Sharing experiences in-doors
Robinah Sekisonge, Essex – United Kingdom
What was life before lockdown? I’m in senior 1 at All Saints Catholic school, United Kingdom. Every day, I go with my brother to school by bus. I enjoy my lessons and activities in school, chatting with my friends and sports lessons. This school term was very important for my brother as he was preparing and reading hard for his senior 4 [GCSE] exams. Then something changed! On Thursday 20th of March, my teacher told my whole class that we shouldn’t come back the next day. We were all shocked and devastated that it was our last day because we were not going to see our friends for a long time.
Questions ran through my mind. How am I going to continue with my education? How will my brother complete his exams? How will my parents continue working to support us all and feed our family? Think about going to church! I had no answers to all these. It was hard to imagine how hard life would be when everybody is staying home. Suddenly, we were all at home; me, my brother, my cousin and my father, but my mother who is a civil servant continued to go to work every single day, sometimes working six days a week.
The fact that we were all staying home apart from my mother, made us even more worried that maybe she will bring the virus home. I took on the responsibility to keep our family safe by sanitizing my mother’s shoes whenever she came home.
During lockdown, I have become more open and creative. I have started to cook more and spend more time with my family, going to play football with our father as well. You might see stories or posts on social media that makes you feel anxious. It can be very hard to know whether or not social media posts are true, so try not to rely on updates from there. Just think of the positive side and distract your mind with some fun, simply find something new. Coronavirus is affecting every part of our lives and is already putting a huge strain on the National Health Servers and all key workers. We want to say thank you to the people working so hard to keep us all safe.
For the children out there who are terrified, try to keep your hands off your face, so no rubbing your eyes or nose or putting your hands in your mouth. That way, if there is any of the virus on your hands, you won’t give it a way to enter the body where it can make you sick. The new normal of this pandemic is doing everything online. I do my school work every day online also attend Mass every Sunday, and communicate to my friends and relatives online.
On the 44th day of our lockdown here in the UK, we were entertained by a live concert featuring Bobi Wine (Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu), a Ugandan musician and Politician where we all took part by dancing, singing and following. When we checked how many people were on the live concert, it was thousands of people around the world and I only imagined that they were dancing like us from their houses like us. To me, the new normal of this pandemic is doing everything virtually. Don’t forget to #StayHomeStaySafe.
Stephen watenga, Kigali – Rwanda
My lockdown experience is not so bad. The only stress I had was being in debt. I was sleeping, watching, TV and social media. The other thing I enjoyed was cooking and I still do. The lockdown has taught me to be economical as I was doing the shopping. The worst challenge I found is when one couldn’t just move without a genuine reason; police was everywhere. But all the same, we used to try and go to our friend’s place to play cards but the one you visited had to buy a meal, at least meat and two Drinks. I learnt to exercise in the house for at least 30 mins after every two days. In the neighbouhood, people did not have enough food as well; so we could try and share the little we had as lockdown came by surprise.
Gaaba Lucky maria, Kampala – Uganda
One of the things I considered when Quarantine was announced, was how to grow my four buckets of life during this time; spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and the financial aspect. Spiritually, I have had a time arrangement for prayer to speak to God and to pray for the world and the things I plan on doing after this time.
I have had time to increase my knowledge of the word of God, opportunities to read spiritual books written by my favorite authors like ‘Exceedingly growing in faith’ by Keneth Hagin and I have watched Christian movies about faith and prayer, like Fireproof and War room. It’s this time that I have exceedingly grown in faith and in trusting God. Emotionally, I have had time to watch and follow one of my favorite soaps on Novela E, had an organized time with my sisterhood to have a conference call every week to talk and share what is going on in our lives and our down moments to encourage each other.
I have had time to WhatsApp with my friends and made new friends via social media and had fun time with my roommate (I stay with one of my female friends in Kampala). Intellectually, I have read various soft copy books about life, Women, relationships and marriage and articles on effective communication. I have had time to have cooking lessons from YouTube, various foods like baking cakes, daddies, making organic coconut oil and making organic food colors, tomato paste.
We have had time to practically prepare them with my roommate and we hope to make money out of our skills.
Financially, I have had time to write down and research on my to-do projects and to pray about them and make goals.
Charles Opwonya – Kampala, Uganda
My experience started on Friday 20th March 2020 when President Museveni the directed all public and private schools, tertiary institutions, universities and colleges to close. The situation in the beginning appeared normal since other sectors were operational. However, it hardened when commuter taxis, and buses were stoped.
Eventually, boda-bodas which were the only remaining option for movements were also restricted to transport only goods and not passengers. Remember that the above measures followed the closure of worship places, bars and public gatherings. Later on, private cars were also restricted to operate only with permission from ministry of works which provided stickers through the office of the Resident District Commissioner(RDC).
The vehicles had to carry only three people including the driver. At this point, tension within the general public was increased.
So I had to do a lot of shopping especially for the essential commodities like; soap, sugar, salt, cooking oil, rice, maize flour and rice mainly due to the ever increasing prices. I had predicted that the situation would worsen by shortage of these essential items in the market. Worse still, I predicted that the president would stop us from moving out of our houses and remain indoors like it happened in other parts of the world.
The situation would worsen whenever the government would come up with new measures to fight the pandemic with stricter guidelines. This made life so difficult that I began to regret why I had not gone to the village where I thought life would be simpler. In Kampala, it is a daily routine of sleep, wake-up, eat, sleep and watch television which is so boring and yet in the village, maybe I could do some gardening.
The lockdown situation however, helped me to have more time with my family to discuss key issues with my wife, to do domestic work and help my children revise their classwork and also playing and praying together as a family.
I also learnt that it is important to save our incomes, invest in different economic ventures as these activities can be very helpful in situations like this one.
Finally, one needs to diversify his/her professional skills and stop relying on one specific profession as the only source of revenue. I have seen people with more than one skill being able to make it through the lockdown because they‘re able to earn from different sources.
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