The month of March started with the announcement of the first Covid-19 case in Kenya and almost immediately our social dynamics changed. And yes, it included the rush to buy toilet paper [which still makes no sense to me] and the buying of gloves, masks and hand sanitizers.
Luckily for me that rush was more of a 2-day phenomenon. Though there are still the most bought items, it’s not as bad as other countries so there is no shortage. Another thing is that we were lucky that measures were put in place by our government that prevents people from profiting off the pandemic, so that helped things stay close to normal and neutral.
We were now using words such as quarantine, isolation and social distancing and there are enough entertaining memes online and social media posts that are both funny and sad, and don’t get me started on the homeschooling drama parents have had to endure. Schools and other learning institutions have been closed and sessions moved online, people are supposed to work from home, transport has become complicated. Basically, life as we know it has come to a halt.
One thing is for certain there is a lot of fear and anxiety and especially about lack of income. It’s going to be a difficult season for a lot of people. One thing that is very important is to try not to stay idle. For a lot of people, there has been a lot of idle time and wondering what to do since they are stuck at home. Even with all those who are working from home, one cannot work all the time.
There are things you can do that would be wise for everyone to consider such as simplify your life and cut down on things you don’t need urgently and be on the lookout for those who may need help during this time because some people will need the extra hand or dealing with some personal challenge.
I came up with a list of uplifting activities people can do during this time;
1. Board games and puzzles
There are many board games that people can engage in that are off line.
Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, cards etc.
2. Re arrange your house, declutter and give it a make over
Change the seating arrangements, get rid of stuff you do not need
3. Go through old family photos, check on loved ones
You can have fun with this as you go around telling stories of what you remember from that day or you can arrange them and date them [whether digital or printed]
Also just staying in touch with loved ones often can be a great way to ease time
4. Exercise or learn a new dance routine
Staying indoors can sometimes mean you don’t move around a lot, so it’s a great habit to think of physical activities you can do that may not need too much space
5. Learn a new skill
This could be a language or doing something with your hands like sewing and cooking, gardening, writing. It can also be an online course on various topics. Examples learning how to edit videos or photos, or doing an online course on psychology or business etc.
You can read a religious book or any other book like motivational or novels etc. You can even start an online book club
You can make a music playlist to listen to or watch TV shows and movies. Play trivia games, watch funny videos, come up with creative ways of doing regular things etc.
8. Look for other ways to earn money /work on your business
You can look for online work, or work on the pending things to improve your business.
9. Work on quitting bad-habits
This would be a good time to give that full attention to things you have wanted to work on. Could be
10. Start a blog or a vlog
Journal your experience, it’s a good way to process the experience and cheer someone else out there in the same situation
The lock down and quarantine will eventually end and things may not go back to how they were but some things will. Write a list of the things you are grateful for that you learnt and a list of things you need to change and also what you are looking forward to doing when you are done.
All in all stay positive, this too shall pass, and I will echo what has been said over and over again [Source google]
DO THE FIVE
Help stop coronavirus
HANDS: Wash them often
ELBOW: Cough into it
FACE: Don’t touch it
SPACE: Keep safe distance
HOME: Stay if you can
Lorna Abwonji is Head Designer/Creative Director at Mia Mara Creations.
She is the Project manager at Dress Up Kenya. RAFDA 2008 Finalist & FA254 Finalist 2014.
Lorna is a 2016 YALI Mandela Washington Fellow.