’t find my favourite tipple.
    I hope that you and your family remain safe and well and my thoughts and prayers reach out to you as a family 👪 but also to those affected by the choices that they make within your country and the Politicians who make decisions sometimes without any real knowledge or understanding of a situation.
    Stay safe and well during these difficult times ahead 🤗 ♥️ 🙏🌹

    Liked by 1 person

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