Continuing with our stories and reflections from people describing their life during lockdown experience. Yesterday we heard from Debbie Hutton and today we are moving on to my friend Juliet:

My Name is Jules (Juliet) and I am a lover of Jesus and people and currently an extrovert potentially transitioning into an introvert.

 [1] My experience of lockdown so far?

My experience during lockdown has had its good days and not so good days. I like structure and plans, so I try my best to work things out and plan what is possible. Structure helps me to process the day and all that needs to be done. Pretty much everything takes place in my room, workout, working, studying, sleeping, etc.

Apart from that, I live with people over 60 so I have been the designated person to make shopping trips. I have been trying keep my going out and coming in as routine as far as possible. In this lockdown period I have also become increasingly aware for the need to be responsible and adopt new behavioural habits that protect others and myself. For example: I miss hugs but my dad and I do a foot tap every morning and have a little giggle.

[2] What are some of the ways [if any] that you have felt connected to people during this time?

I generally check in on my friends and family on a regular basis so I’ve been doing more of that. I am trying to be more intentional in these interactions, to find out how people are really doing. Because honestly not all of us are fine. Being mostly an extrovert I have found it challenging not being able to physically interacting with people but I try to make the best of the current situation.

[3] What am I most anxious or fearful about right now?

I am fearful for the vulnerable at this time, especially children and others who can’t escape unsafe spaces. I am fearful that we may miss opportunities afforded to us at this time as a country, like seriously rethinking the inclusivity of economic participation. There are too many South Africans who have not been able, (even before the lockdown) to access opportunities while keeping their dignity.

Working from home is a blessing and a challenge at the same time. My production levels are different (I tend to work more) and I am anxious about boundaries between work and home.

[4] What is something [some of the things] that has felt really positive/uplifting/inspiring to you during lockdown?

The things that have helped me feel inspired are my church community. I’m so grateful that we can connect on Zoom every week. They help me keep a healthy perspective in this very uncertain time. I also have an amazing group of friends. We have always been in the habit of encouraging one another to pursue our dreams and keep each other grounded.

So having built such relationships has been a critical element in getting through this time. These are safe people who are fine with my crazy moments and help me process the challenges of life and vice versa. It has also been cool getting to know my folks better during this time and learning how to communicate better with them.

A Bonus piece of advice for my fellow South Africans at this time:

Take care of yourself and those around you. We all need each other to get through this.

Thanks so much, Jules, for sharing with us.

[To hear the reflections of Mary-Louise, financial aid analyst, click here]