Story 2 - Karen - WageIndicator Team - News and Social Media Manager - South Africa

How has your work and lifestyle changed during this pandemic?

In terms of work, I normally operate online and from home, so that has not changed radically. What is different is not being able to see friends and family, and not doing things one takes for granted, like going to the movies or to an art gallery. My friends and family and I have quiz evenings, we’ve had birthday gatherings, and we meet for “drinks” all via Zoom or WhatsApp or Skype. We have had to learn new ways of communicating with other people. It’s good to have these options, but still weird.

What does a day in your life look like?

I definitely have a routine. Every day I get up early, and I either run or surf. It depends on the weather, but I exercise for about an hour. And then I make food, etc. and then I’m at my desk between 8.30 and 9am every morning. I work solidly, which could include Zoom meetings, liaising with colleagues, working on my own WI sections, and more. During my working day, I usually take time out to walk my dog, Beatrix, around lunchtime. She likes to lie in my study while I work, and she snores a lot ☺

What are you noting about the about the world around us, at this time?

The huge gap between the privileged and the less privileged has become glaringly obvious. Those who are doing what we consider to be essential services – from collecting garbage to teaching to nursing – are at the frontline of the pandemic, and are holding our societies together, yet they are not particularly well paid. They often have to fight for benefits, and for decent working conditions.Those working in the informal sector are also extremely vulnerable at this time, even if they are doing vital jobs that keep countries going.I think this has been very revealing to see, and I hope others are seeing it as well. Labour laws are not being enforced, people are paid badly, people are being fired for no reason. For example, vast numbers of domestic workers have not been able to work because of lockdown rules. Many employees have simply not paid them anything, and they have been literally left to starve.

And the future?

I sincerely hope that as we move forward we don’t perpetuate a system with such unequal levels of employment and lifestyles. I hope that people learn to be kinder to each other. There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty. People are scared, and sometimes when people are scared they also become aggressive or unreasonable. We must try and be kind.

"I hope people learn to be kinder to each other and I can see that we are trying!"


Life in South Africa
Meet Karen Beatrix The Eight Years Old Puppy

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