By Ihuoma Joy O
Corona virus as a public health emergency was and still is a serious threat to the lives of people all over the world. It is a threat not only to life and health of people but also to their entire life activities. It came as a surprise and has left so many frustrated. This has instigated people to set new strategies for survival. While government searched for measures (advisory and compulsory) to get the virus under control, individuals conceived and designed their own survival strategies by cutting costs, challenging their thinking, embracing flexibility and further shifting from the way activities were carried out.
The experience of a young married man speaks volume to the afore-stated. He says, “Well first, I needed a well deserved rest from work and gbam! Stay at home, it became a relief. However, it became sour once it exceeded a week, then a month; I and my wife had to find something to do, so we went back to painting and drawing got bored and had to read and study still got bored however, we took stock and found out we entered lockdown stressed and had so many books to cover; we finished lockdown revived and acquired more knowledge. It was a blessing in disguise. In as much as we were forced to stay together for a whole day, we were fortunate not to suffer harshly as all our needs were met”.
Another, a father of three says, “I and my wife became de facto teachers to our children as they were engaged in online lessons. For it to work effectively, both of us had to be on ground to help in the process. We suddenly became teachers, and this is something we both have never done before; but with its inception, there was greater family unity with more concern for each other. We became so bonded that travelling became a problem for my wife and children, because we become so bonded than ever before. This helped me to say and model the behaviour I wanted to see in my kids”.
Again, a nursing mother confessed that she ran out of diapers for her little baby as a result, she had to opt for potty training the baby, she specifically says that “if I had continued working, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this because I will be at work. This has helped me to reduce the number of times I buy diapers in a month because whenever my Son who is now, a year and five months is pressed, he goes to the location of the potty and brings it out. With this, I get to know he is pressed. To avoid mincing words, the pandemic and the lockdown that followed was a blessing to me because I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this if I was still working. Furthermore, a mother confessed that “because of the fact we were already used to staying at home, when activities started, going out became a problem for us because we already got too accustomed to seeing each other every single minute of the day. Leaving the immediate environment for one or two other activity out there became an issue and abnormal, however, we are beginning to acclimatize”
Additionally, a young boy attests to the fact that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown challenged the way he perceives things and has bestowed on him, an increased awareness on preventive health measures. Again, he says that “the pandemic made I and my brother engage in exercises, we have continued to adhere to this even after the lockdown”. As well, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown which confined people to their homes propelled forced intimacy and bonding which resulted in procreation in most families. I was baffled when I went to worship and saw most women pregnant, I felt like the only one left out; therefore, it added new babies to families. Again, I realized that teenagers felt loved and secured having their parents around them, they had the time to talk about things they liked with their parents while for others, their kids were engaging in activities that drove them crazy. Because it was very difficult for kids to keep quiet the whole day, most parents inadvertently, learnt patience. For me, I had to make new routines and time structured for my kids activities and with this, they behaved better. We further negotiated new ways of handling the house chores together. More importantly, I went ahead to come up with a hand washing song for my kids to emulate, I used it to teach them hygiene adding dance movements. In all, I had to adjust to the situation on ground and brace up, so I can be a model for my kids.
In all, despite the fact that many families faced indescribable hardship and challenges, it challenged families, most of whom had lost their jobs or had salary slashed to develop survival strategies by considering alternative methods of providing and keeping their families healthy and stable hence, the need to draw from the lessons and begin to plan because like a newly hatched chick peeping from the broken shell of a fresh egg, a brand new day is gradually beginning to unfold. Though, the pandemic lockdown forced many to develop new menus and survival strategies via planning, organizing and developing fresh ideas that helped them survive during the period of lockdown; doing same to aid survival in the post covid world is expedient.
Therefore, as a people, we ought to always remember that every day, we have the power to choose therefore, families should choose to plan with a purpose, prepare with prayer, proceed with positivity and pursue with persistence, especially for eventualities because tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today. Rather than getting confused at the crossroads of life, these so called bleak times as captured by David Lynch are necessary to go through in order to get to a much, much better place; hence, in all, we are optimistic that someday, the society will get back to normal and families march into the new dawn strengthened from the impact of the novel pandemic and the survival strategies they have imbibed and absorbed at the peak of the pandemic lockdown.