COVID-19 And The Fight To Stay Sane
  Nerissa Hosein
FEATURES
April 2020

The world as we know it is in chaos. A decade ago we saw our last pandemic when the swine flu hit, so we should be prepared right? Wrong! We are nowhere prepared for the coronavirus and its devastating global effects. With a higher mortality rate than the swine flu, we have chartered into new territory and the world is in full panic mode.

Never have we in Trinidad and Tobago seen something like this. Our country has been forced into hiding, schools and public places have been closed and there is panic within the communities where there is fear of job loss and worse as the situation escalates. But we must do what we are asked to do in order to prevent further spread.

Social distancing is of the utmost importance if we expect to beat this virus. So we stay inside, do not gather in groups and only go out for necessary purchases and needs, and by God’s grace, this too shall pass.

So how can we pass the time? With no outdoor options most of us are home bound but it does not have to be boring. We just need to get creative.

For those of us who have kids, let’s remember to keep their school work as priority and make sure that they are getting some work done every day.  Simple exercises such as reading and writing must be implemented so their minds can keep active. We do not know yet how long they will be out of school so it’s important as parents to keep some structure to their routines and give them activities that can help them learn and grow. If they are awaiting their SEA exams, lessons are being offered online from CNC 3 so they can keep up with their practice papers at such a crucial time. There are local sites such as pennacool.com that offer practice papers for kids as well as apps that can be downloaded onto their devices to encourage education throughout this time.

Reading is a must and there are sites such as Amazon Audible and funbrain.com that are offering free reading materials, even if you don’t have books at home. In the case of Amazon Audible, the company is offering a free to listen catalogue of children’s books for as long as schools in the USA remain closed. You can check it out here:

https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Besides school work and reading there are many activities that can be done to keep the little ones busy and occupied while they are at home. Let’s not forget, it is Easter, so we can have some Easter fun. Here are some great examples to help with these ideas:

DIY papier mache crafts like this simple Easter egg project:

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Papier-M%C3%A2ch%C3%A9-Eggs

Painting:

 https://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/easter-coloring-pages/

Making Easter Cookies with mom and dad:

 https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe-1914697

These are just some simple ways to keep the kids busy. It’s important at this time that they don’t feel stressed or panicked. We can also try our best to stay calm and not get overemotional about the times we are facing. It’s easier said than done but while at home let’s try as a family to grow with one another and face this with positivity and prayer.

We as a society often complain that we never have enough time to do those extra things that we want to do, so now is the time to take a moment and pause while Mother Earth heels herself. Social distancing is not a punishment but it is a necessity for us to start the healing and stop the spread of this virus. But just like the kids, we can find things to help us grow and keep our minds active at this time.

For one, adults can keep their minds occupied by learning a new craft or looking online to do a simple free course. There are sites such as courser.org or udemy.com that offer many different types of courses in different fields, some of which are free. If those don’t suit you, let’s not forget that you can always turn to YouTube for tons of free tutorials on cooking, make up application, home projects, fitness, photography and many other areas. 

You can learn to cook almost anything on Youtube and if cooking is your passion, now is the time to polish up that skill, tweak those recipes and learn some new tricks in the kitchen.

If none of these things appeals to you and you just want to relax, there’s always the simple pleasures of reading a good book or binge-watching TV. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Caribbean and many other online services stream programmes that offer entire series to binge watch or good old-fashioned movies.

For those of us who fear that we are losing valuable time at the office and had to cancel meetings with vital persons in our company or work force, how about planning to meet with the help of social tools such as Zoom and Skype? Meetings can still take place and relevant decisions can still be made via these portals which allow members to all be able to communicate while still adhering to social distancing.

Mother Nature is calling on us to slow down. Maybe this is our time to start practising a healthier balance in life, to stop overworking ourselves and to start learning to listen to our bodies. Start practising meditation, yoga, exercising and eating healthier. Start that home garden that we always wanted where we can get our vegetables and fruits. Connect to our spirituality and mend broken family ties.

When was the last time that you sat down and said a prayer? Not to ask for something, but rather to say thank you for all that you have. There are people dying right now from this virus. Say thanks that you are safe at home, that your loved ones are safe with you and that you are not in quarantine somewhere out there.

Remember also that because most restaurants and food outlets have closed their doors to in- house dining, many stray animals are out there with no scraps to get. Many of them live on the road and wait outside food places to just grab a scrap. So, if in our isolation we see them rummaging or hanging around our back yards, be not too quick to judge, but maybe place a little something out there for them.

Yes, life as we know it has changed and the ramifications of this virus are still unknown. But it will get better and it will be over one day. If we band together and keep our humanity intact life will continue, but for now we as a society must do our best to preserve normalcy where we can, especially for our children, and continue to fight to do what is best for our families and the world.  

All photos are from Bigstockphoto 

By: Nerissa Hosein | FEATURES | April 2020


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