1. Treasure The Ones You Love 

If there's a number one take away from living under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that family is a treasure we should never take for granted. If you've been lucky enough to spend lockdown with the ones you love, count yourself blessed. Remember to continue to reach out to extended friends and family during this time, too. A 15-minute video chat can do wonders for those in isolation alone.

2. Live Life To The Fullest 

How many times have you made excuses for not living life to its fullest? Once lockdown is over and it's safe to explore our city again, we're definitely going to be out and about as much as we can. Make your own post-lockdown bucket list filled with all the adventures you've always been "too busy" to go on.

3. Enjoy The Outdoors

This life lesson goes hand in hand with living life to its full potential. We live in an urban jungle, with tree-lined suburban streets, parks and nature reserves just outside the city. You really don't have to venture far to find a good spot to enjoy the urban outdoors. Being cooped up inside for months has definitely taught us to appreciate our natural surrounds and the beauty of our city.

4. Life's About The Simple Things

What have you missed most during lockdown? We bet it's not anything complex or out of reach under normal circumstances. For us, it's been our morning coffee from Seattle Coffee and half-price Tuesdays at Ster-Kinekor Cinemas. The COVID-19 pandemic has most certainly taught us to value the little things we so often take for granted.

Coffee Spots Bedford

5. You Can Cook For Yourself

Yes, you can cook for yourself! We've learnt that those Friday night takeaways aren't always essential and that cooking at home can be a whole lot more fun. Of course, we have missed our favourite juicy burgers from the best burger joints in Joburg and a few other guilty indulgences during lockodwn. But we've also come to appreciate that we can make do with what we have when need be.

6. You Do Have The Time And Ability To Learn New Skills

Have you finally used that meditation app on your smartphone? Lockdown has afforded us much more time to ourselves, leaving many of us dumbfounded over how to pass the time. However, it has also taught us that you really can make time to learn new skills when you put your mind to it. Have you started any new hobbies in lockdown? All it takes is dedication and a yearning to learn something new, doesn't it?

covid 19 pandemic

7. It's Good To Slow Down Sometimes

Hasn't it felt good to take a rest from the never-ending rat race? Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've been allowed to take a step back from "normal" life. As the days and weeks have become an endless stream of time, we've appreciated the slower pace of things. Once this time is over, we'll be making more time to "do nothing" and let ourselves escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

8. Self-Care Is A Must

On a similar note, we've come to learn that self-care is a must. Amidst the chaos and confusion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to allow ourselves more time to rest and reboot. Whether this means treating yourself to a day of self-pampering or spending a weekend on the couch in your pajamas, caring for your physical and mental health is vital, pandemic or not.

9. Generosity Costs You Nothing 

On a different note, we have also learnt to care for others during this time. As many of us have struggled to keep afloat financially in lockdown, we've found that generosity can go a long way towards helping someone in need. Even if you have very little to give, a kind word or simple act of kindness can brighten a person's day.

10. We Are All Equal 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown no discrimination in whom it infects. In retrospect, we've come to learn that now more than ever, we're all the same. From princes to paupers, we have all been impacted by the pandemic in some way. Ultimately, we can choose to see the negative outcomes of this period or to celebrate our common humanity and determination to win against an invisible enemy. We like to hope that it'll be the latter.

covid 19 pandemic

Their Humble Beginnings

Samantha Berger gave up her life in the corporate world to fulfil a dream of making a difference to the lives of many abused, abandoned and neglected domestic animals. Starting with two litters of stray kittens housed in her spare room, soon Samantha was caring for over 300 animals with the help of 18 staff members.

Needless to say, the journey has been fraught with what has seemed like insurmountable mountains to climb, tears and heartache. They have had to move properties three times before finding their current property in Midrand. They have been crippled by burglaries and faced the devastation of a fire. Rand Water tore up their property, with very little compensation, and made it almost impossible for them to operate for seven full months. But the challenges they face fade away when they look at all the lives they save.


Creating A Happy Home For Animals

Kitty and Puppy Haven have seen the most broken and traumatised animals learn to trust again. They nurse their fur babies physically and emotionally and make them whole again. And Samantha and her team say there can be no greater reward. Their slogan is 'We Change Their Destiny'. Once an animal comes into their care, no expense is spared to meet all that animal’s needs and to find them the perfect forever home. Some animals, like their feral cats, will spend the rest of their days at Kitty and Puppy Haven as they can't be homed. But this foundation still loves those animals like their own and sees to their every need. Anyone who has seen their Cat Sanctuary will attest to this.

Right now, Kitty and Puppy Haven are in crisis mode. Their sanctuary is closed due to the national lockdown. They have had to move 14 members of staff onto the property, both to care for their animals and for their own safety. Kitty and Puppy Haven are housing and feeding them and doing everything possible to ensure their comfort during this time. Their operating costs have risen and they have absolutely no income. They still have to pay salaries, rates, water and electricity, provide food for their animals and staff and pay for veterinary visits and care. Their operating costs are over R250 000 per month. And at the moment, they are unable to conduct fundraisers, receive physical donations, operate their shop or process any adoptions.


How Are They Coping During This Time?

Some may ask why Kitty and Puppy Haven did not go the foster route and seek homes for their animals during lockdown. The answers are simple:

How Can You Make A Difference?

The situation is dire and that is why Samantha and her team are appealing to the public for help. They are asking the public to help them get through by making a donation, no matter how big or small. Anything will help and will be greatly appreciated. It can be a once off, or a monthly donation (just request a debit order form). They are a registered Public Beneficiary Organisation, so donations can be tax deductible and they can issue an 18A tax certificate.

Donations can be made to:

Kitty and Puppy Haven
Nedbank, Cheque Account, Sandton City
Acc. No: 1970845082
Branch code: 197005
Reference: Lockdown Crisis

For More Information

website | 010 224 0760/010 224 0763 | Facebook page | [email protected] | 37 Modderfontein Road, President Park, Midrand, Johannesburg