Awkward Moments

Today is apparently ‘Awkward Moments Day‘. I also found it interesting that it follows St Patrick’s Day – and I am sure we can all guess why (excessive alcohol shenanigans can lead to some pretty awkward moments for some 😛 ).

But in the current state of our world, I am sure many of us are having many of these types of moments. I had one yesterday.

I heard a gentleman cough in the next aisle in the grocery store, and then there was the sound of some things falling off the shelf. As I rounded the corner of the aisle, the gentleman still stood there, and a lady stood a short distance away from him, with a look of horror on her face. She had stepped back straight after he coughed, and had knocked down several of the bottles on the spice shelf with her handbag – a few now lay broken on the floor. The Manager and a staff member, as well as a few others in the store, had all come to see what had happened.

And all of a sudden, I sneezed. With this audience in front of me. Three times! 

The lady with the offending handbag threw her hands up in the air and turned on the Manager, ”I’m going to die of a deadly virus because of your store!” She then stormed off, and we all stood there, looking awkwardly at each other.
(Bearing in mind that at the moment, there are still no reported or confirmed cases in our entire province – SA is divided into provinces, and while there are 60 odd confirmed cases in our country, they remain in other provinces.)
The man shrugged his shoulders and said apologetically, ‘Smokers cough”. I shrugged mine, and pointed at the floor where numerous herbs and spices now lay scattered, and said, ”Pepper”.

There was a moment of silence, perhaps we were all sub-consciously observing the ‘deaths of those bottles’, and then….

We all started laughing. 

One of the other shoppers shrugged and said with a smile, ”Panic sure isn’t going to stop the virus.”

And then we all went on our way to finish our shopping.

But truer words have never been spoken. Panic isn’t going to stop it, and it also isn’t going to help anyone. 

And we’ve had our fair share of panic in our country. Not only do we have the daily stress of the lack of jobs, lack of clean water and people dying due to those factors, we also have the daily concern of crime that is more severe than you could imagine (and gets swept under the rug). Our economy has been crashing for a long time now – it will get worse, and still would have, with or without the virus. And let’s not forget that in 2018 polony tried to kill us here in South Africa! That was frightening for us as a small family – although my children don’t eat polony, we were regular eaters of that brand of cold meat and bacon, and at that stage I was buying Rainbow Chicken products.

I am not making light of this virus that is doing the rounds, please don’t get me wrong. I have a lovely blogging friend who is currently in quarantine because she has it, and although she is struggling, her optimism and levels of hope are encouraging.

I read somewhere that it’s not a case of if you get the virus, it’s a case of when.

Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I still don’t feel panicked. 

There are infinite resources to advise us of how we can be responsible, and naturally I am taking the necessary precautions. But for me personally? I find that being calm, and having hope, and offering encouragement and support can be equally as ‘catchy as the virus’.

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones because of this virus, and to those who are in quarantine because they have contracted it. I am sad for them, and wish I could change all this. Take it away. Turn it into a bad dream and allow us all to wake up and find it wasn’t real.

But it is real. And it is scary. And it is sad.

However, panic isn’t going to help any of us.

I think that as with everything in life, we can only do what we can to change what we can – be aware, and take precautionary measures.

Here’s hoping that you all find a semblance of peace amidst this chaos!