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PICS: Cape Town families share their bonding experiences during Covid-19 lockdown

The Stevens family on lockdown in Muizenberg in Mount Road. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

The Stevens family on lockdown in Muizenberg in Mount Road. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 11, 2020

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Cape Town - Many families have hunkered down and have been forced to spend more time together.

This week, the lockdown was extended to the end of the month. But so far, it’s been going well for Donna Stevens, 65, from Muizenberg.

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Sitting in her garden at sunset has become part of her new routine. She also spends more time with her husband and her two sons and the one son’s partner and her 3-year-old grandson.

Stevens said it was a mad dash to get the shops before the lockdown, but since then, they never left the house.

“In a lot of respects, it’s been really good. You know, everyone has their own lives, but we’ve now been forced to be together, so we’re making the most of it. And even the dog has gotten more attention than what he normally does. He’s in doggy heaven,” said Stevens.

She said the family had been cooking and baking up a storm and sharing quite a lot of recipes as they worked out their daily meals.

The Stevens family on lockdown in Muizenberg in Mount Road. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Community worker Charmaine Josephs at her Constitution Court home in Lavender Hill. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Charmaine Josephs, 59, shares her Lavender Hill home with her grandson and two foster children. “They’re my boys,” said Josephs, who said that she had taken on the responsibility of helping raise them.

“They came to me before the lockdown,” she added, “and they are company for my grandson. Every once in a while, I allow them to kick the ball outside because I don’t want them to get too bored.”

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Food is at the heart of their home as Josephs runs a community soup kitchen from home.

With the ingredients she can find, Josephs would make porridge and samp and beans soup and serve more than 500 children in her neighbourhood.

She misses cooking for the children the most during the lockdown. But on Monday, she plans to make a pot of food and hand out Easter hampers, with a chocolate and a snack that she can deliver to the most needy in her area.

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“We will make sure that there isn’t a crowd and that everyone keeps their distance,” she said.

The Haines family in Fish Hoek. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

In Fish Hoek, Emily Haines, 33, has also had to adjust to life under lockdown, and she’s had to do it without her husband Matthew.

Matthew travelled to the USA before the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa and now she is left to care for her four boys, Aiden, 12, Liam, 9, Finnegan, 5, and Conor, 3, on her own.

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“My eldest son has really stepped up to the plate and helped me,” said Haines.

“The main strain on my household is that my children thrive on routine, and not having that weekly routine of school and sport, they miss their structure, their school and their friends,” she said.

Haines said the stay at home had brought the kids closer.

“It’s bonded us much more as a family unit because we’ve had to stay inside our bubble, and it’s really gotten us tight. And the older two have bonded and the younger two have bonded a lot more.”

Weekend Argus

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