As we roll into our second Freedom Day under lockdown regulations, the past year has been a jarring reminder that we perhaps only really appreciate our freedoms once they are taken away.
This time last year, you couldn’t buy a cooked chicken at the supermarket. You couldn’t purchase open-toed shoes or ‘non-essential clothes’. Going 5km away from your home was essentially outlawed, and even if you stuck to those parameters, you had to be exercising – and not socialising.
Those who wanted to drink their troubles away could not – the first alcohol ban lasted for 70 days. South Africans who needed a cigarette to help them relax in the middle of this pandemic-induced panic could no longer get their smokes from a store – and were only able to source their nicotine from the black market. For five months, that ban lasted – and South Africa was only one of two countries (alongside Botswana) who implemented these measures during lockdown.
FREEDOM DAY: REMEMBER WHEN WE COULDN’T EAT COOKED CHICKEN?
This Freedom Day, therefore, will be a humbling experience. As it stands, we can go out and party – as long as we’re responsible. We can make up for lost time with our besties and our families. In fact, we can even go to a beach without the fear of Bheki Cele trying to kick us off the sands.
Wherever you’re celebrating on this day, it’s always worth remembering the following: Don’t take our hard-earned freedoms for granted – you’ll miss them when they’re gone.