Who would have thought? In our lifetime? Never. After all, this only happens in the movies, right? Wrong.
By BRENDAN VAN RYN
This is as real as it gets, and everyone has a starring role. We are all targets. Male, female, young, old, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, everyone is doing their bit to stay healthy. To remain uninfected. To stay alive. Admittedly, some are better off at succeeding to do so but on the whole South Africans have stepped up their game and come to the party. The name on everyone’s lips right now is the dreaded ‘C’ word. No, not cunt or cancer. CORONA. COVID-19 to be exact.
Most of us will have a story to tell when we meet on the flipside. At least those of us who have not documented our every move for others to see. Those of us who have not spent hours online informing the rest of the world (who really couldn’t give a fuck) what we are doing to pass the time. The endless banana bread recipes or pictures of what’s for dinner; the home workout videos or advice on how to keep slim and trim; bitching about not being able to go for a run or walk the dogs; the constant moaning about no alcohol and cigarettes, the lounge singers and dancers who do themselves no justice without the correct lighting or sound… the list is endless. But we can’t judge. As much as we want to, we can’t. Like handling grief, we are all trying to cope with this in our own, unique way.
We are all in the same boat – a life raft if you ask me. What we are currently experiencing is foreign to us all. We are genuinely finding out as we go along, day by day, trying to be responsible citizens in the process. Religious or not, this is a holy fuck-up! Sadly, some will reveal their true colours and if anything, it will become evident that it takes ALL kinds to make a world.
Mostly the stories will not be about beating the virus, but more about beating the boredom. Lockdown is not for the faint of heart. It’s survival of the fittest – not physically but mentally.
Alive and kicking (for now) I am proud to announce that so far, I have done as little as possible during this lockdown and self-isolation period. I have embraced ‘the unknown’ with both arms – no self-distancing there! I can’t remember when last I hugged someone or something so tightly. Mind you, there was this guy the other day… but that’s for a whole other conversation!
I’ve even said goodbye to my alter ego, the deliciously decadent Cathy Specific and gladly left her in the dressing room at Gate69! A guy needs a break, although absence does make the heart grow fonder. When this is all over that
ridiculously regal creature will once again consume half of my headspace and the love affair will continue where we left off. For now, though, I think she misses me more than I miss her. My feet are only too delighted to not be in heels for a while and my skin, nails and voice are taking the time to recover. Since opening Gate69, the country’s premier cabaret theatre in the heart of the Mother City in 2016, it’s been go, go, go. The Trolley Dollies, Cape Town’s thrilling threesome have literally been performing non-stop for the last three years but now have time to re-charge, re-focus, re-energise and re-invent.
Most importantly for me, it’s really wonderful to spend time with Brendan again, the engine and driving force behind SA’s favourite flight attendant. To also take a little breather from social media is a welcome change, not having to promote myself or the business on a daily basis. Have people guessing what we’re up to… create an element of mystery.
Do I feel like Rapunzel? Just me, myself and I on the 16th floor of a high-rise building in the CBD? Absolutely! My hair is just not long enough to flick over the balcony and have some handsome, charming prince climb up to rescue me. In fact, it’s been a while, so he doesn’t even need to be handsome or charming, just able and willing! If the truth be told, #stayathome will ensure no one climbs my long, golden tresses! Am I ok? Am I surviving? So far, so good. I have never washed so many dishes in my life and after lockdown, I don’t intend to ever again. One would swear I was cooking for 10! Netflix is a constant companion and running up and down the parking garage for up to 40 minutes at a time keeps me sane. I have also tried exercising in the apartment and as great as one feels thereafter, it’s the discipline to continue doing so that’s proving to be a slight problem. I am also catching up on some much-needed sleep!
To me it’s this simple. No amount of kicking or screaming from my side is going to make any difference, so deal with it. Financially, well, a bouncing debit order is never attractive, but neither is adult acne and frequent involuntary bowel movements so for that reason alone I am trying not to stress too much. I’m also trying to see the glass half full as opposed to half empty and I’m incredibly grateful for what I have.
I believe there are lessons to be learnt here.
Only time will tell….