Lockdown beauty for ashes

The current corona virus global pandemic has surely not left everyone the same, this I know, and I can speak for myself. I am a Ph.D. student in the field of Art History and Visual Culture Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. I am currently supposed to be in my second year of the degree but surely it seems like I am still in my first year due to the current situation. I had planned to travel back home to Uganda earlier this year to embark on my fieldwork research. This has all been in vain, I knew for sure that I would be able to return home but little did I know that most if not all international flights were canceled and more so the domestic ones. No one was and is still allowed to travel. Travel is limited within provinces and across South Africa to only specific issues regarding the corona pandemic. Troubled by the travel ban in place, I became even more stressed because I could not embark on writing my thesis without having gone to the field. Despite this, not all hope was lost, for I told myself that it was not worth worrying about things I did not have control over, except specific parts of my life. I started to then live the moment and taking it one step at a time. I focused my energy on doing more reading and free writing with regards to my research, eating healthily, exercising daily, and checking on how my family and friends are coping. My main focus as of now is my mental and physical health for they matter most during trying times like these. Indeed there is much more to life than worrying and stressing, there is beauty for ashes in whatever situation we face in life.

Claire Nalukenge

Location: Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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