Frightfully Awful Friday

I was at work today, but I may as well not have been. I woke up to news from Charlie that the ship on which he works has been exposed to COVID-19. Isolation and quarantine are imminent. I am sad, anxious, and unable to concentrate. He was so close to returning home (albeit it to self-isolation here).  

I can only hope that he isn’t infected and that once the mandatory quarantine has passed, the airlines will have resumed their international and regional flights that he can get home.

Statistics show that the fifth week from the first infection is the worst as far as transmission and mortality rates are concerned. South Africa is now entering week two. Does that mean the worst is yet to come? There are countless countries whose scientists are tirelessly working to find a vaccine, so maybe there is hope with some anti-malaria drugs showing positive results in certain test phases.

There are people that are A-symptomatic – this is what scares me the most. What if someone I know has been exposed (through travel or local transmission), and they are a mere carrier of COVID-19. What if it was me and I ended up infecting those close to me and someone died as a result? Would I ever be able to live with that guilt? Honestly, I would not.

As I look at the map daily, I become fearful of where we may end up. It’s not practical to shut the entire planet down for 14 to 21 days, but as far as possible, citizens of the world should heed the warnings.

All I know is, the seriousness of the situation sucker punched me in the gut this morning because someone I genuinely care about has likely been exposed (as someone put it, ‘cruise ships are floating Petri dishes’) and may be sick.

Then I had to deal with plumbing worries. Ever since The Cave flooded back in 2017, I am paranoid about dripping taps. This morning, after my Personality-giving shower, I shut the tap off, and the water kept running. 

Already panicked by Charlie’s news, I fumbled with the tap until I eventually got the water to flow to a small trickle. As a precaution, I shut the main water supply off when I left for work this morning. I’ve contacted my landlord, who says he will repair it upon his upcoming visit in two weeks (this is assuming we are not on a total lockdown by then), but if I can’t live with it, he will organise a plumber. The Toppie going to come around tomorrow and with the help of YouTube, we’ll hopefully be able to get it fixed ourselves.

Nikita got a lift with me to work today because her hubby is on ‘baby-sitting’ duty. I was so pre-occupied with the events of a mere two hours before that I nearly turned in front of an oncoming vehicle. Twice. She asked me if I had a death wish. We made it to the office, both bodies whole, but my mind a little shattered by the angst.

As if the day hadn’t already been turned on its head enough by eight in the morning:

Shortly after 09:00, a friend let me know that a friend of hers’ (with whom I am reasonably well- acquainted) baby girl was stillborn. Her parents had already picked out a name for her. This after a miscarriage about 18 months ago. The dam walls crumbled as my heart broke for her, her husband, and their two daughters, who undoubtedly were excited to welcome their little sister to the world.

I’ve never been pregnant. At a time in my life, about eight or nine years ago, I had a sudden maternal surge. I wanted children. I even considered finding a catalogue dad. In the end, I came to realise that I couldn’t keep my houseplants alive, and the desire to hold a baby of my own disappeared completely.

I’m completely fine with not having children, and if I had to meet a potential partner who didn’t want kids, I’d be okay with it. If I met someone who already had children, I would accept them as my own – the way The Toppie did with me.

My faith is not as grounded as some, but I do believe that there is a Higher Power in charge. In my case, it’s God. If you think otherwise, I don’t judge – I have many friends who are open atheists, and we have great relationships. We can always walk away from a constructive, respectful conversation on good terms.

With that said, I believe God, in His infinite wisdom, has blessed me with many friends who have children so that I can be an ‘aunt’ of sorts because, as an only child, I don’t have siblings. There are Shayla-Rae and Stuart, who bestowed on me the honour to be Lily-Rose’s Godmother. The little Mouse (as I call her) celebrates her crown birthday this year. She turns three on June 3rd.

Eliza and Nathan are close by with their two delightful boys, as are Irene and Zachary with their son, and Jack with his daughter. Carmen and Ewan are now based in New Zealand, but send regular updates of their two boys, as do Ariel and Mike of their son and daughter from Canada to Elizabeth, who passes the news on to me. I do not understand, though why He allows such grief to fall upon anyone. No parent should ever have to bury a child.

Even though I’m not a parent, I know that children spread joy wherever they go, through their innocence, by charging down the passage to give me a genuine greeting, or by their unbridled laughter. My heart breaks to think that a family will not hear the jubilation of their little girl’s (and baby sister) chatter.

I know it is little comfort to those about whom I have written this post, but to parents Edgar, Kaori and big sisters, Alison & Hannah of little Zanta and my friend, Charlie, I’ve lit a candle for you.

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