It was a year ago yesterday that I uploaded a post with a heading that read:
“Please “unfriend me” if…Social media during lockdown….”
The purpose of that post may be found at this link, was accomplished. Throughout the lockdown period and continuing today, the positivity we’ve experienced from our worldwide readers and social media friends has been nothing but upbeat.
Even now, as we’ve reported our upcoming return to the US to visit family, get the vaccine and get our passports stamped, allowing us to reenter South Africa when we’d adamantly stated, we wouldn’t be returning to the US during the pandemic, has been supportive and encouraging.
Well, who knew what this pandemic would bring? Who knew it would be impossible to get the vaccine in South Africa anytime soon? Who knew a planned trip to Kenya would be canceled due to more lockdown measures implemented by its government? Who knew it would make so much sense for us to change our minds?
Our change of mind could easily have been fodder for criticism and negative feedback. But, not a single reader of our site or social media wrote a negative word or comment instead of encouraging us all the way. For this, we are very grateful.
Whether or not our “Please unfriends me if…” had an impact will never be known. Primarily, that particular post was intended for our social media contacts, not so much our readers, who have always been outrageously kind and supportive, with a few rare exceptions.
But, at times, although not necessarily directed to us specifically, Facebook was rife with negativity. We’ve seen a dramatic change for the better in the past year. Did the pandemic do this?
One could say we could easily leave Facebook if we don’t like the majority of the content. But, for us, it’s a convenient and useful way to stay in touch with friends and family when often we are isolated, such as while in lockdown in India. And even here, now, we don’t have the usual numbers of social interactions we experienced in our previous stays in Marloth Park. People are careful to avoid social contact in most cases.
When we were in Marloth Park in 2018/2019, we saw friends several times a week. Now, with Covid-19 on everyone’s mind, it’s been less frequent, leaving us feeling a little isolated at times. Thank goodness for that! Of course, the wildlife visitors continually entertain us and, no doubt, we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and that of the friends we’ve been able to see.
Many have written to us over the past few days with heartfelt empathy over the cancelation of our trip to Kenya. We appreciate the generous messages we’ve written back, but we are pretty fine with the change, especially when we receive all of our money back. We’re still waiting for a few bigger sums to be refunded, almost US $4000, ZAR 59424, from both Little Governor’s Camp and Kenya Airways. Hopefully, we’ll see these refunds coming through soon.
Getting our passports stamped for another 90 days in South Africa and the opportunity to receive the vaccine have been many motivators in returning to the US. The bonus is the opportunity to see our family members after an 18-month hiatus, typical of many family members who haven’t traveled to see one another due to the pandemic.
Thus, this change in our itinerary will ultimately prove the most sensible and beneficial change in our many years of world travel. We thank all of our thoughtful readers for their kind comments, email, and WhatsApp messages and look forward to continuing to share our story for years to come, health providing.
Stay healthy and embrace life as many of us mourn the loss of loved ones during this dreadful pandemic and attempt to accept a new way of life in times yet to come.
Photo from one year ago today, March 31, 2020:
|An owl we spotted at Kanha National Park in India. For more, please click here.|