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BLOG SERIES: Lockdown Diaries

We have another entry for the “Lockdown Diaries” blog series! The world has been hard hit by the Corona virus (COVID 19) in an unprecedented way so there is no better time to launch these guest bloggers to get an in-depth look at how young people from various corners of the East and Southern African region are handling quarantine, self isolation, social distancing and other preventative measures. You will follow their experiences through their eyes as young people – their thoughts, feelings, highs and lows, and reflections.

Stay tuned for more stories!

Written by Wongani Mwasinga, Malawi

It was the no shaking hands rule that grabbed most of my attention to this disease as I thought of how Malawians will cope with this rule with their love of handshakes as a form of greeting. I did not put much thought into COVID-19 for I did not see any future of it reaching Africa or Malawi to be specific even though quarantine was called. The disease spread faster like it was cancerous and before I knew it it had hit Zambia that Is when i finally realized that Malawi was next in line.

Even though I fully understood that life in quarantine means that the progression of the disease will be reduced and the number of newly found cases will drop as people are being more careful by exercising all the rules necessary, still the idea of it wasn’t my best cup of tea. Despite my hate for quarantine it has worked to my advantage as well as my fellow Malawians because there is no more overcrowding in public places in my country which has led to a better way of preventing the disease.

As a final year student, life in quarantine has been devastating especially for my fellow students and I in a way that it has caused closure of schools with no notified time of resumption of studies. The delay in resuming of studies will cause me to lose focus on studies as studying is now replaced with household chores. This is causing boredom because I have been delayed in finishing school as quarantine has caused a change in the school’s academic calendar.

This set back in my studies has not only affected me alone but it has also taken a torn on my parents, since they had a clear picture that their daughter will be finishing school very soon and now the picture is no longer there. Despite school being my center of concern, C0VID-19 has brought about anxiety in my family in a sense that once one family member leaves the house there is always fear of him or her being infected with the virus. It has also been hard for my family to adapt to the new form of living standards as we were used to church on Sundays and now not going to church every Sunday has been a battle for us.

Despite Covid-19 affecting my life both positively and negatively, I have learned a lot of things about myself in this quarantine period as I had to look at the brighter side of this situation. Firstly, this situation has taught me to believe in myself by using this ample time to catch up on academic areas that I was unable to grasps during lectures. This has also helped me to start living healthily through daily exercise routines that have helped me to be more disciplined and patient in following the routines. Despite the fact that COVID-19 has caused countless of deaths in most countries of the world at large, it is still important to exercise the rules required such as washing hands with soap at all times, use of hand sanitizer as some of the measures to prevent the spread and contracting of the virus.

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