I know you just have a couple of hours left to prep for the lockdown in SA. Here is what I wish I knew before going into the lockdown in North Italy.

Firstly, breathe.

I know the anxiety and the buyers panic is pushing up in the back of your throat like pandemic reflux right now.

Before I share my lockdown wishlist, I just want to let you know that you don’t need to be in the shops right now, because:

  1. The crowded shops are probably accelerating the spread of the virus (and your chances of getting it)
  2. Malls are probably the worst, because that’s where tons of people can crowd into one building.
  3. Going to the supermarket next week is probably safer and less crowded.

Here, supermarkets are geared with disinfectant equipment, which means it feels pretty safe compared to before the lockdown. We also limit the amount of people who can go into the shop at once, so it’s really nice and quiet.

Masses together = more infection infections = more infections = a longer lockdown period and an uncontrollable number of infections.

I have been in lockdown since the 11th of March and I took this video of my local supermarket on Tuesday.

See my videos

Also, my town (it’s about as big as Paarl in Western Cape) has more infections than the entire SA at the moment and we still have toilet paper.


You can see more supermarket videos here. I’ll share more videos week on walking the dog, staying safe etc.

The most important things to consider today and this week 

You will be able to access grocery shops and pharmacies next week.

Right now it’s a priority deciding where you’re staying and with whom. Our lockdown was extended and there’s a very high likelihood it could be extended again. So it’s important to consider:

  1. Is there someone you can stay with? Being lockup up alone for 2 weeks (and possibly more) is really tough. Just having someone you can irritate or at with make the entire process a whole lot easier.
  2. Is there something really important that you need over the course of 2 + weeks that you cannot find in a pharmacy or a supermarket?
  3. Have you organized the payments of any workers, freelancers or house workers who depend on you for an income? Now is the time to either pay them in advance, so they have financial resources in case the need something specific or to assure them that you will keep paying them.
  4. If you’re working remotely, do you have what you need to do your work?
  5. How can you support people who don’t have an income in the next couple of weeks?
  6. How can you support doctors, clinics and health care professionals.

Forget rugby, if there was ever a team game, this is it.

Limiting the spread of the Novel Corona Virus not only depends on you, but also how well you empower others.

  • Doctors need controllable numbers to ensure it doesn’t spiral out of control.
  • Your fellow South Africans in all communities need enough financial resources to go to the closest grocery shop, rather than the cheapest.
  • People need an income in order to stay at home.

If you don’t take of your fellow South Africans, they cannot keep you safe.

My actual lockdown grocery list 

I bought about one big grocery bad of about a week’s food. Everyone was stockpiling, which made me feel like I should.

However, looking back, that bag didn’t matter much, because we still have full access to pharmacies and groceries shops. I probably go to the supermarket about once a week.

Our shops also have the same hours they did before the lockdown.

So let’s get to my wishlist.

My lockdown wishlist 

This is the stuff that I didn’t get, but wish I did. If I could go back in time and purchase anything, I’d probably buy stuff you’re not even thinking about right now.

  1. Watercolor paint. 

  2. Art supplies

  3. Plant seeds and soil

I asked some friends to share their wish lists: 

Lockdown wish list

Next week I’ll share some tips on going shopping in a lockdown and how things work here in Northern Italy (obviously it might be different in South Africa).

However, here’s a quick tip.

#1 Now and during the lockdown it’s important to go only to your nearest grocery shop. If it’s a small, local business with fewer people that’s even better.

This helps you limit your contact with other and it helps a local business – who’s probably really struggling to survive the lockdown financially. The lockdown isn’t inherently bad. It’s bad for the economy, for hourly workers and for businesses, but in itself it’s aimed to contain the virus and the duration of its effect on South Africa.

So rather do it right now, otherwise you could face a lock down extension and uncontrollable infection numbers in a matter of days.