Cape Town woman on living in solitude since lockdown: “I miss the small things”

Young woman living alone (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Young woman living alone (PHOTO: Getty Images)

It’s been more than a month since a full lockdown was announced to curb the spread of Covid-19 and it has caused quite the disruption in people’s lives. It has disrupted our routines and has resulted in some people being locked in with their families.

Some, however, have had to live alone and live completely without human interaction – except when shopping for essentials. For Awande Thabede, a digital content manager and LLB student from Cape Town, the idea of not being able to see her family has been extremely difficult.

Read more: Local mom shares her coping mechanisms during lockdown

“I’ve always lived alone, I usually enjoy my own company and being busy with school and work helps. Since the lockdown, the most difficult part has been the weekends because that’s when I usually go home and spend time with my family, but due to lockdown, I haven’t been able to do that and it has been challenging,” she says.

“I miss the small things about being home, just sitting on the couch and complaining that my mother always, and I mean always, makes me leave the house late when I go over for a visit.”

Although it’s still easy to keep in touch virtually, she explained that this does not come close to those shared moments.

“We talk almost every day, either on WhatsApp or video calls but it isn’t the same”, she said.

As with many of us, Awande is taking joy in trying new things in the kitchen. “As a vegetarian, there’s only so much I can eat. But I’ve really been experimenting more during this time with my cooking and baking and I’ve recently discovered peanut butter biscuits – they are to die for!”.

Although she hasn’t had the time to learn new skills, Awande has landed a new job opportunity.

“A lot of companies are looking to hire remote people, to cover the impact and news as it unfolds during this time and I was fortunate enough to secure a side hustle, working for a company based in London that does surveys”.

“Once all of this is over, I will always look back and remember that not only did I survive, but I also managed to take great leaps in my career.”

And while work and the school have been keeping her busy, she has also taken the time to introspect.

“Lockdown feels normal and not a lot has changed because I’m an introvert, it’s my everyday life. However, it has given me time to think about my life and what I want to do, where I want to take it and if there are any changes I need to make. I’m a firm believer in always looking at the bigger picture. This is a difficult time for many of us, but we can try to make the best of it by working on ourselves,” she adds.