The extent to which the coronavirus has spread since its outbreak began, has touched every corner of the world and prompted unprecedented travel restrictions and business closures that threaten to start a global recession. Its severity has left organizations, governments and individuals reeling.
Our dear country Nigeria went into lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic and I have ever since that day pondered the sudden change in my everyday life. Always around at home, not going out, listening and paying attention to demands from my family - financial, social and otherwise - which sometimes made me wonder how my friends and relatives were coping. For me, it has been full of so much fun and at the same time very demanding.
We were expecting our first child who according to a scan done in February was to be born sometime in May, while waiting joyfully and patiently to take that first look at him, we heard the story of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and I believe Nigeria as an entity at that time must have been praying for the virus not to ever appear in the country but here it was.
Sometime in March, we had the first coronavirus case in Nigeria and due to this, everybody started to take precautions such as social distancing and always wearing a mask. To my greatest surprise, our baby arrived as a preterm at the peak of the pandemic.
His presence brought mixed feelings; we were exceedingly joyful but at the same time scared of his having to remain so long in hospital during the pandemic as he had to stay back to receive oxygen to correct the respiratory disorder he had.
Trying to manage the pandemic situation along with having a new baby was really overwhelming and a great deal of responsibility was thrust on me. I came to realize the importance of relationships and family. We had to christen him with only the church priest, my wife and myself present as religious and social gatherings were not allowed. We also couldn’t take the risk of bringing people in contact with a preterm baby of just 8 days old.
It was a really trying time as you could not visit friends and family or have them visit you. The whole thing was boring but at the same time a bit of fun as I had to keep myself busy doing a lot of different activities online, although being online was tough due to the lack of power generally and the cost of data was demanding.
While at home with my family, it took a little creativity and thinking outside the box to figure out what I could do to get by and stay well. I found that I was able to get a lot of things done online. I read many articles and got paid for working from home. I was also able to attend some workshops, seminars and symposiums on the prospect of trading online and earning a living doing so.
My organization then mandated that I source and upload e-books to our e-library to ensure that a lot more books are available for people to browse through so as to broaden their minds and horizons while stuck at home during the lockdown period. This experience gave me great joy as I observed people trooping to our website to search through different kinds of e-books for knowledge and information.
Staying home also made me learn more about cooking and I hosted friends and family to series of meals which helped our bonding with all of them.
As some parts of the world and Nigeria are beginning to reopen for business in order to avoid a recession, not much has changed as far as my day to day life is concerned. I’m still mostly isolated, I follow social distancing practices and I wear a mask.
Also, I think regardless of the lockdown becoming less stringent, I still have a great responsibility to keep my family, relatives and others safe especially now that, at least for the time being, it seems the coronavirus is here to stay.
How have you been coping in these troubled times? Do you have a Covid-19 story you would like to share? Send your story to [email protected]