continue our series on ALTA Students during Covid.
While the pandemic has shown Cassandra how fragile life can be, she made
the necessary changes to survive and stay healthy.
On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization declared
the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic and protocols were put in place in many
countries. Around then I started hearing words like “social distancing” “protocols”
and by the end of March our borders were closed.
We had about ten persons infected when we went into our first lockdown.
It was frightening. I was anxious all the time and didn’t want to leave the
house. The television was on all day while I was trying to stay updated on the
community spread. All the information was given daily by our Minister of Health
and Chief Medical Officer on what the government was doing to protect citizens.
Health care systems around the world were stocking up on personal protective
equipment and getting prepared for massive influxes of infected persons.
There was panic and uncertainty because there was so much about corona virus
that we did not know. The only way to fight the pandemic was to make sure
people followed social distancing and maintained good hygiene practices until a
vaccine is rolled out.
The effect Covid-19 had on my life is one I will never forget. I had to
take a good look at my age, my health and the pre-existing conditions I have,
thyroid issues, high blood pressure and diabetes. This is what the doctors call
comorbidities. I was considered an at-risk person, so I had to make a lot of
changes to my lifestyle. I had to reduce contact with other people to lower the
risk of contracting the virus. I also had to work on boosting my immune system.
I used lots of oranges, fever grass and ginger.
I was forced to stop my physical ALTA classes because of the lockdown,
and I had to stop socializing with my friends and family. I could not travel
and had to cancel my gym membership. I had to think and plan before I left the
house and change how I ran errands from the way I shopped for groceries to
reducing visits to my elderly mother. Not to mention I had to wear masks
everywhere. Every time I went out and returned home, I had to leave all my
things outside to be sanitized. Every item I used had to be cleaned before it
could be taken into the house.
As a wife and mother, surviving is what I know. My priority is to keep
working on staying healthy. My faith, on the other hand, gave me the strength
to make it through each day with purpose.
My message is that corona virus is real and not a hoax. It kills. Take for instance, when you get the
flu what you have to go through, think ten times more. You cannot breathe, your
lungs want to burst from your chest.
People need to realize the importance of heeding expert advice about
Covid-19. We thought the world could not stop, but it did and over 1 million
people died. Think about that.
I would like future generations to know that in a matter of three
months, we had to learn to wear masks almost everywhere we went and get used to
washing our hands until they were pale. We learnt how hard it was to work from
home while home schooling your children.
The next generations should use these lessons, their skill and
technology to prepare for the next pandemic. We learnt to put health first. We
learnt life’s real priorities and how to adapt for survival.
I am focusing on finding joy in as many moments as I can. This pandemic
has shown me how fickle and fragile life can be. We should not be afraid to take
a chance on ourselves and our dreams. That is why I intend to surround myself
with like-minded women to achieve the sort of independence that with allow me
to live the life I deserve.
I hope that in the next century the world is better off so if there is
another outbreak of any disease, the leaders of that time could handle it with
better communication and more sympathy for the poor and unfortunate people. I
pray they can avoid the amount of death and tragedy we saw with Covid-19 and
live in a grateful world.
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