Life in a Time of Corona: Letters from the Ledge – Day 3

Sunday – 29 March 2020 – 09:00am

I definitely underestimated how much time it takes to prepare and publish each of these letters so I’m waking up earlier than usual to write today’s one.

Yesterday, I had my first experience of seeing fake news spread about the virus. There was an audio recording going around on Whatsapp that was allegedly recorded by someone in the Virology department of Groote Schuur hospital. It sounded pretty legit and even I passed it on to 2 people, but luckily they had the contacts to be able to find out that it’s fake. I did send the message on pensively, stating that I wasn’t sure if it was fake or not, but I still felt guilty when I heard that it was fake. I never want to be someone who helps spread fake news – especially at a time like this – so to be safe, I’m rather just going to stick to listening to reports from reputable sites or on the radio.

I was really alarmed by how quickly fake news can spread and realised that you really can’t be too careful. Everyone should feel like it’s our duty to do our part in preventing the spread of unnecessary panic amongst our nation as much as we can. Now, I’ll be the first to say that I love myself a good fight for justice / uprising / revolution of the people / ‘stick it to The Man’ moment, but in this instance, a national state of anarchy is not going to help us thrive or rebuild our economy once the lockdown is over so we need to be smart about the info we consume and regurgitate to other people (how gross is that analogy?! lol).

On the upside, I was complaining to a friend of mine about how I now have to ration out my internet and he showed me how I can easily change some settings on my Netflix and YouTube account to make them use way less data. You don’t understand how much this info changed my life right now! If this is a concern for you as well, what you need to do is:

1. On your cellphone, open the Netflix app.
2. Click on ‘More’ with the three-line icon in the far right of your navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
3. Click on ‘Account’ (wait for your browser window to open)
4. Scroll all the way down to the last section of the list and click on ‘Playback Settings’
5. You’ll see ‘Data useage per screen’ and simply select your preferred data useage. Mine is set to low, but you hardly notice the difference on a smart TV because it tries to compensate for poor Internet connections. Also, if you change the settings in the app, it will change for every device linked to your account.

1. Simply open YouTube on all the devices you use
2. Play any random video and wait for the ad to finish first then pause the video
3. On a cellphone, click on the 3 dot icon in the top right corner of the screen. On a TV, click on the three-dots icon in the row of icons below your video play bar then navigate across and select the HD icon titled ‘Quality’. You can simply select your preferred quality from this list and it will remain the same fo all YouTube videos until you change it.
4. Click on ‘Quality’ from the list and select your preferred video quality. I find that 360p works perfectly fine for me on Cellphone and in my smart TV, but it’s your perogative.

Yataa! (that’s a Japanese-style exclamation of happiness) I’m all sorted. I watched 8 episodes of Netflix yesterday and only used about 4GB of data out of my 10GB daily allocation so things are looking up! But I still really need to cut back on TV time. I noticed that if I watch TV for too long, I become lazy and goals start falling by the wayside.

Here’s how badly yesterday’s goal attempt went:

– Prayer, meditation and reflection time for 1 hour
– Exercise for 30mins – 1 hour
– Read for at least 2 hours
– Clean the flat for 1 hour (I did like 15mins maybe)
Do a creative activity for at least 1 hour 
– might fit in some work for 1 – 2 hours
– Do something that I’ve been procrastinating on (besides cleaning) for at least 1 hour
– Interwebs data useage allocation for the day – 10GB max

Needless to say, I have to redeem myself so…

The goal list for today:

– Post 1 Letter from the Ledge every day
– Holy Mass 1 hour (I’m Catholic and celebrating mass is an important cornerstone of my faith)
– Exercise for 30mins – 1 hour
– Read for at least 2 hours
– Clean the flat for 30mins
– Do a creative activity for at least 1 hour
– might fit in some work for 1 – 2 hours
– Do something that I’ve been procrastinating on (besides cleaning) for at least 1 hour
– Interwebs data useage allocation for the day – 10GB max

As long as I can tear myself away from the TV, today will be more productive!

I’ve also been getting a lot of calls and messages from others in isolation so yesterday was quite a full day of communication with the outside world. It’s enough to keep me sane so far. 

Sidenote: I have noticed that my part-time pet kitty, Meow-Meow, has not come around for the last two days, which is very unlike her. I just hope that someone else in the complex is feeding her and looking after her. Hopefully she’ll show her furry face soon.

Tomorrow, it’s back to doing work remotely for the weekdays so the goal list will be a bit shorter, but we’ll see how it goes.

Be safe. Stay strong. Stay home.


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