Coronavirus, Anxiety & Thanksgiving

I was driving to my son’s Christmas market yesterday having just received notice from school about a Grade 1 pupil with Covid-19. My nerves were in a twist.

Since last Thanksgiving, about 5million people have died, South Africa is headed for a “fourth wave” and a new variant of the Corona virus (Omicron?) seems to be our next big threat. No wonder, I thought, No bloody wonder scientists have had to coin a new term. “Covid-19 Anxiety Syndrome” says it all. This pandemic has messed with our heads and we will have scars for many years to come.

Before we walked into the market, I spent some time alone to get grounded and centered. When I felt ready, I headed straight to the bar. That’s when I bumped into someone I haven’t seen for about 2 years. The first thing we spoke about was her cancer. “I heard you were ill,” I said, “How are you feeling?”

She generously took me through her journey, right from the lump she found in her breast and later her armpit to the double mastectomy, chemo and long road home. As she walked away with her two young children, something really stayed with me. She was so GRATEFUL! She told me that not only was she grateful to be alive but she was sooooooo touched people! Naturally, her friends and family were there to support her but it was the random meal drop-offs, help with the kids, kind words, flowers and support from people in her neighborhood that touched her big time.

The sense of gratitude helped to shift her focus from poor me to blessed-me! This despite the sadness, fear and trauma she is still working through.

Happy Thanksgiving Photo by Olenka Sergienko on

As the sun set, the sound of happy children, smell of boerie rolls, champagne glasses clanking and the odd glow in the dark toy lit me up inside. I was grateful for my good health, grateful for the wonderful night sky, my amazing mom friends and my tall, handsome boy who I watched laughing in the distance. But, like my old friend, it was the people that gave me the feels. Our community of love.

I wonder if scientists are going to coin a term called Covid-19 Gratitude Syndrome because just everything seems a little more special at this point in the game.


“Shock & Anxiety”

The hailstorm was horrible and my daughter was crying.


We had just dropped our new cleaning lady off 15 minutes earlier. I wondered if she was still standing in that terribly long line at the taxi spot. I would have loved to go back and collect her, but could not risk driving in the storm. So, I called her. There was no response.


When she returned to work the next morning, I asked her about the storm. She smiled and said that it was “not so bad.”


I was relieved.


As I was driving out, I saw a woman approach my door. She was carrying a medical kit. I was intrigued. So, I waited and watched. She went inside my house and did not come out.


I recognized her right away. She was that nosey neighbour who walked around the hood with a notebook, marking down things that had nothing to do with her (like cars parked in the wrong spots, or bins put out on the wrong day).


I waited another 30 seconds, expecting her to emerge, after realising she was at the wrong house. When she didn’t, I had to go and take a look. The domestic worker was lying on the couch, covered by a blanket. The neighbour lady was making some tea for her. I was frozen. I just watched, as though transfixed in a movie scene.


The neighbour was there to “treat” her for “shock and anxiety”. I said “Oh really? Why?” to which the lady replied “Yes, that storm really shook her up, poor thing.”


I could not stand to watch the movie any longer. I just shook my head.

I had no idea that the neighbour knew the cleaner.

I had no idea why the cleaner had put an SOS through to her and when.

I had no idea that the cleaner would let a stranger (to me) into our home and allow her to go into my kitchen to use my cups to throw a tea party in my absence.


I needed treatment for “shock and anxiety”.


So, I got into my car and drove to my sister for some “tea”.


© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015.

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