Pandemically Positive

Flight No:- “Whenever” to South Africa ?????

Being positive in this Covid 19 pandemic requires, amongst many other qualities, a liberal dose of creativity and fortitude. “Pandemically Positive”, now there’s an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one, but it just seems more headline-grabbing than any alternative I could come up with.

Initially, this post was going to be the last in the trilogy referred to in the post “Out of work Tourist Guide” and entitled “What Category of Tourist Guide are You”. The events of a rapidly developing and ever-changing Covid 19 situation, however, enforced an extension to the “out of work” post, albeit at the risk of repetition.

The brain kept dwelling on what fellow Tourist Guides were doing with their time now that they have become a totally sidelined species, within a temporarily mothballed Tourism Industry ?

The question niggled at me, during a moment of writer’s block whilst churning out words for the book depicting my own years and experiences as a Tourist Guide. This is a long-delayed project best described as a superlative exercise in procrastination ! Even well-aimed footwear from the family to delicate parts of the anatomy over the years did nothing to spur me into action. Until NOW that is.

What was starting to become a well-intentioned figment of the imagination suddenly became my first, very own “Pandemic Positive”. With more time on the hands than is good for any mortal, the routine objective of a minimum 1000 words a day quickly became the norm. Currently standing at 40 000 words and counting, my own personal Pullitzer prize winner is well on the way.

Whilst this in itself does not solve the all-important loss of income that is pretty crucial to most of us, it has acted as a catalyst for two other very important functions. Firstly, it filled a big part of the boredom gap. Secondly, and more importantly, it unlocked some creative thinking regarding the addition of an alternative income-earning stream.

Overlooking the false starts, I am rapidly re-skilling myself, again, by taking an online course in Affiliate Marketing. That’s turning out to be not so simple as first thought, which merely confirms that nothing worthwhile ever is. Not just filling in time, but finding ways to satisfy changing circumstances, together with a practical need is as stimulating and motivating as it gets.

Which one of these guys on the left are you ? To those people who tend to fall back on the expedient response when change is threatening, “but I can’t DO anything else”, I would strongly recommend a mindset shift:- Change the beginning of the first negative phrase slightly to become the question “why CAN’T I DO something else ?which is far more positive – don’t you think ?

Regretfully I came across precisely this concept recently when reading a comment in response to a Tourism article on Industry job losses. It read, and I quote, “considering that most of the people employed in the tourism industry are not qualified to do anything else”  My Case Rests.

In the event that the mindset is at worst the negative one referred to above, then it’s just a case of marking time until normality starts returning. The big “IF” of course is if financial circumstances permit.

However, being in this very fortunate minority is not the objective of this Post, which is primarily to suggest there are alternatives to a one-dimensional outlook on life.

Should inertia, or the fear of change, and attempting something new bring on the “rabbit in the headlights” syndrome, then perhaps a compromise could be an application to the 30 Million Rand Relief Fund for Tourist Guides but don’t hold your breath.

UPDATE ! The following, more recent article strongly indicates that merely holding one’s breath will be nowhere near adequate. Clarity on the latest Government regulations regarding a return to work seems to sink Tourist Guides into even murkier water. Why am I not surprised ?

Pardon my cynicism but previous experience with any Government funding initiative invariably proves to be a case of more hurdles than there are in that horse-racing classic, the Grand National !

Challenging oneself when circumstances dictate, and being positive in this Covid 19 pandemic undoubtedly very difficult, so I offer no apologies by repeating the very simple thought, that only the wisdom of a Mother – mine – can convey.

Her positive outlook on life was encapsulated by the very simple philosophy that:-

“Everything happens for the Best”



I have been a South African registered Tourist Guide for some 24 years, and also developed my own Tour Operating Business in keeping with sound business principles. I can help you with all of this.

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