R40 000 cigarette dispute, Covid-19 infections in the family and unpaid UIF - Woman on lockdown woes

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
  • While Layla Zuney* has built a close relationship with her husband during the lockdown, other parts of her life have fallen apart.
  • Her son and his wife have contracted the novel coronavirus and she fears that her second son may have too.
  • Layla also finds herself at the centre of a community dispute relating to the sale of R40 000 worth of illegal cigarettes.

Layla previously told W24 that her husband of 20 months was going to serve her with a summons for divorce shortly before the lockdown started. But spending time together seems to have saved her marriage. Read her story here. 

However, there are other parts of her life which have crumbled in the same period. In her own words, she shares her story:

My story doesn't stop with my husband and I finding our happiness during the lockdown. Suddenly, my world was turned upside down when I got the news that my eldest son and his precious wife were diagnosed with coronavirus.

It feels so overwhelming - the shock of someone you know, let alone your child, being diagnosed with coronavirus. It's natural to think the worst - your world falls apart. 

READ MORE:  Be kind to your body on lockdown, look to the diversity of people in the real world

To add insult to injury, my eldest son picks up his younger brother every morning and they travel to their separate workplaces together. The youngest one shares a flat with his cousin, so both of them also had to go into isolation. 

As if the two-month lockdown had not caused enough damage to their livelihoods already, since they have been at home and are not working, they have claimed UIF payments, but have not received the money yet, and their rent is due. It's a mess. 

READ MORE: Being on lockdown may cause stress-eating, here are five tips to help you stay on track

On the other hand, with the cigarette ban, people did not stop smoking. Instead, they were willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for a carton of cigarettes, myself included. 

There is a young woman I know who was like an angel and she sold cigarettes.

She made people very comfortable selling cartons of cigarettes to them, and just when they trusted her, she asked them to instead, transfer all their money into her account. Altogether it amounted to R40 000 and she never delivered the cigarettes. The worst part of it is that I was the one to give them her contact details, not knowing her intentions.

I now get phone calls and messages from people, demanding their money back, to the point that there is even a lawyer involved. It's an ongoing issue and I keep wondering how all this is going to end. 

READ MORE: 6 Things to do when you find yourself in a slump of not wanting to do anything

Despite all of this, I have felt and still feel so blessed that I haven't been sick as both my husband and I have underlining illnesses. 

He has a heart problem with seven stents while I have a lung problem. I thank God for keeping us safe. 

My eldest son and wife are recovering well, although it's not over as yet, I continue to pray for their complete recovery. 

I am hopeful it's going to end well. Hopefully, one day, we will be able to have a good laugh about it. The year 2020 has been one massive story to tell future generations.

* Name changed to protect her identity.

What's your lockdown story? 

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