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During the second week of lockdown, police presence increased, and we look at the most prevalent topics.

Week TWO of Lockdown in Masakhane

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During the second week of lockdown, we continued our everyday interviews with locals to get an idea of what is going on in Masakhane.

This week each interview was on a different topic: In general, the police are more present these days, so people take the situation more seriously now. If the community works together, there the lockdown may not be extended (*it is extended now till the end of April). While for some people, life in lockdown is not that different, except that they do not go to work, for many others, it is a considerable challenge.


As in the first week, the situation in Masakhane seemed to be stable, entering the second week, hunger is becoming more and more of a problem. While social grants are available, many have already lost their job. Often people cannot afford to buy enough food or even basic hygiene supplies anymore. There is a need for a soup kitchen or at least some minimal food supply to support people.

Easter celebration

As in other parts of the world, Easter this year was totally different. Usually, people in Masakhane would go to the church in the morning and then come together afterward to have fish and drinks together. On Easter, many people also go back to their hometowns. However, this year, people stayed at home. There was no church and no coming together or visiting. Yet, you could still celebrate with your small family at home.


Many kids are still out on the streets, suggesting that homeschooling is not working very well. This situation might be for different reasons, either the parents don't have the time, or they don't have the tools for homeschooling. There is also no way of accessing any material like books and workbooks now that schools are shut-down. It is not that parents don't care, but it is simply not easy for parents to teach their children.

Medical conditions

Medical access has not changed in times of the Coronavirus, except for having the possibility to get tested for COVID-19 in some cases.

There are many people with HIV, TB, or other chronic illnesses in the Masakhane community who are potentially more at risk when getting infected by the Coronavirus. However, they don't get more help in any way. They are in isolation, just like everyone else during the lockdown. Unfortunately, they do not get specialized help.

The elderly, being at higher risk as well, are taken care of by home cares, that fortunately still run as usual.

With general illnesses besides the virus, it is still possible to go to the doctor when, for example, your children are not feeling well. Alternative, remote access to medical services, when available, is even more challenging with limited internet availability for most.


In Masakhane, the most common drug is alcohol, and many people stocked up on it before the lockdown began. Now some are even making beer themself, either because they already ran out, or to get money from selling it. Other drugs do also play a role in Masakhane. Dealers are still around during the lockdown, and it seems like it has made no difference in terms of acquiring illicit substances. Unfortunately, as space is limited, children are often exposed to drugs as well.


Mental health

The lockdown has a tremendous effect on people's mental health all over the world. In a community like Masakhane, people worry about their future, as they have either lost their jobs are concerned about the very possibility. Moreover, being deprived of social contact is very challenging for one's stability. For that matter, keeping as much contact at it is possible in these times may help; talking to friends and neighbors, so you don't feel like you are all alone in this situation. Children are also affected a lot, even though they might not understand the whole extent of what is going on. So explaining and speaking with them about the situation is essential as well. All in all, it might be helpful if the government could install a free helpline to support people who especially suffer mentally under the whole situation.

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