What's In My (Shopping) Bag?– COVID-19 Lockdown Edition

Hello all! As you may already know, last night South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21 day national lockdown starting on Thursday. This means that almost everything is shutting down, and I’ll be required to stay at home except to buy necessary groceries and supplies. The South African National Defense Force (a branch of the military) will be assisting the police to enforce the lockdown. If you’re wondering, I’m still staying here and I’m still confident that it’s the right decision. In fact, my schedule on lockdown will be only slightly different from the one I’ve been keeping since church services were suspended.

The announcement of the lockdown came at an unfortunate time for me however, as I had already planned to go to the grocery store for two days and had promised myself I would go today. I knew that the grocery store would be crowded, but I did’t imagine it will be much better tomorrow or Thursday. The stores were full, and the energy was mostly tense. The store was notably low on pasta, canned meals, long-life milk and rooibos tea. Honestly, it was probably exactly what you’d expect. I saw a few customers squabbling, exhausted and hard working employees, some people obviously over-shopping and everyone tensing up when people were physically nearby. It’s an all too familiar story in our world right now, and I honestly don’t have much to say about it that you haven’t already heard.

Furthermore, I don’t think that attempting to directly describe my feelings of worry and powerlessness will yield much of value. Instead, I would like to do a blog version of a youtube phenomenon, the “What’s In My Bag” video. In these videos a YouTuber or celebrity unpacks their bag and shows you what’s inside. Sometimes it is somewhat instructive, such as a fitness vlogger recommending some must-have items for a gym bag. Most of the time, the video’s purpose is just to give some glimpse into that person’s life. So today I’m virtually unpacking my shopping bags because I think it will be revealing both about my daily life, as well as be my mental/emotional response to the lockdown.

  1. Cash– So that I don’t need to figure out how to go to the bank immediately if my card stops working for some reason.
  2. Bread
  3. Milk
  4. Eggs– I might try learning to poach them while I’ve got the time. Poached eggs are my favorite kind of eggs, especially as part of eggs Benedict.
  5. Honey-Nut Cheerios– I eat these almost every morning for breakfast with a sliced banana. It makes me think of my grandfather who I remember always doing it when he would come to visit.
  6. Marie Biscuits– A plain type of biscuit like a rich tea biscuit.
  7. Ranch Dressing– I have a lot of carrots in my fridge right now, and I’m a huge fan of ranch.
  8. A Frozen Pizza
  9. Frozen Corn– Many people who know me well know that I love frozen corn and can eat mass quantities of it. Sometimes I would even eat it for dessert. I haven’t bought any since I got here, but it made me smile immediately when I passed it in the store. A definite personal comfort food.
  10. Pasta
  11. Pasta Sauce
  12. Mature Cheddar– Cuz I ain’t got time for naive cheese in these troubled times.
  13. Green Bananas–They’ll be yellow eventually.
  14. Yellow Bananas– To eat in the meantime. Growing up, a staple summer food was frozen bananas. It was essentially a popsicle I was allowed to eat whenever. Since I’ve arrived here I’ve consistently had a stash frozen bananas in my freezer.
  15. Apples
  16. Bosc Pears– The obviously superior kind of pear.
  17. Pomegranates– A treat, but I deserve it.
  18. Zucchini
  19. Candied Fruit– A newfound passion.
  20. Rooibos Tea– They were cleaned out of the regular sized boxes so I had to buy a small box. Rooibos is the most popular kind of tea here. I have been fully assimilated in this regard and drink multiple cups of it per day.
  21. Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion Chips– Another treat.
  22. Haribo Gummy Bears– A treat I strongly associate with my years in college. In the dining center they had “Sunday Sundae Bar” which included gummy bears as a topping. My friends and I would often get the gummy bears separately just to munch on.
  23. Mint Aero Bubbles Chocolate Bar– An impulse buy as I passed the candy gauntlet in the drugstore. The candy gauntlet in this store is impressively long, snaking back and forth for about 60 feet of candy temptation.
  24. Riesens– My favorite chocolate/caramel candy at home. It’s the first time I’ve seen it here.
  25. Milk Lindor Truffles– Chocolate was actively on my shopping list as a necessity while being cooped up and I didn’t let myself down.
  26. A Bottle of Face Mask Goop
  27. A Scented Candle– “Herb Garden” scent
  28. 2 Bath Bombs
  29. 3 Bottles of Nail Polish
  30. Sketchbook
  31. Black Construction Paper
  32. Colorful Construction Paper
  33. Watercolor Palette
  34. Extra Paintbrushes
  35. Oil Pastels
  36. Pencil Sharpener– For my colored pencils
  37. Sticky Tack

I was definitely influenced by the lockdown, and I think that it’s pretty evident from the list. I also found myself feeding on the energy around me and almost bought some things I definitely didn’t need “just in case.” Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me, what I like to eat in times of stress, and my dreams of artistic creations while being stuck inside.

I hope that wherever you are that you are safe, healthy and reasonably happy. I hope that you are getting the chance to explore new (or old) hobbies, and that you are giving yourself the treats you deserve while we muddle our way through a confusing and scary section of our lives. Sending much love and prayers from here!


4 thoughts on “What's In My (Shopping) Bag?– COVID-19 Lockdown Edition

  1. I identify with the chips. Knitting and reading from already existing g stash😁. Stay well and safe. Looking forward to seeing your artwork.


  2. “‘Cuz I ain’t got time for naive cheese right now.”
    This is quite possibly the most epic quote of the pandemic lockdown so far.
    Sending all the love to you, Marilee!


  3. Hi Mari, I’ve been following your blog and sorry I haven’t responded earlier. I hope you can get back to normal in 4-8 weeks. I’ve just been out to the grocery store in Virginia (we are staying here for 3 months), and the canned foods are way down especially soups, as are eggs, and all the paper supplies (toilet tissue, paper towels, and Kleenex). Our ‘bubble’ family consists of Barbara, me, and David’s family, even though Barbara and I are renting a house nearby. With the kids out of school now we are helping out with home schooling.
    I look forward to hearing more about how you are doing, and whether you can create a ‘bubble family’ there.


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