Covid-19 enforces need for bucket list with a difference

Boat on the beach at Phuket Island, Tourist attraction in Thailand Phuket is an international magnet for beach lovers and serious divers in the Andaman Sea.
Boat on the beach at Phuket Island, Tourist attraction in Thailand Phuket is an international magnet for beach lovers and serious divers in the Andaman Sea.
Image: Pipop Boosarakumwad/Stock

Ever heard of a phrase "bucket list"? People who imagine death to be something that is distant and far away have a thing they create in their minds called the bucket list, where they make a list of all the things they want to do before they die, over several years.

Even if once in their lives.

Going on a road trip, and if you are on a South African road hoping that your destination isn't a pothole, visit all seven continents, perhaps even chasing summer around the world if your pocket is lined nicely. Live in a different country, start a company, or maybe that elusive threesome you have been dreaming of.

Oh, what luxuries we used to have, dreaming of futures and what we may do when we get there.

Lately, the sense that I get is that our bucket list making days may be over. What started off as a virus in the dirty food markets of Wuhan in China, has now become a real grim reaper right outside of our doors. And when the monkeys ran off with the coronavirus samples in India last week, you'd realise the year 2020 is a film and no one is a "starring". From the look of things, a lot of us are not going to survive this. It's time to pack away those bucket lists and think realistically about what death means and what it will mean for those around us. It's time to make real lists, realistic for the time we are faced with.

Do you have a will? I mean if you don't have a lot to consider materially, then maybe skip this one. But you will need to make sure that everything you have in the world will go to the people that you would want to have them.

This includes making a list of all the things you own, both tangible and non-tangible. Call your financial adviser today, or tomorrow, just do it.

Do you have children? Are they minors? Who do they go to in the case that you don't survive this. The crazy thing about this is that the people you nominate may also not make it through this. But for peace of mind, do it anyway.

Leave your children in the care of the one person who knows your dreams for them and the life you would want them to live.

Did you walk away from a customary marriage? Ma'am, sir, make sure that you have dissolved that marriage in its entirety. Do not inconvenience or frustrate your new partner with things that could make mourning you harder.

Make sure that someone has your social media login details and would be able to deactivate your accounts.

Pay people you owe, please. Do that immediately if you are in a position to do so. People can't even console themselves with demanding two pieces of fried chicken at your funeral to deal with the pain of your debt. You are allowed to imagine that I am being overly pessimistic. And maybe from where you are sitting this pandemic looks lighter than what it does to me. But from where I am, SA is about to be in fresh hell.

The country needs people to be responsible right now and for some parts of our population being responsible is too tall an order when you are faced with hunger.

The scientists have spoken and they have estimated that by November, about 40,000 people may be dead, and you and I could be part of that number. As we go into level 3 today, I want to wish you and your loved ones well.

Stay safe SA, try. Do the best you can, government cannot protect us, it is in our sanitised hands now.

X