Coronavirus: I am not crazy, I am a practical mother

Hello Baby Born!
Super Mawi On The Case!

Annoyed. That’s the one word that I can say I have felt over the last three weeks. Everyone telling me I am overreacting and today I finally decided enough was enough, I wrote my petty little 2 cents of ‘I told you so’ on Instagram and I inhaled. Deeply. I did not care that some will hate it and some will love it. I have always been genuine. You see, the world has gone into a spiral because of this novel Coronavirus, but on Monday the 23rd of March, 2020 (last night), President Cyril Ramaphosa did something that will amaze me for years to come. He announced that South Africa would go into a strict, 21 day lockdown. Everyone is to stay in their homes. I am not here to talk about the social and economic implications of this, I am well aware- you can put your blazing guns away. My point today is we have to keep ourselves and our families safe. Coronavirus is not a joke or the flu like our circulated images and posts proclaim. It is very, very serious.

Dear Mambo,

Let me start by telling you that the world was never ready for this new Coronavirus, Covid-19. It is a terrible, worldwide scourge that in just 3.5 months has seen over 400,000 people infected and almost 20,000 deaths, including someone I knew and respected. No one is safe.

In the beginning everyone as comparing it to SARS and Swine Flu, I personally have believed we were dealing with a different beast from the beginning. I was watching the patterns of the spread and identifying issues that we have in African in general- weak infrastructure, lack of medical staff, crowding in urban areas, lack of effective communication channels, basic human behaviour- the list is endless. I asked your dad two weeks ago to stop going to his local drinking spot, which he did, and asked your grandmother to work from home. I did what I do best, I spoke. To anyone and everyone. Would anyone listen? A story for another day.

My story today is you. It is how I am trying to keep you safe. It is why at 11pm I am up writing this, because I have been thinking about it for weeks.

Here are the precautions I have taken to keep you safe for the last three weeks:

  1. I pulled you out of school 2 and a half weeks ago and stopped all playdates.
  2. No galavanting outdoors unless it’s our backyard which we are very fortunate to have.
  3. Walks in the neighbourhood to keep you from losing your mind.
  4. You wash your hands pretty much every hour.
  5. Two baths a day in Dettol- which basically ensures that you have had a full body wash-down and have changed your clothes at least that often.
  6. I change my clothes every time I return from the outside world and I shower if I have been out all day.
  7. We are wiping everything in the house down with Jik (bleach)- I mean all food that we buy, all the counters and tables, the couch and pretty much everything you touch.
  8. You are taking vitamins daily, just like the rest of us.
  9. My workplace was kind enough to let us start working from home since last week, so I have been staying put with your dad. I can’t say the same for your gran. After the lockdown announcement yesterday though she has stayed home (finally). Yes. It took the president.
  10. We are wiping all your toys down regularly and keeping you fully clothed so you do not get sick.

So at this point I am going to mention one thing. You have been sick and hospitalised twice in your (almost) 3 years. The second time you battled Swineflu AND a mild pneumonia at the same damn time. At home. With Panado. Stress. I had to call the hospital countless times when you were not getting better until they finally asked us to come and be admitted because finally (4 days after they tested) had your results- do not even get me started on the private medical system in South Africa. Just. wow.

So you see Mambo. I have already danced this jig twice. This time, I have had warning, and if anything should happen to us, it will not be for lack of trying to keep you safe, at all costs. I have been told not to panic so many times over the lsat three weeks, and my frustration is that my needing to be prepared and safe has been misconstrued as ‘panic’, when in reality, I am just being practical. Stay at home, be safe, that is all. There is no need to name call, I am not panicking. In fact I am very calm because I have been watching and I can see how people have survived- they stayed home. And if my ‘panicking’ saves you and this family from a single sniffle at the end of the day, I can tell you one thing with all the honesty in the world- I will not regret it.

After this lockdown announcement though, just let one more person call me panicking, overbearing or crazy. Just. One. More. Person.

You are my all,



  1. Jess says:

    This is good and true!!!! I love it people really aint taking this serious I witnessed you taking Mambo out of school before a lot of people were aware of this i think you really spot on and too alert !!!stay safe❤️❤️❤️

  2. Philip Chambati says:

    You are so right. We had to complain to the MD when they had told us to keep working yet they had closed for students. Better to be vigilant than sorry.

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