Last Word

Standards are seriously slipping in lockdown

The cleaner in me is falling a bit behind. So is the baker in me and the showerer in me

03 May 2020 - 00:01 By
When last did you make your bed - or get out of it?
When last did you make your bed - or get out of it?
Image: 123RF/belchonock

Over the past six weeks standards here have dropped drastically. Everywhere I look on my timeline people are cleaning out cupboards and, in between feeding starters and reinventing the wheel, they're dusting, mopping, sweeping and knitting hammocks.

One friend even cleaned her bathroom during lockdown. Twice. I unfriended her immediately; who needs that kind of peer pressure?

I guess it's safe to say that the cleaner in me is falling a bit behind. So is the baker in me and the showerer in me. I was going to vacuum two weeks ago but then something came up. It was an urgent none of your business, it's on a need-to-know basis.

So now there are a few new guidelines that apply in this new-normal household. For example, the five-second rule no longer applies. If you drop something on the floor and put it in your mouth even a nano-second later, you will die!

The five-second rule no longer applies. If you drop something on the floor and put it in your mouth even a nano-second later, you will die!

Slippers have become like underwear at Afrika Burn, it's perfectly acceptable to wear them on the outside. And I'm not sure if I've forgotten how to put on my pants - or whether I just don't fit into them any more.

I also wore pyjamas to a Zoom party last week and didn't even turn off my camera. And not the fancy PJs I wear when I think I might get sex, the other ones, with the mustard stain on the shin.

And you want something ironed? Trick question - that implies it would have to be washed first. And nobody has time for that, this 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle is not going to do itself.

Speaking of the puzzle, the dining-room table is now no longer accessible so meals between grazings must be balanced on your lap. (In case you were wondering about mustard stain on shin.)

It's life, but not as we know it. Especially for us massively privileged bunch, who are lucky enough to have comfy homes, or any home, our health, enough food and money to see us through a desperately tanking economy.

We with privilege have all taken to this crisis differently. One of my friends and her family have planted a garden after four years of living on their smallholding. The kids have colour-coded all the books in the house to annoy book purists. They've also learned how to make pesto and sieve weevils out of the flour. They've started a partial soup kitchen out of their garage, they're considering starting a cannabis farm and they've watched every episode of The Mindy Project.

And somewhere on the street where I live a neighbour is either learning to play the violin or murdering their cat for a few hours every day.

Plus my mate Paul has been brewing his own pineapple monstrosity that will either grow arms and murder them all in their sleep or take an oath and run for office in the next elections, we aren't sure which way this is going to play out yet, good or evil.

So, how would you rate your home-baked banana bread on a scale of one to the cover of the Woolies magazine? And when last did you make your bed - or get out of it? As I said, standards have dropped drastically.

But maybe what's important to us has shifted. Because I may not be excelling at the regular things I used to manage quite well, like basic cleanliness, getting dressed and other life etiquette, but on the flipside, I've gotten tons of words down. I've never felt more grateful to have what I have, our veg garden is thriving, I've never felt closer to my Granny Sally and I've saved a fortune on shampoo and Botox.