The effects of COVID-19 By Simamkele Ngcingolo

My name is Simamkele Ngcingolo a young man from the dusty streets of Uitenhage, Eastern Cape. I feel obliged to share with you my story of how covid 19 has affected me & my life.

It is fair to say that the disease came out of nowhere & it caught everyone by surprise as no one was prepared for it. When the stories from China first broke out we were still oblivious, questioning whether the virus is real or not until months later it hit home, yes the virus was within our borders and before we knew it we were under strict lockdown, level 5. So strict that soldiers from the South African army were deployed to keep people from leaving their homes something we would only imagine happening in a movie was our reality.

As we were experiencing the strict lockdown everything was shutdown from sport to soapies to schools & businesses even kissing & hugging was ‘a thing of the past’. It was during this time that I started questioning everything I had been doing since I was a young boy. I had so much time to think deep about life as I was aided by the fact that everything was on standstill, literally no distractions.

I was the guy who would sleep at 02:00 am and wake up at 12:00 pm just to eat and then go back to bed to take a nap again after eating and then stay on my phone the whole day. I did this routine for about 2 weeks until I decide to change my ways and try waking up earlier. It was a long and hard battle but eventually I went from waking up at 12pm to 10am to 8am and currently a year later I can proudly say I am able to wake up at 06:30am regardless whether I have commitments or not. I wake up and catch the sunrise, something so beautiful that I had been overlooking my entire life. Watching the sunrise increases my energy levels and gives me the boost I need to attack each day with positivity.

As the country was being opened up again & the restrictions were being loosened I started a new adventure with jogging just to take my mind off things little did I know jogging would become a huge part of my life as I am still at it today since July 2020, some months are better than others in terms of consistency but it is something that brings joy to my soul. The jogging eventually led to me eating healthier and helped me get stronger both physically and mentally.

The jogging alone wasn’t enough anymore I still wanted to become a better person that’s when I started reading. One of the first books I read was ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma a very interesting read that reminded me about who I am & gave me life lessons. It is one book I would recommend for everyone of all ages.

The irony in all of this is that as we were told to stay indoors I came out, the real me. Everything I am doing now from gym to reading is everything I did as a young boy. As much as 2020 was a bad year because of the many lives lost I am grateful because I found myself and I found purpose. There is still more to come, I am still searching for nirvana this is just the beginning of my story. I mean if the potential of a seed is a forest then how much more the potential of a human being?

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