#ChildrensVoices | Teen Aluwani Mphelo shares his experience of lockdown

Aluwani Mphelo (Supplied)
Aluwani Mphelo (Supplied)

#ChildrensVoices is a ReaderLympics initiative, where children are invited to share their experiences of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. 

To submit your own letter, or to find out more visit www.readerlympics.co.za

By Aluwani Mphelo, 14 years old

I feel that the lockdown is not a very socially practical solution to covid-19 but a good solution to protect the nation from this virus .

This has put the whole country into a panic, where we feel the need to stock-pile when we go grocery shopping, even on the unnecessary things. 

I’ve witnessed this with my own family, the day before lockdown my parents went into panic mode like the rest of SA and bought all they could as if we would not be allowed to go back to the shops to buy essentials or even order online.

Unfortunately the result of this was that two weeks into lockdown things started rotting in the fridge, bags of non-perishable food are taking up space as they are not being used and it is visible that going into “panic mode” just wasted money for unnecessarily. 

Lockdown has also affected our eating habits, we are now overeating, there’s so much food, boredom is even taking over because there is nothing left that we haven’t watched on TV and there is a general lack of entertainment (more especially for my brother and I).

For my dad its different, there are a few things he would like to fix around the house, as soon as he has fixed everything possible he’ll be with us in boredomville. For my mom it’s a different story, she has found a show that she is absolutely hooked on, ultimately my dad has also gotten hooked, it must be a “married thing”. 

Learning online is really not great, because there are no specific times for classes, so that lack of structure for me is hard to adjust to. Fortunately this has stopped for now, because, as per the school calendar, we are on holiday and I am not looking forward to resuming online school if the lockdown is extended. 

If the President’s reads this, please!

Right now I could be overseas on a cruise, enjoying  the holiday with my family, or I could even be at my grandparents’ house running around with my cousins but thanks to covid-19, I am stuck at home, what misery! 

This break is also going to affect sports, because, keeping a balanced diet and muscle conditioning during  this period will be a difficult task. I suppose I am not the only one with this challenge, others are struggling too.

Usually, I would not miss the boarding school environment but now that I’ve been locked up for so long, I would not mind going back!

I really miss it, it's like my home away from home. 

The matrics from last year always said that we should keep the brotherhood within the dorm and the school strong even through the toughest of times. I feel that the way that Covid-19 arrived is kind of unfair.

I say this because most viruses have originated from bats like ebola and rabies, but although people knew bats carry such viruses they still went back to eat bats and contracted Covid-19. Just because someone decided to eat bats the world has been turned upside-down.

You can see the effect on TV and  all over social media. Governments all over the world have deployed their armies to prevent people from leaving their homes and misbehaving.

Despite these rules, not everyone is respecting them, which, really worries me because, the virus is going to spread way faster than it can be monitored, resulting in the lockdown being extended by the government. 

I really hope that people start behaving and take social distancing seriously so that the government does not extend lockdown and so we can all go back to living freely.

If you are the parent of a teen struggling through the lockdown, the following resources are available to provide immediate support:

Suicide Crisis Line 0800 567 567 or SMS line 31393

South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) Mental Health Line 011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit (24 hours a day) 0861 435 787

Find a therapist near you on TherapyRoute.com

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WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

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