21 Days in Self Isolation

20 April 2020 | It is almost a month since my trip to Nairobi, Kenya was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To think I was on the “ If I dieI die tip”, eager to travel and escape Lesotho by any means necessary. I was not concerned about the increasing number of reported cases globally, what was clear at the time was that my trip would happen as planned. It was only until Kenya banned ALL travel (with many other countries doing the same) into their country, that I eventually decided to cancel my flights and change the travel dates. Not only was I shattered, but also incurred a cost of LSL1 085 for changing travel dates. Ridiculous!

Source: Google images Nairobi Kenya

Subsequent to canceling my trip to Kenya, Lesotho announced a 21 day nationwide lockdown from the 30th March 2020 until 21 April 2020 as a measure to contain the spread of the virus. Twenty one days seemed like a long time for anyone to stay locked up in one place, but this would soon be my reality. Initially, I was worried about being alone for 21 days with restricted movements and no TV. Secondly I was very anxious about what I would eat, given that I hadn’t bought groceries for many years. I was also overwhelmed by going to the shops, mainly because I didn’t know what to buy that would sustain me for 21 days. I am the drive-through kinda guy- KFC Streetwise 2 (breast and drum stick); where would I even begin? So I had to ask my sister to buy me essential items (spoiled brat right?) and try my luck at cooking my own meals.

@KFC Lesotho Streetwise meals

To my surprise, spending 21 days alone forced me to slow down and deal with the issues I paid no mind to. I had time to confront the insecurities in some of my relationships. I had time to actually acknowledge the hurt I’ve endured and reflect on the pain I inflicted on family and friends. I had time to re-evaluate my career plans, interrogate my priorities and learn new skills i.e. cooking spaghetti and mince. During this time, I also thought about the things I used to enjoy doing that no longer featured in my life e.g. playing the piano.

My first attempt at cooking a meal- spaghetti and tuna
My second meal- spaghetti and mince
Playing the piano, Washington DC

My days were spent deep in thought or having a few monologues to seek clarity. At some point, I thought I was losing my mind; I mean who talks to themselves for this long? I’d play music loudly so that my neighbour wouldn’t wonder who I was talking to. At times I would cry quietly coming to terms with the hurt or break into a celebratory dance when I mastered something new. I wrote down plans, changed them and started over again. I took walks around the yard trying to understand why some issues spiralled out of control or why I reacted the way I did. When things got too complicated, I immersed myself in work, hoping it would distract me. Sadly, this opened up a can of worms and the issues that came with working from home. Did this offer the relief I so desperately needed? Not, instead it forced me to also question some of my career decisions and ask myself what it is I wanted for my life.

Double rainbow, Masowe 3 Maseru

So how has the lockdown changed or shaped me you might ask? To be honest, I do not know! What I do know is that I’m a lot more patient with myself. I’ve also discovered that I prefer text messages as opposed to phone calls. The lockdown has helped me tap into my creativity- yes I now know how to edit my videos, create content and cook a mean spaghetti. This time has also taught me to appreciate the small, but BIG things in life- the ability to walk around freely, the ability to earn an income, having daily meals and the availability of data! I’ve also challenged myself to start piano lessons post the lockdown and to work on my relationships with family and friends.

Lastly, I learnt to love and appreciate my country; despite the many challenges we face. The humility, resilience and brilliance of Basotho never ceases to amaze me. How we are able survive and stay calm with everything that’s going on, is nothing short of amazing. Bravo to all Basotho for doing the most. As disappointed as I was about my cancelled trip and escape to Nairobi, this experience has also taught me to find beauty right where I am. We have a beautiful country, so let’s stop taking that for granted. What has been your lockdown experience?

My backyard, Masowe 3 Maseru
View of Maseru from Parliament Road
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mountain Bike Adventures In Lesotho 

Mountain Bike Adventures In Lesotho 

21 February 2020 | Never in my wildest dream did I imagine myself mountain

Dealing With My Failure

Dealing With My Failure

6 May 2020 | I sit quietly in my “home office” after a long drive back home

You May Also Like