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7 days into lockdown, SA getting a grip on restricted living

Across all sectors, millions of citizens have been drastically affected by strict regulations imposed by the government in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.

A member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) enforces social distancing as he makes shoppers hold their hands out in front of them to ensure that they are at least one metre apart from one another while they queue outside a supermarket in Yeoville, Johannesburg, on 28 March 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - It's exactly one week since the country was placed under lockdown and many South Africans are still trying to get to grips with this reality.

Across all sectors, millions of citizens have been drastically affected by strict regulations imposed by the government in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Life as we know it has been turned upside down.

A little over three months ago, when the coronavirus was making headlines in Wuhan, China, it all seemed far away from home.

Even weeks later, when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, this reality hadn't sunk in for many.

But it was a culmination of events, including South Africans stuck in the epicentre of the outbreak, rising cases here at home, the shutdown of schools and bans of public gatherings, that many started to take notice.

Within days, simple things such as stepping out to buy food, taking a walk and even burying a loved one were severely restricted.

Many people are battling to cope with these drastic adjustments to their lives.

Psychiatrist Professor Renata Schoeman has some advice, especially for those stuck at home.

"Don't get swallowed in by television and social media and be clear with your boundaries between work and personal life. Communicate with your children when they do disturb you and when you do invest quality time with them."

The lockdown is expected to last until 16 April and while many South Africans are counting down to the days they will taste complete freedom again, they've also been warned not to get complacent.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 3 April 2020 AM

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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