Today marks the anniversary of my nation’s first reported case of the Covid-19 virus.
And I know that many people have a lot to reflect on. I also know that the past year had been a whirlwind of fear, anxiety and questions.
Questions we are thankful that some had taken the time to answer, if not always one hundred percent truthful, but enough to satisfy our curiosity and put our minds at rest.
As most of the nations come to the end of their mandatory lockdown and self-isolation period and life takes on some sort of normalcy for many. It is difficult to ignore the changes that Covid-19 pandemic had made to so many lives worldwide.
It has indeed been a strange and difficult year. I am happy to say though that for the most part, people have made me proud to be human. The tenacity and the power to survive were highly displayed and is to be applauded.
For most of the people that I know 2020 was “it”.
The year of the blessing. The year of the 2020 vision. Where everything was going to fall in place.
I welcomed 2020 with fists up, ready to fight for the freedom and victory in various areas of my live that I believed were on the horizon. Especially in my writing career.
How wrong we were. And how sad. But resilient enough to roll with the punches.
We soon found ourselves locked behind our four walls and for those that lived without fences; locked within the walls of their homes.
For some panic and loneliness. For others, freedom, and innovation.
What Covid-19 self-isolation taught me
The brief period of self-isolation has taught me many things, some negative but mostly positive life-changing and life-adjusting realities.
Although it is difficult to wrap our heads around the fact that there may be one good thing that relates to the present Covid-19 Pandemic. A world-wide pandemic that has affected every life on the planet and touched our nations in such a devastating manner and left so many families grieving or in avid fear.
I believe the truth still stands, and there is always a light at the end of every dark tunnel. Sometimes unseen to those that are walking on the dark path, but always visible if you travel far enough into the darkness.
The lock down of our nation, and many nations across the globe, had caused me to look within myself for the resources needed to sustain my body and mind.
Avoiding reality can sometimes lead me to a position of indifference concerning various matters, so I try not to embrace that temptation in this instant. Choosing rather to support my family, implementing measures that will keep them safe, which included wiping everything that was brought into our home with bleach and sanitizing our car, clothes and shoes after every visit we made outside the house to get our provisions.
I still wipe everything we purchase with bleach and may continue to do so until my mind feels ready to release this habit.
I have heard of a few instances where some of my peers experienced cases of anxiety, panic attacks, and memory deficiencies, but I am still grateful for the internet that kept us in touch with each other.
Self-isolation, apart from keeping my family safe, from Covid-19 and placing my most urgent plans on hold, has also added some necessary value to our lives. Some of which I will get into now.
And I hope you have experienced these in your own life as well.
1. BOUNDING DURING THE PANDEMIC
We have bounded. My husband and I.
The isolation refreshed my marriage. We have grown to an additional level of understanding and tolerance towards each other. It was like someone held down the pause button for a lengthy period, and then released and pressed the power button, all in one swift movement.
In the lack of the excessive outdoor activities that cloud, controlled, and clustered our daily lives, my husband and I came together to make the best of a stressful situation.
With the increase in certain indoor chores, such as washing our street clothes after every trip to the stores and sanitizing purchased items with bleach and other detergents. Plus, daily sanitizing of doorknobs, countertops, and furniture.
My husband apt to doing the laundry and the washing the yard. And I would sanitize everything in sight, including the car [of course he insisted that the bleach would spoil the car’s interiors] I told him at least I wanted to be around to drive it faded upholstery or not. Lol.
There were a few down times when we clashed heads for a moment, but I never allowed those to dominate our relationship or dampen our bonding time. And none lasted more than a couple of hours, anyway. But at the end of the isolation period, we were closer than we were in years past. This relationship I plan to maintain straight into our retirement stage.
2. REVISITING OF PAST GOALS
Suddenly the goals to renovate our home or purchase the latest handbag and matching dress online were no longer relevant when we were uncertain if we would be around to enjoy them when the pandemic had subsided.
I was not expecting to die of course and took every precaution to ensure that I did not. But shopping for stuff was not a necessity, especially when we had no way to go.
Short-term goals, such as ensuring that our love ones were safe, surviving a trip to the supermarket in a Covid-19 infected community. Having enough to eat, in the event of a food shortage, had pre-eminence over all our well-preserved goals.
These new present goals were the goals I based my early days of motherhood upon, and it felt great to revisit them.
3. PANDEMIC BUDGETING
I did not believe I would ever need a budget.
My family had never been into much budgeting, having just enough to cover our bills and living expenses, but the onset of Covid-19 quickly showed us we needed to be prepared for unexpected events. Especially those beyond our control.
We have since then put a plan in place to prioritize our spending habits, focusing on the things that are of greater importance to us. The absence of fast-food bills and mall trips created a small income stream that we hoped to save to use in emergencies.
We also learned that some of our monthly expenses were not as essential as we thought. And living without them was not as life threating as we believed it would be.
[Fast foods and game parks are essential to our winding-down time, but not as essential to our lives as we liked to believe].
We soon understood what real essentials were, as we stood in lines for hours to purchase meat and toilet paper from our local supermarkets.
We learned to save for emergency purposes. We budgeted. We had money laid over from deferred accounts and we used this to pay out our outstanding balances on other accounts. [That felt great]. Overall, this was the biggest food bills this family has seen outside of our Christmas holiday shopping. But we had enough and to spare and I am grateful.
4. PARENTING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Two of my children were among the group my nation deemed as essential workers, and it was nerve racking to watch them leave each morning, wondering if they would encounter a Covid-19 infected person. I did my best to fill their bags with hand sanitizer, disposable masks, chewable vitamin C tablets and every flu pill I could think of.
As the malls and food shops were asked to shut their doors. I began preparing all their meals at home again. Cooking their breakfast and lunches. Packing lunch boxes and bags, ensuring that they had napkins and eating utensils.
I took this opportunity to reminisce about the time when they were children, and I would ensure that they were well-equipped before sending them off to school.
As the time passed and restaurants reopened, they remembered all too well, the taste of my home-cooked meals and refused to go back to the convenience of fast food after the band on the restaurants lifted. I am not too sure if this is a god benefit or not. Will have to weigh this one out.
So, as you can see, I used this time to create wonderful memories and start new journeys. Memories that would last for a lifetime.
Earlier I mentioned difficulties kept trying to creep in, but I was determined to fight them as much as I was trying to fight off the pandemic from attacking my family.
And though the decrease in Covid-19 cases is wonderful news, I loved this self-isolation period, and I was sad to see it end.
And for those of you that are experiencing negative signs and symptoms of isolation, you can always reach out to someone. You are never in this alone.