The 5 Stages Of Lockdown Captivity

Stage 1: Is this really happening?

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Stage 1- Is This Really Happening?

The first day of lockdown is a shock to the system. Is this really happening? Can I really not leave my house? I have to stay at home all day! I used to long for days where I could just lie and spend all the time at home. This is the dream? Not really. The first day is weird. You don’t know what to do with your time. You don’t know how to behave. This shock of lockdown is still sinking in. The first couple of days takes some getting used to. Everything feels strange.

Stage 2- The Busy Phase

After the shock has worn off you decide you have to be BUSY. You look at the house and decide to clean and clean and clean. There is so much to do. There is so much work to do at home. You throw stuff away. Go through old cupboards and decide what to keep and what to chuck. You keep yourself busy so you don’t notice the time passing or the fact that you are trapped inside your own home. You clean and cook and bake and do all the things you put off doing around the house. During the busy phase, you still feel quite upbeat and positive about the whole thing. You have a sense of purpose and you know that it will only last a couple of weeks anyway. Is this is not the perfect time to get stuck into doing things around the house and cleaning up?

Stage 3- The Routine

This is not so bad after all. You have a routine now. You wake up, you have breakfast, you exercise, work, eat lunch, and then relax. You find a series on TV to keep you entertained. You have a routine in your small space. You find balance and calm. You feel peaceful and you have the tiny thought; maybe this lockdown is not so bad after all. You are doing things you always wanted to do. Like baking sourdough and reading books, you never had time for these things. The routine keeps you sane and you are surprised by how much normal it feels. This is the new normal and it feels pretty good. You talk to friends and family a lot and you share stories of being in lockdown. Talking on Zoom is now part of the routine.

Stage 4- Depression

The routine gets old. You are sick of doing the same thing every day. The depression now starts to sink in. Now you want this to end. You are sick of being locked inside. Sick of not being free and sick of not seeing your family and friends. You try not to get too depressed but when thinking about the state of the world and the economy, you end up feeling despondent. When will this end? And when will things get better? You anxiously check the news trying to find some good news and some hope. Most of the conversations you have revolve around lockdown and corona. You try and feel hopeful and try and get excited about the future but the future is not easy to see. And even harder to plan for.

Stage 5- Existential Crisis

The final stage of lockdown involves questioning your existence and the planet. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What are we doing with our lives? Are we not a selfish race? Look how we have messed up the planet. Look at the state of the world. What are we doing? What am I doing with my life? What is the point of getting a job and earning money when it doesn’t help anyone? It seems so silly now, the consumerism and the constant acquisition of things. What did we do with our time before all of this? Why did we take even the simple things for granted?

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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