I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has heard about covid 19 at this point although some people still choose to believe it’s a lie, but that’s a topic for another day.
Here in Lagos, our lockdown started officially on the 30th of March even though some people had been social distancing before then.
Schools were closed and most businesses were shut down during that period.
I have felt a lot of emotions these past few months.
• Initially, I was a little excited.
A couple of days before the lockdown was implemented, some university lecturers went on strike and my university was affected. Strike means no lectures so some of us were excited.
Honestly, I was happy.
I had been praying for a break because school was taking a huge toll on me. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was always tired during lectures, I ended up falling asleep at times. Plus the workload was crazy and I was not covering as much topics as I had hoped to. So when I heard lecturers were going on strike, I was glad. I felt that it would last for about 2 weeks tops and then academic work will resume again. 2 weeks would be enough to rest and catch up on school work I thought.
One week, into the strike, lockdown started. We were supposed to stay home for 2 weeks initially then 2 more weeks were added and now, almost 4 months later, we are still at home.
I spent the first few weeks resting and reading my school notes.
When I realized that school wasn’t resuming soon, I stopped reading.
For me personally, studying at home is very difficult. I was in boarding school for 6 years during my secondary education so home to me is a place to relax and unwind.
• Then, I became worried.
School had been closed for more than a month at that point. I couldn’t help but wonder how that would affect the academic calendar and what it meant for us as students.
Also, it didn’t seem like covid 19 was planning to make an exit. I heard about new cases everyday and the mortality rate was alarming. I was scared and the stories I read on social media weren’t really helping.
It started with racism and a few days later rape. I was very upset about issues and I had to take a few days off social media when it became overwhelming.
I remember going for walks in my estate just to clear my head and breathe.
• Later on, I became indifferent.
I had been home for about 3 months then. I was just taking each day as it came and I spent most of my time binge watching series and reading novels. I just wanted to disconnect and be in my own shell.
I asked a couple of friends about their experiences with covid 19 and how it as affected them as students and I got amazing responses.
Personally, covid 19 has affected my:
1. Education: I already talked about how difficult it is for me to study at home and how worried I am to know how this will affect the academic calendar.
2. Finances: For some undergraduates, our parents are our only sources of income. It’s easier to ask them for money when school is in session. Monthly allowance plus extra jara if you disturb them well enough. But it’s a little difficult to get money from them now.
According to them, there’s food at home and there’s TV so what do you need money for?
3. Social life: Physical relationships with people is almost non existent. Online socializing is the new norm now. No more parties, movie nights, get togethers or owambe which happens to be one of my first loves.
No hugging or shaking hands for now. It can be a little difficult for the social butterflies.
Asides all of that there have been some advantages.
1. Self-development- Most undergraduates haven’t been able to keep up with their hobbies and work on other things asides their education due to tight schedules, trying to build GPA amongst other things but a lot of us have found new hobbies, and worked on other projects that are not academic related during covid 19.
I have been trying to be more consistent with my blog and write more often than I would do if school was in session. I’ve also been learning how to apply makeup by watching videos on YouTube.
2. Ramadan- If there was anything I was happy about during the lockdown, it was the fact that I was able to fast at home and with my family. Honestly, I missed going to the mosque for taraweeh and Ramadan tafseer but fasting at home made it easy for me to pay more attention and perform more acts of worship. It would have been difficult to do a lot of that if school was in session.
3. Making life changing decisions- This period has had us sitting down to think about our lives and ask ourselves important questions. Are we making the right decisions? Are we doing what’s best for us? Where do we see ourselves in the next 5 or 10 years? Are we studying the right courses? What else can we do asides education?
4. Internet- these times has also made us realise the importance of the internet. Made us know that there’s more to it than chatting on WhatsApp and liking pictures on Instagram. A lot of people have been attending classes and tutorials online using zoom, telegram and other platforms. Other people have been learning a new language with the help of apps like duolingo. There are a lot of online stores to purchase items from and many more benefits.
Also YouTube has helped me a lot recently. I tend to watch videos on things I’m interested in and learn from them.
How has covid 19 affected you as an individual?
Please share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to read them.
To those who have family or friends who have lost their lives due to the pandemic, I pray God forgives them of their shortcomings and grant you the strength to bear the loss.
And to those fighting for their lives, I pray God grants you good health and long life.
Stay safe guys.