Good things came out of lockdown

Carolynne Franklin, Kirstenhof

I read a letter in the Cape Argus that was headed “We’ve lost our humanity, sense of community” by Morgan Phaahla, and I just couldn’t allow it to go unchallenged.

My lockdown experience has been the exact opposite of this. In fact, I would be so bold as to suggest that the Covid-19 crisis that we all find ourselves currently experiencing has brought out the very best in most people.

It has created virtual and human links between neighbouring suburbs (some more well-off than those right next door), has allowed the very best of sharing of the very basics of life to come to the fore, and has contributed in many ways to the strengthening of ties between formal and informal groupings as we all strive for the hungry and indigent to be fed and cared for.

Bridges have been built and eyes opened. Food and provisions have been distributed with no expectation of reward or payback. A genuine sense of community has seen literally tens of thousands of food parcels packed and donated to those in need.

Random acts of kindness and ubuntu are practised each and every day and new bonds forged across barriers and bridges that once appeared to be insurmountable.

From community-funded food schemes to clothing and blanket donations, from virtual food vouchers to weekly food hampers, ex-gratia gas payments for soup kitchens, masks made by the hundreds for donating to those who can’t afford to purchase one. Kennels made and sleeping pads manufactured for pets in need.

It has been a magnificent effort, and it continues even now. So many of us have not been aware of the poverty and hardships that exist so close to our homes or suburbs (through no fault of our own), but this pandemic has changed that.

I am proud to live in Cape Town, and even more thrilled to be part of the dynamic and human-centred community of Kirstenhof and surrounds.