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  • Ivor Chipkin

Coffee in the Time of Covid

It‘s freezing cold in Johannesburg, one of those grey, icy days that gets under your clothes no matter what you are wearing. Normally, I would step out into a cosy cafe and have a coffee. In Paris, I would have smoked a few cigarettes too. In the new normal, cafes are sites of anxiety. It feels awkward removing my mask, so I sip my cappucino between brief lowerings of the guard. At least, I know that this cold spell is probably the last before spring bursts forth.

The other great pleasure associated with coffee and cafes. reading the paper, is no less stressful. Such is the state of South Africa. Nearly every story is about decline, collapse or crisis. The bookshops are full of titles like ‘will South Africa survive?’.

Spring will be here soon. Hopefully it will bring more optimistic times.

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