COVID-19 was something that came unexpectedly. It ultimately turned our lives upside down, especially for me being a first-year student in the University of Cape Town. In a way it was a saving grace from not needing to submit any assignments, but I didn’t really think about how it would impact the new relations I had made.
Even though it isn’t as devastating here as it is in other countries where mass lives have been lost, you can still sense the fear people have of the crisis that they cannot handle. At this rate we do not know who potentially has it, as the amount of people getting sick increases every day and being in a province (I live in Gauteng, in the city of Pretoria) which has the most infected makes you paranoid to some point.
Indeed we do love being on our electronics, not really wanting to be socializing on our devices, not wanting to communicate face to face but ever since this pandemic hit us, I value all the little physical contact I had with my friends. Having barely known these girls, our bond was deeper than one could acknowledge. It makes you realise that ever single relation you make should be treasured.
Slowly you start to miss the things that you really didn’t take seriously, like lectures or waking up in the morning to get to your nine o’clock even if you feel tired from the day before. You miss how far your classes were and how you used to walk from point A to point B, already breathing like a runner who ran longer than usual. You remember all the little conversations you made with people who you sat next to and how you can relate to a situation one of them faces.
I miss the feeling of breathing in the fresh air, letting the cold breeze brush my face as I walked along the sidewalk of a park not to far from where I live. I miss the body warmth of someone hugging you, as if its been years since you have seen each other even if it has only been two hours. I miss being able to sit in a small circle and being able to express yourself, and having people there who can relate and cry with you over a tub of vanilla ice cream. I wished we could have made more coffee dates or dinner plans, I wish we could have more study plans, even if we weren’t studying at all. I wish we could go back to a reality where we weren’t worried about anything but what we’re planning to do the next day, the work due, or what we’re going to wear on the weekend.