The best-laid plans go awry

Not one of us can say we were left unscathed by the events of 2020, and most of us breathed a collective sigh of relief as December rolled closer and holidays and time with family and a much -needed break loomed nearer. And then the Covid cases spiked, holidays were cancelled, and family gatherings were postponed.

My family were the same. We cancelled seeing my parents at Christmas as well as our holiday to Knysna. We wanted to avoid contracting Covid at all costs. As Robert Burns said, “the best -laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and shortly after a very low-key new year I found myself struggling to breathe and experiencing fevers like I have never experienced in my life. A Covid test confirmed my suspicions. The two weeks I spent in bed are a blur. I seemed to go from one fever to the next. I got very ill, and it happened very quickly.

It was at night though when I really felt anxious as I struggled to breathe. Things seem so much scarier in the dark of night, and I was left feeling completely vulnerable. And the lack of touch, not being able to hug my husband and children, that was the hardest thing for me. I am so grateful to my family and friends who really supported me through, and I found these practical examples of support so helpful.

  1. Music
    I am a big fan of music; I listen to it all day while I work. A few of my friends each made me playlists to help me calm down when I thought I couldn’t breathe. The playlists ranged from classical music to meditative yoga music. One friend made me a playlist of all our old favourites that we used to party to when we were younger. It brought a huge smile to my face and I really appreciated this gesture.

  2. Dropping off meals
    My husband was left in charge of the household and he did a great job of shopping, cooking, and keeping the household going, but he was very worried and distracted, so it was a welcome relief when friends dropped off meals. My one friend was away so she arranged delivery of a chicken pie from Vicky Sleet catering, which according to my family is the world’s most delicious chicken pie. I mostly declined offers of meals from friends, but in hindsight, I am glad they ignored me and brought meals anyway.

  3. Voice notes, messages and funny memes
    Each morning and throughout the day I received voice notes, messages and funny memes from my friends. These were a welcome relief, and a break from the world of Covid. It was a nice distraction to know what was going on in the world outside.

So, if you do have friends or family members who have Covid try one of the above suggestions. You can be rest assured that the gestures will be hugely appreciated. And if you have been ill and were supported in a particular way by family and friends let us know, as we are always looking for suggestions as to how best support each other.

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