Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

When this is over - What South Africans dream of doing when the Covid-19 pandemic is over

By Norman Cloete Time of article published Jan 31, 2021

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Johannesburg - The world has been on lockdown for almost a year, with movements restricted and face masks becoming the fashion accessory of the day.

And while there have been many challenges adjusting to this new way of life, South Africans have been dreaming of and planning what they will do when the Covid-19 pandemic is firmly under control.

According to the latest Covid-19 figures, South Africa has nearly 1.5 million infections and over 43 000 deaths. Scientists say while we may never be fully rid of the virus, our way of life now will have to carry on in the future - but we should have more freedom of movement.

Saturday Star spoke to South Africans about what exactly they plan to do when this is over:

I am looking forward to a better quality life for those who were very adversely affected by this pandemic physically, emotionally and financially. I am looking forward to freedom. To go wherever I want to go and not wear a mask. - Angela Stone, Johannesburg.

The first thing I would do is give my mother a big hug. I haven’t been able to do that since this pandemic started. It’s small, but something I think many of us have taken for granted. I am also really looking forward to going away for a nice, quiet and relaxing holiday with my family whilst not having to worry or stress about work or my patients. I am also really looking forward to not having to wear full PPE to work every day. It has been cumbersome suiting up every single day. - Vikash Makan, Johannesburg.

A trip to the nearest island to soak up sunshine and work on the sand. Fortunately, remote working means we can work from anywhere in the world - as long as you have stable WiFi. I cannot wait to take full advantage of the travel opportunities, while not having to worry about leave days. - Shehnaaz Suleman, Johannesburg.

I’m looking forward to visiting friends and family and going on vacation, within our beautiful country. More than ever we need to support home-grown businesses. - Roshan Chiman.

Travel, meet up with family, enjoy a weekend away in the bush. A job first, then the rest will follow. - Shane Rule.

We have not been able to run our walking tours, and everything has gone online. I am missing going into the city and getting into buildings and having interesting conversations with people. I am keen to get back onto the streets of Johannesburg and explore our heritage again. - Brett McDougall of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation.

I’m so looking forward to international travel, and particularly to visit my parents, who have been isolated in London. - Suyen Thornhill - founder of the pop up restaurant, Chéz Fong, in Houghton.

I'd like to breathe the air again with no mask on. And greet people properly, see the smiles on their faces. - Ragiema Noordien, Cape Town.

I'd like to stand shoulder to shoulder with lots of people waiting to get into a stadium for a rugby match. Then screaming for my favourite team and enjoying the atmosphere of a large crowd. - Shawn Fielies, Johannesburg.

I'd like to gather all the masks in my house and burn them. I never want to see them ever again. - Malikah Watson, Athlone.

I'd like to have a big-ass party in the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town and invite everyone I know, so I can “kiss greet” every single person who comes. - Shaheemah Martin 31, Mitchell’s Plain.

It might be weird to say, but I can’t wait until we all don’t have to wear a mask any more. It will be so good to be able to see people’s faces again. It is something we all took for granted. I won’t have this paranoia about forgetting it or having difficulty breathing in it, or having to speak through it. - Tebogo Monama, Johannesburg.

I just want to be able to travel around the country and the world again. Travelling will be so different because we will all appreciate the experience so much more. I can't wait to get on a plane and not have to fear for my life. But the thing I am dreaming the most about is relaxing on the beach with no worries in the world. - Daniel de Sousa, Johannesburg.

When the pandemic is over the first thing I would love to do is have a get together or a braai with my family and friends and other loved ones. I really miss the quality time we used to share at these random meetings, and I think it will be so much more meaningful once we can get together again because of all the time we were forced to spend apart. - Heena Ranchod, Johannesburg.

Saturday Star also spoke to Grade 0-5 learners at St James Preparatory School in Joburg, and this is what our young minds had to say:

PART of the huge crowd at a Vodacom Tri-Nations game between South Africa and Australia at the ABSA Stadium in Durban in 2004.

The first thing I would do is hug the people I love, shake hands my friends and throw all the masks away in my house, so I'm free. - Aged 9, Grade 4

The first thing I want to do is visit my cousin, brother and look forward to swimming at the water park. - Aged 6, Grade 1

Go for ice cream. I am looking forward to going for 'I Jump'. - Aged 7, Grade 1

I would go to the zoo. I am looking forward to going to Khusi & Aashi's house.- Aged 7, Grade 1

I am most looking forward to the playground. - Aged 4, Grade 000

To play with my friends and have my family come over. - Aged 8 , Grade 2

When the pandemic is over I want to go on an outing. The first thing I want is to walk freely without a mask. - Aged 12 , Grade 6

I would start my horse riding and swimming lessons again. I would also have many play dates with my friends, because I have missed them very much. I am looking forward to visiting my cousins in London the most, and playing in the snow. - Aged 8, Grade 2

Going on a holiday with my family. When I say family, I mean everyone - my cousin, aunts and my Nani and Nana. - Aged 11, Grade 5

Go to Durban so I can finally be at the beach. - Aged 11, Grade 6

Going to a different country and the first thing I would like to do is to play with my friends without a mask. - Aged, Grade 4

I would go to the movies, and the thing that I'm looking forward to the most is playing basketball without the masks. - Aged 13, Grade 7

Going on new adventures and trips. - Aged 9, Grade 3

I would go to Sun City and go to the beach. - Aged 7 , Grade 2

High five my friends and hug them. - Aged 9, Grade 4

I would go to Gold Reef City and I am looking forward to being able to play sports again. - Aged 12, Grade 7

Go to Cape Town and visit my family, go to a restaurant with my family, and Sun City. - Aged 6, Grade 1

When the pandemic is over l would love to go to Durban and see my family and to go to the arcade at the mall.- Aged 10, Grade 4

I would like to go to the beach and the trampoline parks. - Aged 6, Grade 02

I am looking forward to going to Gravity. I just want to spend more time with my friends. I miss them. - Aged 9, Grade 3

Playing soccer again. - Aged 11, Grade 5

Going to places that were closed. - Aged 9, Grade 3

Going to school and not wearing masks. - Aged 10, Grade 5

See my friends and go on a play date. - Aged 8, Grade 2

I would go to the beach with a hundred friends (if I had so many, which I don't), or go ice skating. - Aged 12, Grade 6

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The Saturday Star

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