A re-imagining: life after this Corona

Imagine – can you – a new world?

It’s incomprehensible that less than a hundred days ago, no-one had heard of the Novel Corona virus now known as Covid-19. Corona is no longer just Selma’s favourite beer. It represents the biggest threat to the world’s population since the Black Death (plague) and, potentially, the Spanish Flu of a century ago. The latter, like the current pandemic, was a corona virus and one that had crossed from animals into humans: a bird flu (N1H1). It killed about one third of the world’s population. The CDC describes it as the deadliest pandemic of the 20th Century.

Just 23 days

In my opinion, we are watching something similar unfold around us: in just 23 days, the world has gone from the first recorded death to 1,8 million cases and 103,536 deaths.

By comparison, and over a two year period, the CDC estimates that in 1918 pandemic, about 500 million people were infected and that at least 50 million people died. Over a two year period.

This is what the infection rate looks like now: the confirmed number of infections has gone from one thousand to nearly 2 million. In just twenty three days.

Total confirmed Covid-19 cases: 9 January to 9 April 2020 (After Source)

As at 1 April, there were fewer than 20 countries (of around 200) in the world with no recorded infections (Source). These are remote, like Vanuatu.

In South Africa

Covid-19 hit South Africa in March. Within 22 days of the first recorded case, the we are all locked in at home. It was to have been for 21 days. Just 11 days in, it’s been extended to the end of April, making it a 35-day compulsory stay-at-home.


Until pretty recently, I had kind of sense of what I was: a gig worker – mostly in hospitality and tourism – if one wants to get technical. Included among these was my stall at the market and hosting Sunday Suppers in our home. Less technically, I’d do anything legal – for a fee – of course. Yes, I used to have a regular day job as a consultant and researcher. For reasons irrelevant now, I folded that tent a while ago.

Reading the signs

The tourism sector in South Africa, even before Covid-19 had been slowing: a function of the slowdown of the global and local economies. In our region, it was a lagging but knock on effect from the possibility of Day Zero. The 2019/20 “season” was the slowest many of us in the village can remember.

This drop off precipitated my brushing up my English language and teaching knowledge by getting an advanced certificate to teach English as a foreign language. I have also registered for a course to specialise in online teaching. This had always been my intention, but not to teach children, but to work with my preferred demographic: adults who want to improve their written and spoken English.


Just in the last one hundred or so days, we’ve seen a shift from the real to the virtual – of many aspects of life, including learning. People who hadn’t dreamed of being online teachers are, now.

With half of humanity at home and not working, the world economy is going to go from slowdown to reverse. In my layperson’s opinion, I hasten to add. It leaves me wondering what will happen to international trade and engagement. What will be the impact on language schools? Will the market saturate with teachers and tutors available to teach online?

What I do know, is that the number of jobs available in my selected niche seems to be limited. Or I’ve not found the one. I shall persevere.

What now?

Some things haven’t changed: I remain the Cats’ Mother. I don’t have a choice, and occasionally, I find myself trussed up in bed rather like a cat’s mummy. Wedged between to very heavy, small, large cats.

Meet Gandalf. The high maintenance non-wizard imported from Johannesburg. The hope was, that his feline masculinity would protect our then two girls from a marauding tom.

Photo: Selma

Gandalf’s lack of wizardry means he’s now more commonly called Gandy. He’s very much a mama’s boy and has a love-hate relationship with his sister who is every bit a princess.

Photo: Selma

Pearli is only a homebody when it suits her. She’s also known as the Smith Street Strumpet: as a kitten she’d go with anyone. Now, she’s known to visit up and down the road. Welcome or not.

I mentioned that Gandalf was supposed to have protected two. Well about a eighteen months after his arrival, Melon went to kitty heaven. She will be remembered for her magnificent tail and her penchant for lauding it over all – from great heights.

Cook who writes

The kitchen is my happy place. It takes a great deal to prise me away from the stove. This blog, started six years ago, is a direct consequence of my cooking. The other bits came later. My enjoyment of cooking and feeding people was part of what gave me the courage to start Sunday Suppers.

Selma took this photo of me in my kitchen not long after we started Sunday Suppers. She documented the process.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve preferred to cook meals from scratch. The meals I cook are simple and it’s the presentation (which I’ve been learning) that makes them look and (they say) taste better.

This brings me to the writing bit.

Melange: Favourites from Fiona’s Kitchen

Over the last three or so years, as well as since I began to blog in 2016, people have been asking about a recipe book. I admit that I’ve begun to pay a little more attention to quantities and making sure that recipes always turn out the same. I’ve been making notes. Spurred on by blogpal Allen (@blockurator), I actually have the beginnings of a structure. I’m delighted that Selma has said I don’t need to look far for a professional photographer. With this quality, why would I?

One of Selma’s “action” shots

Until then

Part of my blogging journey includes sharing my rants musings on crypto blogging platforms which has the added benefit of monetising my writing. Another part of the journey has been two discoveries: I really enjoy writing – it seems to come naturally. There seem to be a few people who quite like reading my rambles.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post script

  • As I mentioned, my writing is shared on a couple platforms so in addition to some self-reflection, it serves as a self-introduction (belatedly) on Hive and on Uptrennd where I shall be exploring a new set of opportunities for engagement.
  • I’m participating in blogpal @tracyork’s April challenge of sharing a post every day during April – on the Hive blockchain. I succeeded last year – on Steemit from which the new blockchain “hived off”…
  • It seems a good way to constructively use the time during a compulsory lock down, right? For more about this initiative, please check out Traci’s post.

  • If you’d also like to both join the challenge and post from the WordPress platform to the Hive blockchain, sign up here.