It’s been a week now since Rwanda confirmed its first case of the COVID-19. In an attempt to contain the virus, the government had all schools including public and private higher institutes of learning shut down.
The University of Rwanda being one of these institutes, issued a statement stipulating that all students should vacate their campuses by Monday the 16th at 5 pm. In spite of all these changes, dying of the virus wasn’t our biggest concern, it was dying of ennui, if this shut down goes over a month.
Boredom is only a state of mind, often temporary, so I will not dare tell you how to manage the humdrum, most likely because everyone has different coping mechanisms. Nevertheless, I think the answer is in finding motivation that will get you up and moving.
As the first week of the Covid-19 lock down elapses, I feel like sharing how mine panned out.
I chose a nice section of my house where I couldn’t be disturbed by anyone and mostly took out time to sit back, relax and meditate.
In times like these, nature slows you down in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. So much so that you can take stock of your life, self-examine, self-evaluate, and reflect. Evidently, this cannot happen when you’re busy, especially during this era of computers, high-speed internet, and smartphones.
The irony is, with all the talk about meditation and self-finding, I’ve been so tied up in the daily monotony which involves studies and other chores that I don’t have enough time to myself. Positively, I get to spend more time with my family, making the confinement more feasible. Any time that is not spent working, studying or with family is spent playing video games, board games and watching movies; things I wouldn’t be doing if school took it’s normal course.
Added to the latter, I try to read and write. I mostly try to read books I wouldn’t normally read while trying to write things that come to mind.
No early morning classes, no assignments, no group work; the absence of all these sound like good sleep to me and that’s exactly what I’m getting, good sleep! Also, it’s more time to check up on loved ones who are further away and find out how they’re living through confinement.
Certainly, a lot has changed in just a week but the biggest and most important change is my renewed sense of awareness. Now, I watch the news, I read the paper. All the while trying to keep up with our ministry of health’s Twitter account to know if any new cases of the COVID-19 have been found. They say information is power, more so in times like these where new measures are put in place every day. Ignorance would be very costly hence the vigilance.
Though it may seem like time is at our disposal, there are still many things on my to-do list I haven’t crossed out. Some include home work out, signing up for an online course, reviewing my classroom notes (PS: unavailability of most of class contents on UR E-Learning platform isn’t helping either). While hoping that the COVID-19 outbreak is handled soon, I still have two weeks to cross off uncompleted tasks.
COVID-19 is a pandemic and as much as higher officials take a stand against panic, one cannot help but worry. My greatest worry remains that a lot of citizens aren’t seeing this threat in its full magnitude as most still go against the measures put in place by the government. A majority of them are still ignorant while others, fully aware of the threat, choose to minimize it, blinded by rumors that their immune systems are stronger than that of Caucasians or Asians.
This lockdown and confinement is really taking a toll on the normal academic year and the country’s economy. One can only hope that we come out of this dilemma on the right side of the tracks. Again, this is not a joke, we are all urged to respect the measures put in place by the government.
Together we can beat this.