If you’re reading this in hospital, just remember that things could be worse: non-family visitors could be allowed.
Loadshedding is back. And the reasons this time are scary. Ten different breakdowns at seven different power stations. Our electricity grid is literally held together (or not) by thoughts, prayers and aging sticky tape.
I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that we’re just 9 days away from what many people would call “1 year of lockdown”. Sure, when we first started there was a lot more locking down than there is now. We weren’t allowed to go out at all. Now, we’re not allowed to go out between midnight and 4am. But the State of Disaster in this often Disastrous State is still in force and will continue to be for at least another month (and obviously waaaay beyond that, too). Everyone is fully expecting a third wave of infections here, probably around May or June. And despite the government’s best promises, I’m not confident of getting a vaccination much before the end of the year. And that’s hugely optimistic, according to this useful tool.
It’s a gloomy picture, exacerbated by the miserable weather today, the horrendous traffic (ironically brought about by the easing of lockdown) and by the return of loadshedding which popped in last week to say hi and has decided to stay until at least Wednesday. So, amidst the rain, the jams, the infections and the lack of electricity, it is – once again – amazing to me that this country continues to… well… to continue continuing.
Well. Mostly, anyway. I’ve just taken a call from the place that is servicing my car today to tell me that they can’t do any wheel alignments (I wanted four done) (or one big one) until they get their wheel alignment machine mended because loadshedding has broken it. Frustrating.
But my major issue is still the amount that we are contributing to the economy via this new house. A blocked drain and a leaking pipe are today’s exciting events. The plumbers are digging through bathroom walls and trying to break as few tiles as possible, but due to the terrible way that the original pipework was installed, that’s no easy task.
Right. Let me go and see how they are getting on with their work. After all, it’s not like there’s any rush to go and fetch the car or get a vaccination, is it?
There’s likely to be a lot more loadshedding coming our way over the next few months (and beyond?). So we purchased a UPS to keep (some of) the internet going so that the kids could continue to do their schoolwork while we got loadshod. But as soon as we bought it, Eskom said that actually, everything was ok and there wouldn’t be any more loadshedding ever again that day.
Unperturbed, we plugged in the UPS and immediately, Eskom said that there was going to be some loadshedding again. I’m not saying that it was our fault that there’s loadshedding, but it probably was. Well, that and the years of corruption, mismanagement, looting and general negligence. So not all our fault then.
Anyway, I’m writing this on UPS-powered internet, which – for the moment at least – seems to be working exactly as we had hoped. Even though the kids have finished their schoolwork for the day.
Let’s see if it can last the 2 hours.
I’ll keep you informed.
UPDATE: Hmm. Iffy. Switched off halfway through loadshedding for no apparent reason. And the supplied voltage and battery levels were all over the place. Better than nothing, but far from perfect.
We’re running a few more tests on it, but I don’t think this is the droid we’re looking for. A return seems imminent.