Smelling the coffee…

I cannot sleep, even though I need to sleep. And no, it’s not the coffee. I guess now is a good time to confess. I haven’t been able to drink coffee for three weeks now – after being on antibiotics for my sinus infection. I know right? The absolute horror! It gets worse…

For the past week I have been trying decaffeinated coffee. What is the point even? I ask myself that every morning. It tastes…. well…. bleh! There’s no other word that comes to my tongue!

Sidenote – I normally drink minimum three cups of strong coffee a day – sometimes black or with very little milk. I was a self-confessed caffeine addict. I’m coping pretty well, unlike the cigarette and alcohol addicts at this time. So now that we have established that it’s not the coffee, we can move on….

Insomnia. Oh yes! I’ve had insomnia since standard 5. It’s never left me. I think my body was always programming itself for working in the media industry. But that’s not it either.

Because I know that like me, many of you too, are battling to sleep. I find I can chat to my friends at weird hours because like me, they’re still awake. On social media, I see many contacts and friends online in the early hours of the morning too.

The lockdown has messed with our natural rhythms of work, leisure and sleep. Even though I am working from home, I find the nights blur into days…. and it’s a cycle that keeps my mind working even more. Social distancing means we are reaching out for social interaction in different ways. But on many levels, we are also scared. That’s a natural reaction. The day’s news weighs heavily on us. Last night, it felt like a ton of bricks on my chest; it still does. I had to remind myself to breathe. And stay calm. And eat, even though I had no appetite.

Right now, we are sitting at 5 350 positive COVID-19 cases. This is an increase of 354 cases from the previous day. It is the highest number of cases in a 24 hour cycle recorded to date. The number of deaths stands at 103 – an increase of 10 deaths from the previous day. With testing now happening at an increased rate, positive COVID-19 cases are likely to rise in the coming days and weeks.

And let’s make it clear…The lockdown doesn’t end today. Many of the restrictions that were in place under level 5 will still be in place under level 4 which starts tomorrow. But again, I fear. I fear that many will not heed the message to stay home unless for essential work or items. I fear that many cannot afford to do so. Because if they do, how will their families survive?

Government has a range of relief measures in place but filtering it to grassroots level has historically been a challenge in this country. I pray that we can get it right. I pray that we can save lives and livelihoods.

I want to feel comforted by these thoughts and fall asleep. But my mind remains restless. The outbursts of rain keep me company. I am not alone. And perhaps that’s the silver lining to this cloud of darkness that coronavirus brings – that we aren’t alone; we too are going through the motions like so many people around the world.

Time will tell… time will help us heal… and maybe in time, I will drink coffee again, just not anytime soon.

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