Tiffany Barbuzano talks about adulting as SA prepares for a 21-day lockdown
Aside from Tiffany Barbuzano starting a daily “Corona Diaries” social media post with her two little boys, Jamie and Jessie, the "Still Breathing' writer and actress, along with producer-director husband Johnny, have found ways to cope during the imposed self-isolation and 21-days lockdown.
When asked how they are doing, she responded: “We are still breathing (pun unintended). I think, for now, we are coping well. We are scared; I think you'd be a fool not to be. We're worried about the coming months.
"We're suddenly ‘adulting’ quite a lot harder than before. But I also think if you allow yourself to get lost in the news reports and statistics, you'll drive yourself mad. We know that danger. We know the best way to combat it. We know the easiest way out of this, is through it and we know we need to #staythef*%kathome. Don't think, ‘It can't happen to me’ - that's the first mistake.”
To ensure cabin fever doesn't in, she revealed: “Mostly, we are still working on delivering Still Breathing episodes. We're in the middle of final mixes and edits - we're still working - and at least we've been able to do that from home.
"The rest of the time, we're with the boys. We also play an Xbox game called, Just Dance, which is a wicked workout disguised as fun. We're also cleaning... a lot. And feeding the kids and then cleaning again - just in time for some more food for the kids.”
What are they currently watching/ binging on?
She laughed: “We've literally just watched every Survivor episode ever made. So we feel very prepared for a lockdown situation (just kidding).
"I think it's total escapism, which we need right now. We're obviously obsessed with Still Breathing and loving MasterChef, we are patiently waiting for Ozark S3. I have also watched every episode of The Who Was? Show (Netflix), Peppa Pig and Blaze and the Monster Machines. Loving some of the content on Showmax, too.”
When asked whether they are also working on any other scripts, maybe something comedic based on real-life events, Barbuzano shared: “We have some very special projects in the works. And again, with this time, we have been given a gift really. To focus on telling more stories.
"I think one of our strengths as South Africans, is our bloody amazing sense of humour - so a comedy about being locked down is a brilliant idea.”
Has connecting with loved ones via Skype, Whatsapp video calls or normal calls become interesting and how so?
She offered: “We are planning a Zoom drinks party with some of our friends this weekend. Maintaining connection is everything. Isolation is necessary but being cut off isn't. We are social beings - we need to make sure we don't neglect that or we will really be in trouble. Jamie and Jesse phone their grandparents every morning.
"It's one of their "jobs" - and they love it! We've dialled into some online quizzes (Chris Forrest is doing some great ones) and we're chatting to friends and family every day. I have an uncle in Canada and an aunt in Cape Town and we're all on a family WhatsApp group. I think we're all so desperate to make sure we keep in contact with each other, we're speaking more now, than ever before.”
Reflecting on what this situation, which necessitated a change in lifestyle, taught her, she noted: “It's weird not to pop to the shops for something or to the gym. The gym is my place to unwind and not having that is certainly weird.
"As well as not being able to see friends and family. I think we'll all appreciate these small things when we are able to do them again. Our neighbourhood coffee joint, called Ophelia has had to close its doors and it's strange to think that I can't just pop there for a coffee. I had one almost every day before.
"And the idea that we could be without work or an income, that really scares me. But I also think that this way of living shows how little we actually need to make us happy. As long as you're safe.
"As long as you're still breathing - you're the lucky ones (see what I did there?). I think that in uncertain times, you should try your best to remain kind. Focus on what you can control and not on what is out of your control.”
"Still Breathing" airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Thursday at 8pm.