The evening of the 15 March I was relaxing in luxury, in my 5 star hotel room at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. There was much anticipation around the speech that President Cyril Ramaphosa would deliver that evening. Cape Town had been quiet with only a few locals out walking their dogs and soaking up the suns rays, social distancing was already taking place and a sense of uneasiness was hanging in the air. Little did we know that evening would be the start of major change in South Africa. The 16 March saw me boarding a plane back to Johannesburg, the flight was full to capacity , if I knew then what I know now, I would have savoured every moment in the sky. This was going to be my last flight for a long time.


1 March First case confirmed in SA, from a group returning from Italy
5 March Minister of health Zweli Mkhize confirmed the spread to South Africa
15 March President Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster
17 March Government established the National Coronavirus Command Centre
18 March Schools closed, immediate travel restrictions
23 March National lockdown announced
26 March At midnight lockdown came into effect , it would be for 21 days to contain the spread
21 April 500 billion Rand stimulus announced
1 May Gradual and phased easing of lockdown announced
28 May Confirmed cases 24 264, Recovered 12 741 and deaths in SA 524
1 June Moving into Level 3 of lockdown


Driving the streets of Johannesburg ( with a permit ) and taking photos allowed me to experience surreal moments. Moments that I will probably never again see in my life. To think that over night a city with over 8000 000 people can suddenly became desolate. It was plain and simply eery.

My first photo was on the 27 March at 6h30am on Louise Botha Avenue, a normally bustling road connecting Hillbrow to Alexandra. Suddenly there wasn’t a car or human in sight.

30 March we made cloud coffee, the craze that took social media by storm. One hadn’t survived quarantine if they hadn’t made this coffee. Recipes were consuming social media. Suddenly recipe swopping became the norm again, Nigella Lawson’s were emerging in households across South Africa. Families became so excited with the new found talents emerging from women. Two weeks in, the weight gain was taking its toll and exercising was now getting discussed.

7 April my twins turned 11 years old. They would celebrate their birthday in quarantine, no party, no family meal at a restaurant, not even hugs and kisses from close friends and family. This was also the first time we encountered the Military , they were at a local mall.

Birthday cake and shoes

9 April was a drive through Joburg CBD. Never could I imagine what an empty city felt like. The streets were spotless, there was ample parking outside the High Court, Ghandi Square didn’t have a single bus. I wished I could have spent hours driving the streets admiring the beautiful buildings. Reality hit me when a homeless man wandered across the road, looking so forlorn. He didn’t come to beg, he just looked like the wind had blown out of his sails. The vibe and energy of the city that was his home had vanished and I wondered how much he understood of it.

Ghandi Square

25 April while walking through Sandton City, I was attracted to the Diamond Walk. The designer stores were empty. Expensive shop fittings had plastic draped half heartily over them reminding one that at some point not even money can prevent some of the inevitable’s in the world. Sadly Italian designer Prada has closed their doors permanently , the first and only store in South Africa, after 5 years in operation it was no longer viable for them to continue.

Prada – Sandton City

12 April , Easter Sunday. No family gathering but we could still enjoy an Easter Egg hunt in the garden. There was also no church service, it was up to each individual to celebrate Easter and its true meaning in the silence and privacy of their home

Easter Egg hunt

1 May saw the start of alert level 4. Shopping for winter clothes and ordering fast food was allowed. Wearing of masks became obligatory outside of ones home. Every street corner saw people selling masks ranging from R20 upwards. Curfew was set at between 20h00 and 05h00 , Exercising was now allowed between 06h00 and 09h00 daily within a 5km radius from home.

2 May with restrictions dropping a little, suddenly queues emerged everywhere. Sending money home was not easy for many as they stood patiently waiting. Every store had red markings outside reminding customers to practise social distancing while numbers were controlled of the amount of people allowed inside at any one time.

13 May just one of the many fantastic days I have had with my children,creating what they named “ mom moments “. I was never meant to be a teacher & I fully appreciate everything that they do. We have laughed, been silly , quarrelled but mostly importantly spent time together . Playing soccer, running, baking cakes, dressing up , swinging together and blowing dandelions has brought us closer together as we also had to learn to be more tolerant of one another in our own space.

16 May was one of the best. I collected a friend who had been placed in Quarantine after being repatriated to South Africa under very trying and difficult circumstances. Walking through the Radisson Blue Gautrain Hotel, I realised how the people make a hotel. If there are no people it’s just an empty shell with luxury furnishings waiting for the energy to enter.

Radisson Blu Gautrain

23 May was another memorable moment. Spending time at the stables with my sister and her horses. We couldn’t ride the horses because of restrictions but being able to feed the horses and walk them was just as enjoyable. The horses miss human interaction as much as we miss them.

We started a photo album entitled 21 days in Lockdown but when 21 days ended and lockdown didn’t we renamed it a second and a third time. Eventually it just became the lockdown album. Documenting photos and events for 60 days has had its ups and downs. A moment in history that we don’t want to forget, something for the children to look back .The animals and plants have been thriving, the air is cleaner, we have had more time for our families and we have learnt to practise patience and rely on our faith.
Not to be forgotten are the heartbreaking stories, people who were starving, who lost their homes and sadly those who lost friends and family to the COVID-19 virus.

Lets hope this is the beginning of a great new future for the planet and its occupants.