Day 123: Wyn vir die Pyn (Wine for the Pain)

If there was a Pandemic Prevention Olympics, South Africa would be on the podium taking gold medals by the barrel full. We’ve had the longest #Coronavirus lockdown in the world.

Yesterday marked day 122 of the South African lockdown. That means that for one third of this year we’ve been trying to flatten the curve, yet infections continue to rise by over 10K a day.

South Africa is also excelling at other things in the world:

It is the only country in the world that has imposed a tobacco ban in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. There is a shitload of flawed logic behind this move, but it is highly unlikely that corrupt officials are not benefiting from the illicit cigarette and tobacco sales.

Also, SA is the only non-Muslim country in the world that has banned alcohol. The apparent reason for this is that too many hospital beds are being taken up by people affected either directly or indirectly by people who abuse alcohol.

In both instances, there are products available to those few who have disposable capital to indulge in their vices that are being sold at exorbitantly inflated prices. Then there are those who can ill afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on booze and ciggies but do it anyway – often at the expense of important things like food. I don’t fall into either of these categories, but sometimes I do feel like indulging in the joy of trampled grapes, which I’ll discuss further in a bit.

My anxiety levels are through the roof again. They have been for some time. I have the concentration span of a gnat and my heart races so often now that I don’t even bother about it anymore. The night sweats are the worst though. Waking up feeling like I’ve just got out of the shower, except I haven’t, I smell bad, my hair is stuck to my face, I sometimes can’t breathe, and the vivid pictures that cloud my mind feel tangibly real. I spend many a day washing bed linens, willing them to dry, put them back on the bed, only for them to be back in the washer the next day. The last time I started having anxiety attacks, they multiplied into a major depressive episode. I can’t deal with that again. Even if I could, I don’t want to. Usually, I’m quite good at keeping the hauntings hidden, but some people are picking up on it. It’s only a matter of time before the proverbial cat is out the bag.

Anyway, let me retrace my steps back to wine…

On Saturday I went to the farm to visit Shayla-Rae, her hubby, her mum, and my goddaughter, Lily-Rose. Being on the homestead with my childhood best friend is a form of therapy. We had a small braai, but there wasn’t enough wine left in the pre-with-immediate-effect-box for both of us, so she let me have it. She went searching for something to drink and found a bottle of French red wine, 8 years older than us. If you’re not good at mental arithmetic, it was a 1972 vintage.

We expected the wine to be corked, but it wasn’t. The stopper came out smoothly and a glass was poured. It smelled rather sweet, almost honey-like, although it wasn’t excessively fruity on the palate. We drank the entire bottle. Unfortunately, the back label had completely disintegrated over time, so we couldn’t get any information about the wine, the vineyards or the winemakers, but the front one was still in superb condition.

At least if I suffer an untimely death, I can tick off drinking proper French wine (older than me to boot) off my bucket list.

But, until I die (which has been on my mind quite a lot lately 😔😢🥺), I shall clink a virtual glass with all of you and toast to good health.

À Votre Santé!🍷

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