The day before the end of Lockdown Level 5 was a day of uncertainty and total confusion. Brought about by a woman who has suddenly become the new Queen of the Mishoop. A woman with the charm of a concentration camp commander.

Among her ludicrous utterances was the suggestion that unemployed hairdressers go onto YouTube and do online lessons in hairdressing. Hell yes, Madame Minister, why did we not think of that? They’re bound to make millions. Here’s a YouTube tutorial for you – one that I will gladly present: the art of public speaking, the art of reaching the public, the art of making sense.

1 MAY 2020: The alarm wakes me at 06:00. It’s pitch dark. So little time, so little light… but I have to get outside for the long-awaited three hours of exercise. I stumble about in the dark… where’s that headlamp that we used during load-shedding? Nevermind, time is of the essence and I’m so scared of breaking the 9 o’clock curfew and ending up with all the other naughty people who’ve been arrested – 17 000, I hear. Way more than the current COVID-19 infections.

I reach the gate, all masked up. My dog looks at me. Mom, what’s going on? You’re not allowed to go out. Dogs are not allowed to go out. We’re not allowed to do anything. Especially not have fun! No, we can Bella, and we’d better move it because I can already spot hundreds of like-minded prisoners who are escaping. We are way more than a hundred panicky walkers, joggers, cyclists. Am I the only one who’s wearing a mask? I’m sure this is a thing. An illegal thing. No gatherings of 50 people allowed, or is it 10? I can’t keep up.

Anyway, the paths are clogged up. This is like a busy December day at the beach. Damn, I missed a business opportunity. Ice cream van? Nope, too cold. And it’s non-essential food. Combi selling chicken wings? Not allowed. Or is it? I can’t sell it, but I can deliver. So you can place an order at my van and I can drop it off at your house? I’ll have to ask the grumpy Tannie first. The one who, by the way, was not wearing a mask at the press conference.

Nee, man. I’m confused. Someone on Facebook asked if she may start showering now or is it still down to only washing your hands. I kid you not.

Today is the first day of the #newnormal. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Okay, let’s start with the masks. That is one of the few things that I really like (#newfashiontrend). I’m a girl, right. And I like pretty. Not to mention the fact that I have a pretty warped sense of humour (#onlywaytosurvivethisinsanetime).

Seeing as my time outside is severely limited, I plan to make the most of it. I plan to dress up. Big time. I can’t go out at night, can’t go to concerts. But I can dress up for supermarket outings. And for when I’m in my shop. We don’t wear the same outfit every day, so why would we wear the same mask every day? I’ve had a whole range made. I had five weeks to kill, remember. I want my mask to put a smile on your face. Here are a few that I will be wearing: ‘Keep your social distance. DRINK ALONE’; #we’; WTF – Way Too Fabulous (nearly got you there). And my own personal favourite: JOU MA SE HOES (impossible to translate).

I’m working on a few others: ‘Gimme all your groceries!’; ‘Shopping is for the brave’; ‘This mask prevents me from eating everything in sight’; ‘My husband says I talk too much’. And then I have masks that match my outfits. My one mask features the most beautiful set of lips. You can look like the person you’ve always wanted to be. You save on lipstick. Men don’t have to shave. Double chin? What double chin? This is just getting better. GESUNDHEID!

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