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Puleng Zacharia (South Africa)

August 2020, I have lost count of the number of days that have passed by since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country-wide lockdown. I live alone with my furball Bambi, but in the first week of August I made a decision to acquire another furbaby, a pure-bred husky with heterochromia eye condition. Why? because Bambi seemed lonely having to watch me work from home yet barely had time to play fetch with her. It must seem strange for her that I was home but never truly available for playtime. I hoped that getting Tyson will help as she has someone to play with while I focused on my work, teaching online and tried in desperation to make headway with my thesis.

See, I teach at one of the well-known institutions and unfortunately with the lock-down, the students have had so many assignments that I find myself almost always having to stay on my laptop to moderate their submissions. If I’m not marking I’m trying to work on my thesis which was proving to be a bit of a headache as I had decided to design my own project instead of having one assigned to me (big mistake I have come to realise!).

I haven’t seen any friends for fear of catching the virus, and like the rest of the country, I was hopeful that the first 21 day lock-down would prove sufficient to contain the spread. Boy, was I wrong! I miss my friends, going to the movies or simply driving home, which is what I would do whenever I felt stressed. I did try once to go to Maseru, drove all the way to the border under the guise that I had some urgent business I needed to conduct in Masianokeng, they wouldn’t let me into the country. On the bright side though, that was a long overdue and quite fulfilling drive.

We are now in level 2 lock-down, I have found a way to go home but I’m too scared to risk it as Lesotho’s numbers are steadily rising. We seem to be stuck on a perpetual game of Russian Roulette_die of the COVID19 infection or depression due to lack of our usual coping mechanisms…. I choose death by exposure to the night’s cold as house training a 2 month old puppy requires one to be outside every 2 hours or so for potty-training.

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