A Short Guide to Surviving in Corona Times

There’s only a handful of countries that claim not to have been affected by corona and seeing that this list includes North Korea and Turkmenistan… Well, I’ll let you put two and two together.
This means that wherever you are, you probably have to deal with a number of new concerns such as:

1) Not catching a virus that could inconvenience or kill you / someone you care about (you may not have comorbidities but someone you hang out with may…)

2) Trying to navigate life with the limiting regulations imposed in your country

3) Taking into account a million and one new things, if you need to travel (provided that your country even allows international travel at all – unlike some countries, I’m talking to you, South Africa!)

4) Managing other people’s COVID comfort levels

5) Coping with family life, especially if you’re a working parent and creches/school are closed

6) Working from home or working in the office with new safety measures

And many, many more!

Don’t worry, my child… #zlotybaby is back to give you some tips on how to survive in these dire times!

1. Sort Out Your Family Issues

I know that if you live somewhere where many things aren’t allowed you may feel like murdering your children, spouse, parents and whoever else you currently see A LOT of.
There are people who have no one to talk on Zoom or don’t know how to use technology. There are those who are separated from their families because borders closed and travel is difficult or impossible. Some people are single billy no mates. Others live with someone they’re scared of.
If you happen to have a decent family, partner or a chosen family such as flatmates, remind yourself from time to time that not everyone is so lucky.
Having said that, if your family relations are bad, the pandemic may be the push you need to change your life. Living with your family should not feel horrible. Work on what can be worked on, ditch what needs to be ditched. When your partner shouldn’t be the person who you just somehow have to deal with, you may need a new one.
If other family members are toxic, perhaps it’s time to loosen your ties with them… 35 with a job and still living with mom? Well, here’s your chance to rethink your life choice! If it’s your kids that drive you mad… Sorry to say that but you just have to live with it.

2. Choose Your COVID Rules but Let Others Have Theirs

Oh boy, the things I’ve heard about people having disagreements and fights because of their different COVID safety comfort levels!
You have the right to be as scared or as chilled as you like about corona but you don’t have the right to impose your (dis)comfort on others.*
In other words, you may feel that your friends or family are too lax or too strict, at the end of the day your opinion doesn’t really matter. You will just screw up your relationships by having arguments about it. We’re all adults and we make our decisions using our brains. Don’t assume the links/studies that have convinced you are better. For every link you’ll send, a person has theirs. You know how they say you should never discuss religion and politics? I think there should be another topic added there: what’s the right COVID precaution level and why.
Decide what you’re comfortable with doing and stick to it. If your friends are too paranoid/relaxed just don’t see them. Don’t waste your time lecturing others, rather do something productive. Do you have too much time on your hands? DM me, I could really use some help with admin! Also, keep the below in mind.

“Overly lax” people:

-> May be simply single and lonely. The risk of getting the virus (especially if they’re not high risk) may be a better option than the risk of dying alone and being found half-eaten by Alsatians three weeks later (FYI a Bridget Jones reference).

-> May love the things/activities that you consider “overly risky”. We all have different priorities.

-> May just be careless and silly and don’t care, but unless they live with you it’s none of your business

“Overly paranoid” people:

-> May themselves be or live with someone who’s high risk. I live in a high-risk household due to a treatment my husband is on. Most people didn’t know about my husband’s condition because it’s well managed and has never been relevant… until COVID, that is.
It’s not just people with diabetes, hypertension and the elderly who are at risk. There are countless auto-immune conditions treated with immunosuppressants and steroids who make people high-risk as well as people with cancer and other issues. What about people living with HIV/AIDS that still has a stigma attached to it? Don’t be a d*ck, respect other people’s choices and don’t pry.

-> May have had bad experiences with hospitals or not be able to afford the treatment if they need it

-> May just be prudent and silly and care too much, but once again unless they live with you it’s none of your business

3. Check Your Privilege

Sure, you have the right to be as unhappy as you want at the moment. Does it really serve you, though?
It’s probably not great to compare yourself with other people but if you have to rather look down. There are so many people who are worse off than you. If you have the option of working at home you’re privileged (let alone the fact that you still have a job…). Many people are in the line of work where they can’t do that. Some are front-line workers. Think about it next time before you complain on FB because it makes you sound like a prince / princess. It’s not really important that others will judge you, what’s important is that you’ll make many people feel down.
If you’re feeling depressed, you can’t just start feeling better because others have it worse. It’s okay not to be okay and chat to your closest ones about it! However, maybe check your privilege ahead of your next social media rant.

4. Be Nice to Yourself

It’s tough for everyone at the moment to a different degree. Even if you’re a superstar, it won’t protect you from potentially getting the virus or seeing someone close getting it. Maybe we’ve lived under an illusion of safety but those of us who have are now in shock.
Exercise, working on personal projects and being productive are all worthy goals. They can help you with dealing with life at the moment too. At the same time, when life gets too much just give yourself a break. A treat once in a blue moon will just help your longterm goals.
I know it’s intimidating to see everyone getting ripped! SOME people get very competitive. #englishrosiee, for one, made her newly adopted dog attack me to prevent me from staying fit (her dog ran into my knee a day after I told her I didn’t pick up any weight during the lockdown. Coincidence? I don’t think so!). Still, allow yourself to do whatever you need to in order to stay sane at the moment.

5. Remember That This Too Shall Pass

There have been viruses around the world since humanity evolved into homo sapiens. This one is most probably not going to eradicate our species. This means that it may last around for a while but sooner or later it’ll end up managed somehow.
The question is what are you going to learn from this crisis and how will you come out of it? Just keep a few thing in mind:

– Pandemic or no pandemic, saving for a rainy day is a good idea

– You may win a fight and feel righteous about how smart you are with the way you handle the pandemic… but is the feeling really worth losing a friendship over?

– Worrying never helps. Try breathing meditation or yoga to help you stay focused on what’s really in front of you. Good things come and go just like bad things. The only thing we can take control over are our emotions.

– Being a fabulous socialite can be cool but it’s important in life to have people who really have your back. Invest in deeper relationships even when there are no limitations on going out.

– Learn to appreciate down time and boredom. Nothing creative or new can come out of constant business.

That’ll be it for today, Dear Rinser! Share your thoughts in the comments’ section. Unless you think COVID isn’t real, bien sΓ»r, then you can spare me πŸ™‚

*That’s with one exception: if your country says to wear a mask, wear a bloody mask.


  1. Great post (except the hating on Suki bit – but she’ll forgive you!).

    I definitely say that the goalposts change as things move forward and time goes on, so also don’t think people need to beat themselves up too much for backtracking. For instance, I’ve been a bit judgy of people going to the hairdresser and getting their nails done but that’s because those things aren’t overly important to me. When the gyms opened up this week though, the FOMO was real! So its, kind of swings and roundabouts really. You often hear people saying things like ‘stupid people going to restaurants and clubs’ or ‘hypochondriacs staying at home’ but actually there is probably a legit purpose for them both (the former will likely help boost the economy and latter may save space on a hospital bed) and as you say it’s up to each individual to make the call.

    I also think people should do what the want within the limits of the law. You can’t really hate on people for going to restaurants, bars, hairdressers or clubs when it is all now legal but I did have an issue with people blatantly walking their dog during Level 5 because it’s like them saying their above the law unlike the people who go wherever now, all of which is technically legit. And I think part of these tensions are caused by the authorities actually expecting us to police each other than them doing it themselves, it shouldn’t be up to us to tell people to wear and mask or how to wear a mask even, There were stories of people being pulled over by the cops and fined for not wearing a mask in their own car which is a little unbelievable seeing as most people in PnP don’t wear these properly and there is no repercussions.

    It’s also new territory for everyone and best practices are likely to change, so I figure we’ll just need to go with it. I think this whole situation has made people readdress things in a big way – maybe it makes you realise you had too many superficial friendships, or that your job was making you miserable or simply that you needed a dog….I think a lot of people will come out of all this quite different but lets see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I have no beef with Suki, she was just following orders πŸ˜›

      I’m totally with you on “it’s the police who should do the policing”. As often in SA there are very detailed rules but no one cares about enforcement. I’ve seen police ignoring people without masks many times so it’s kind of like what’s the point? And then you get someone getting fined for driving without a mask in their own car as you say. It’s like with dog walking. No one uses leashes around here but once we were out with a friend who has 5 dogs and officials threatened him with a 2500 fine. You can’t randomly enforce the law and expect people to be compliant.

      I also agree in terms of doing whatever that’s legal BUT I just wish people weren’t stupid about it. If going to the cinema or having your nails done makes your life so much better go do it but don’t think it’s safer than it was during level 5, because it’s not. You can still do things acknowledging there’s a risk – we make such choices all the time because things do carry risks. Driving a car is pretty damn dangerous if you look at the stats and we do it every day. For the record, the safety protocols in SA for the gyms and just using your brain should make it clear for everyone that a hairdresser appointment is much riskier. I actually know someone who’s cousin died after the hairdresser was confirmed as COVID carrier (he was also symptomatic during the treatment but neither him near the client who later died seemed to care).

      People are likely to become more lax as the danger grows old. That’s sad and dangerous but it’s also what it’s going to be. I guess the key is to focus on where your priorities are. For instance, I think a lot of people would feel shit if they got it from going to a club or a concert but if the got it after seeing a close friend or a family member or something important they’d be more like “one must live, shit happens” and wouldn’t have regrets.


  2. It’s been interesting, can’t deny that. Fortunately for me, I used the time (which is still ongoing where I live) wisely and grew quite a bit. I took a couple of courses on psychology and philosophy, sorted out my political beliefs and in the process came to the realization that everybody’s viewpoint is *valid* even if it’s not correct. People don’t just snatch beliefs out of the ether; they usually stem from something.

    I try to never look down on people but I know that I always will to some degree. It’s human nature and some of us are great at not judging others and some of us don’t even try to prevent it. I’m somewhere in the middle. I think I’m a very conscientious person so life is very black and white to me and people who step outside of my moral and ethical lines make me crazy. lol

    I’ve been fortunate to be able to work still although in the beginning my schedule got REALLY crazy and I was pretty unhealthy for a couple of months. Back on track now. Always good to see a new post from you ladies. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well done for using the time productively! We’re also still quite constrained in South Africa. Many things are allowed but also many people are still scared to do things considered “risky” in terms of getting the virus. Friendships and family ties are often maintained outdoors πŸ˜€ Honestly, it’s not that bad when you’re in Cape Town. We’re very fortunate to have a lot of space for walks and hikes and the winter is about to end.

      “in the process came to the realization that everybody’s viewpoint is *valid* even if it’s not correct” – this is probably one of the best realization’s to have. Not an easy one to always respect, though, hahaha. I get you with seeing things in black and white, we’re both addicts, I think this is partially where certain tendencies come from… For me, different mindfulness techniques help a lot with noticing the grey πŸ™‚ I used to spend a lot of time complaining about people who don’t know how things SHOULD be and don’t do them THE RIGHT WAY. I guess, that is was just really harming me. People didn’t change and the more I complained the more upset and angry as a person I was. I was actually looking at some of my older posts and it shows πŸ˜€ I guess what I’m trying to say here is that noticing the grey is important. You may have other tendencies but at the end, it hurts you because PEOPLE WHO DO IT “WRONG” will still do it “wrong”. You may just end up more chilled about it. I’m still far from perfect and being less judgmental isn’t easy but my life got better from it!

      Happy to hear from you too! Glad to hear your job wasn’t affected in a very negative way. Fingers crossed you’ll keep being so productive until this virus is with us and after that πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dang I totally bookmarked this to reply and then forgot! I was the same way and in many cases still am in that I get upset at people for not thinking or doing what I think is right. I’m definitely way more tolerant than I was.

        What I said in my original reply about conscientiousness plays into that a lot, I’ve read in my psychology course. People with a strong work ethic and sense of “orderliness” are very intolerant of anyone who doesn’t live by their invisible system of laws. It’s all a spectrum, of course, so being a hard worker doesn’t mean you have to also be a fascist about how to wash bowls. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess this quality can be great when you’re a manager / business owner but otherwise it just gets you worked out but brings no results.

        Interesting. I remember doing a workshop at work once and I had some scary (=high) results when it comes to “orderliness” πŸ˜€ I’m not a robot, I recognise stupidity of rules, when they’re stupid but I take my tasks very seriously and I don’t understand why others don’t. To me it says a lot about a person and honestly I see such lack of responsibility everywhere. The thing is that now I’m just trying to be more chilled about it, because if someone doesn’t care they just don’t care. I can’t make them!

        Liked by 1 person

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