ZIMBABWE Warriors goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze has opened up on his tough experiences during the ongoing lockdown in South Africa following the suspension of the topflight league in that country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 31 year-old goalminder, who plays for South African side Baroka FC, is one of the several Zimbabwean footballers based in South Africa who are currently in self isolation as a preventative measure to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
It has been the same case for locally based Zimbabwean players who started their lockdown on Monday while the European-based football stars have also not been spared as the effects of the coronavirus have caused havoc around the world.
Speaking after completing the first week of South Africa's 21-day lockdown, the former Chicken Inn player said he was adhering to the rules and taking time to be with his family during the period.
"As long as the family is here, there's nothing to worry about," Chipezeze told KickOff.com.
"They are fine [his Zimbabwean-based family] since the country is also on lockdown. They are also not worried."
He said his neighbourhood has been very quiet since South African President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced the lockdown.
"When they say lockdown, it's lockdown. Everyone is indoors. So there is nothing you can do. There is no time to go out or live the normal life we used to," he said.
"It's a lockdown, papa. Everyone must stay indoors, papa. Stay at home, papa. Safety comes first. So I think they did a good thing in doing the lockdown thing because like I said, health comes first, more than anything.
"My family is around so spending time with family is also a good thing since we are always on the move you see. So spending time with our families is also important right now. I'm with my wife and also with my children. Obviously we are staying indoors."
Chipezeze said he was saddened by the high number of people who have lost their lives around the world due to the coronavirus.
"It's tough you know because as you see the numbers are growing each and every day. Like in Italy it's tough for everyone you know because once it gets you, then for us as footballers let's say we are together then I get the virus, then it spreads quickly.
"So it's a challenging time for everyone. Obviously we have to deal with the virus first, and then our lives will be back to normal. The priority now is to contain the virus and make sure that we are healthy.
"Follow the rules you know, stay indoors, sanitise every time. They must also try the social distancing and stuff."
The ABSA Premiership in South Africa is home to 29 Zimbabwean players, including seven players who were recently named by Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic in the squad that was set to play Algeria in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers last month before the matches were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.