A few months ago I wrote about how lucky we were to be in Namibia during these covid times. Well, the tides have changed, as I expected they eventually would.
Namibia is solidly in its third wave of COVID-19 and things here are worse than ever before. Everyone either knows someone with covid or has it themselves. Hospitals are overwhelmed and full to capacity, there isn’t enough oxygen at medical facilities, and not enough people are vaccinated. It seems like every day a new record number of cases are being confirmed and more and more people are dying. It’s abysmal.
Nate’s mom visited for about three weeks in May, and we travelled through the Caprivi Strip with her. It was an awesome trip, and a perfect last hurrah before the shit hit the fan. She left just in the knick of time before things got truly terrible.
We pulled M out of school weeks ago, before the President mandated that schools be closed. So he’s once again bored at home, watching too much tv, with “school” consisting of him playing ABC Mouse on his kindle. Luckily I still had some sticker and painting books to keep him busy, and I’m once again glad I stocked up on those when I had a chance.
Mission Windhoek is now also on Authorized Departure. Been there, done that; there’s no way we’re going down that road again. But emotions are running high in the community as friends ponder what’s right for their families or are finding out that their summer travel plans have been shot to hell. It’s just not an easy time for anyone.
We were supposed to go to Swakopmund for Father’s Day weekend, but, watching the case numbers, it was becoming abundantly clear that going to Swakopmund was a bad idea. Several weeks ago, I rescheduled the reservation for late-July and we planned to go camping instead. Then the President of Namibia announced a lockdown for Windhoek and two surrounding towns, and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to leave the city, even if the campsite was in the same region as Windhoek. So we spent the weekend at home, cooking, playing board games, putting together Legos, and enjoying quiet family time. It was a fun, pleasant weekend, for the most part.
On Friday evening Nate had to go to the airport to meet a family that was newly arriving to post, so I had to take M with me on Artie’s evening walk. We were walking along and I noticed a car pulling into a driveway, and when the compound gate opened, two dogs came running out. We stopped and waited until the car and dogs were inside the gate and the gate was closed. Once the coast was clear, we started walking again and after we’d passed the house with the previously-open gate, I discovered the gate wasn’t actually closed all the way when one of their dogs (the littler of the two) came out through the gate. It stood there and stared at us for a few seconds while in my head I rapidly trying to figure out how to keep M safe if this dog attacks Artie since there was no sidewalk or curb just a really steep ditch cliff, how was I going to keep holding M’s hand if I had to keep Artie safe too, maybe I should pick M up?, Artie had surgery recently and what if the dog rips open her incision, then WHOOSH BAM.
A car came flying down the hill and hit the loose dog. It lay there on the ground twitching, and its owners did NOTHING. I screamed “that car just hit your dog” and a man came walking out and he picked the dog up. Poor thing. There’s no way it survived.
We kept walking until we reached an area with a sidewalk where we could safely stop, and while M hugged Artie, I cried.
Then the questions started. “Why did those people not close their gate?” “Why was the dog twitching?” “Why did that dog want to come after Artie?” “How do you die when you get hit by a car?” “Why did that car hit that dog?”
Ugh, it was terrible.
Sometimes life just keeps kicking you while you’re down.
We are glad that we’ve spent the last year exploring Namibia, camping, road-tripping, making new friends, and living life here to its fullest. It certainly makes times like these a little easier, knowing that if for some reason we had to leave tomorrow and never come back, I’d have zero regrets. Also, honestly it is kind of nice to just stay at home and relax after all the traveling and camping we’ve been doing.
No one knows what the future holds, but looking at the experiences of other countries, cases will probably continue to increase for the next week or so before they gradually (very very gradually, I’m expecting) start to come down. We might have to reschedule our 4th of July plans also, but you know what, worse things could happen. In the meantime, we’ll play board games, cook through the food in the freezer, watch all the Star Wars movies, and be grateful for what we have.