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A Dazzle of Zebras

So we are into day 4 of South Africa’s national lockdown in trying to flatten the curve. I’d like to say the world is changing but in actual fact it has already changed. Things won’t ever be the same again and for most of us, our lives have been affected physically, socially, economically and emotionally.

I haven’t escaped the madness and not being able to be in clinic for three weeks, possibly longer, is really going to take a toll on my finances. There are however other benefits to being in lockdown for three weeks (besides being in the service of the greater good of humanity).

This morning while Candice was doing homeschooling with the boys I sat with Mila and we built an alphabet puzzle together. This is something I’ve never done with her, ever, simply because life hasn’t allowed me the time to do so. Now I have the time 😁. As we got to the letter Z for Zebra, I was reminded of a family dinner I had a couple of nights before we went into lockdown. At that dinner for the first time I learnt that the collective noun for zebras is a dazzle. A dazzle of Zebras. I had for some reason just presumed it was a herd of zebras. A zebras unique black and white patterning also provides protection, through camouflage simply because it’s main predator, the lion, is colour blind.

I mention this story simply because South Africa for most of its history has been divided along racial lines. Our skin colour has given us a stereotypical bias about ourselves and the dichotomy of black and white is expressed probably more strongly here than anywhere else in the world.

And yet against all odds, when our backs are against the wall we rise to meet most challenges with a resilient whinge and a smile on our faces. We are a country with the highest HIV infection rate in the world and according to the WHO a country heavily burdened with tuberculosis. If the coronavirus wants an easy meal it’s “us.”

When a child (or adult for that matter) has a “meltdown” or “tantrum”, the behavior is an indication that connection is required. Not punishment, separation or isolation.They are feeling separated, vulnerable or misunderstood. So even though the worlds tantrum (or someone’s attempt at manipulating economies and markets) is requiring us to self isolate and stay home, for us to find our post Covid19 balance we are going to require connection.

This connection will require a collective effort from rich and poor, young and old and black and white. If South Africa and her people can find this connection amongst ourselves during this pandemic, just like a population of zebra we will survive and dazzle in the new world that will emerge post the 2020 coronavirus.

Chat soon

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