5 Things we have learnt about ourselves during lockdown

The lockdown has been a lot of things. A test of our resolve as a species. A test of our patience. Not just a test of patience with our families and the people we have been locked into our homes with, but also a test of patience with our governments. In South Africa, our president is proof that it is a situation that nobody would wish upon themselves. None the less, we all have had to deal with the global impact. But we have learnt a lot over the last three months about our species, our leaders and also ourselves.

The most important question right now: “Will we admit and accept our mistakes, and learn from them?”

Here are five things that you have probably learnt about yourself during this lockdown, especially in South Africa.

For the most part, we don’t give a fuck (AF as the kids say)

Remember when people went ape shit for toilet paper? Fighting in isle 9, as if toilet paper is the only way to attempt to clean your asshole. For the first two weeks of the lockdown, I could not buy eggs, anywhere. Thousands of people went on insane shopping sprees, buying R20 000 worth of groceries. Someone that can drop 20k on groceries probably has plenty of food in their cupboards at any given moment. Fuck everyone else that might want to buy 2L milk. I need all 5 bottles left on the shelf.

It’s not a race thing, for once. Don’t get me wrong, there are always assholes that will make anything into a race thing, but even those douche bags have been quiet lately. Everyone doesn’t give a fuck without any prejudice. Rich, poor, young, old, black, white, cuppa-chino, whatever. We only start giving a fuck when we need help, or when something touches us on our studio. Like the rich TV personality complaining that he can’t fly between Cape Town and Johannesburg every week. A valid concern to have if that is how you make your living. But back in March 2020, we knew very little about Covid-19 and how serious it would be. Complaining about not being able to fly between CT and JHB when millions of people might die, that’s not giving a fuck.

“I don’t give a fuck about old people.”

Someone actually said that to me. Someone whose parents are “old people”. But we don’t give a fuck until it’s our parents, family, friends or ourselves. We got comfortable and with that comfort, our need for community evaporated before our faces. A big part evaporated because of the glow on your face right now, coming from your smartphone. Maybe get off your phone and check-in with the neighbour you have been living next to for 7 years. I bet you he has a name.

Your a grown-ass adult, that still caves to peer pressure like a prepubescent teen

Drank an egg recently? Listed 10 albums that helped shape your musical tastes? That would be completely normal to do, especially if you are Rocky training for a fight or someone that lives for likes on Facebook and Instagram. Except, you are neither of those things, so what are you doing? It’s not like it’s news that social media challenges are idiotic. We’ve known this since the day people started snorting condoms and eating washing detergent pods.

No, I’m not making the detergent pods thing up at all. It’s real. It also became a thing because it started among children. You know, those sweaty, confused, pimply messes that will do anything to get somebody, neigh, anybody, to like them. Are you a sweaty, confused mess? No? Could have fooled me. I just watched a video of you drinking an egg and wasting the last shot of brandy you had to get likes from people that don’t actually like you.

“I just did it because I think it was a cool thing to do.”

That’s great Susan. I think heroin is a cool thing to do. That doesn’t mean it’s an experience I should try today, rather keeping it for my death bed?

You have an alcohol and smoking problem

It’s no secret that neither of those are not good for you. Regardless, I think everyone should have the freedom to slowly kill themselves with any substance they see fit. I smoked for years. I still smoke, and I know smoking is bad for me. But not for a single moment did I consider paying R60-R100 for a pack of “Ace Death” black market ciggies. I’m not that fucking retarded. R500 for a bottle Richelieu? Listen fuckface, I know that stuff is made in SA and not really from France.

Please don’t let your fragile little mind get confused. I miss booze, a lot. So much so that I’m more convinced now that I should drink less than I have even been before. I might polish that last bottle of grocery store piss red wine while I wait for liquor sales to open up again, but I’m not paying R500 for a bottle of brandy from Klerksdorp. You do know there are much better drugs you can buy at that price point right?

I have to admit that I enjoyed seeing the alcoholics and tobacco addicts squirm and suddenly complain about their human right and the life threatening conditions that comes with not being able to get their “therapeutic medicine”. I laughed and laughed at the change.org petitions that got sent my way. Meanwhile, the South African cannabis market has not skipped a beat, because it’s been in the same position for close to 100 years now. Remember when I said we don’t give a fuck unless it touches us on our own studio? Yeah. Don’t give a shit about human rights infringements, until they take my drugs away from me. I’d pass you my zol, but we all know that the saliva…

You are hopelessly, and completely addicted to the internet and your smartphone

People retort in disgust when you mention the Elon Musk Neural Link, and implanting an electronic device into your body. People freak out about a vaccine that might contain a microchip. They get so upset that they immediately head to the device that has been attached to the palm of their hand for the past 10 years. And that device is completely detachable, it’s not even implanted but people can’t get away from it.

“Smartphones and the internet has led to some amazing things.”

No doubt. I’m writing this bullshit and you are reading it. That’s great because Die Beeld is not going to publish what I write, ever. But have you missed the absolute idiocy that gets shared via social media (yes WhatsApp is social media too, you hipster snob pretending that you are not on social media) by people that supposedly got a good education? But the headline provokes a reaction, and without thinking twice or verifying anything, you hit share/forward because you are addicted to the notifications you get on that screen in your palm.

“I’m not addicted. I hardly spend any time looking at my phone’s screen.”

Yes Johan, but that’s only because you have that stupid second screen we call an Apple watch on your wrist.

You feed your mind and your body. If you eat only Mc Donalds you will feel like shit physically. If you follow a healthy diet, you just feel better. The same applies with your mind. There is a lot of stuff that you can feed your mind that is great for it. Social media is not one of those things. Yes, you might find something good among the heaps and heaps of shit on social media. But when you have to eat 100 Chicken McNuggets to get one apple, you have to realize there are healthier ways to get an apple.

You don’t run, unless you are running away from something

As a species we got comfortable. Since the sixties shit has been pretty easy going for us as a species. You don’t need to run away from lions and wolves as much any more. But, when the government said you can run between 06:00 and 09:00 you fucking ran away from your family. You ran and you ran to get away from that room mate that you used to kind of like. No, your Instagram and Facebook posts are not fooling anyone. We know it’s not for your health. It’s because you might hang yourself if you don’t. It’s because you want the social media notifications. It’s literally because you have nothing better to do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I also run away from my problems. But I do it like an adult, by getting drunk in my own goddamn backyard. So for the love of all things unholy can we give them booze? We know the stupid photo’s of their stupid drinks are coming. It’s going to look like the timelines of high school kids and your days as a student all over again. Maybe that stupidity will snap them out of their addiction to their smartphones.

Now put down your phone dummy. Do you want your deathbed heroin trip to be your life flashing before your eyes as a disappointing Facebook or Instagram feed?

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