Many people cannot remember the last time they were home for this long. Actually, one friend confided in me that they have never spent this much time without going to Kampala, and because of this lockdown situation that has been imposed on us, some are becoming better parents, cooks, readers, the list is endless, while others have absolutely no idea how to spend their time. A few readers share with us how they spend their new normal (social distancing).
Rada Mutamba CEO, Rada Safaris
I am not doing business at all since tourists have cancelled their trips due to the pandemic. So, my family (father, mother and my siblings) travelled to the village since the Covid-19 outbreak and what I do throughout the day is be at the farm. I really think it has been a healthy way to spend time but I also feel like I am on vacation. We never get enough time to be in the village as a family.
At night, I do some work which includes reading and replying emails from my clients. Apart from work, what helps me go through the day is being at the farm, jogging every morning and evening so as to stay healthy and yes, it is a new hobby that I have picked up. I spice it up with doing sit-ups and push ups every morning and evening.
Basically, my four favourite things to do in this lockdown are: staying home and safe, social distancing myself, for example, all the time I have been in the village I have not moved around to check on our neighbours and relatives, washing my hands frequently and not touching my eyes, nose and mouth. I am doing all these to keep myself safe. Covid-19 is real and Ugandans should follow set guidelines to stay safe.
Irene Esther Mutuzo head of marketing, Greenhill Academy
Lockdown is quite challenging but it is the new normal so one has to adjust quickly and fast least they become both physically and mentally inactive.
Through the day, I wake up at the time I usually wake up (7:30 am) to keep my structure so that I do not get frustrated.
I say a short prayer, watch the news and follow news sites on social media to find out what is happening around the world. After that, I catch up on some work and zoom calls. I then cook lunch and at around lunchtime, I follow my church’s daily devotion on Facebook, then find something to read or watch a movie or play some family games. I watch more news than I used to.
During this lockdown, spending fun time with family, interacting with colleagues on social media and zoom (takes away the lonely feeling), cooking and making research is how I spend much of my time.
Sheeba Asiimwe team leader, Teenagers Doing Great Things (TDGT)
I am grateful. Not that schools, work-life and businesses are shutting down, causing financial hardship and definitely not because people are worried, and gravely at risk. All of that has caused me the same heartache and concern that I am sure you have experienced.
The reason I am grateful is that times like these have made me evaluate what is truly important. So many of us complain constantly about our ‘busyness’ and overbooked schedules. The virus and social distancing have forced us to stop, stay home, and spend time with our families. It is a blessing.
How I spend my days is exercise, have breakfast, do house chores with the children, check out the children’s work sent online, have it printed and go through it with each one of them (five children)...not easy at all.
Staying positive and knowing this period will end has helped me through the days. Reading and listening to the word of God and positive messages have also kept me going.
Again, because the road is not jammed and dusty, walking has become my new hobby and a 30-minute exercise to keep healthy. Eating, sitting and sleeping are not my things. My favourite to do things now are: spending time with my children and learning more about their study habits, spending time together as a family and have fellowship between 6pm to 7:30pm where we sit together as a family, pray and sing together and also being creative in the kitchen and seeing my sons being very active in the kitchen
I am also still creating time to reach out to my university students online.
Innocent NtabaaziCommunity mental health nurse, YouBelong Uganda
The times we are in are really tough, and I am just trying to cope with the new quarantine regulations but also working from home and having to be indoors.
I have now developed some kind of routine and so, when day breaks, I set myself to work from home, which takes around eight hours of my day time.
After that, I then indulge in watching something. Normally I either watch Christian teaching videos or the news. I read my Bible daily as a rule of thumb, and then spend some time on social media. Lastly, we get a time of fellowship and sharing with those I stay with at home.
I have not developed any new hobbies, but what I have advanced in is watching the news which I used not to do regularly because I always expect important information to be passed on.
Crispin Kaheru socio-political commentator
A blessing in disguise for me, I would say. I had stocked up many books that I had picked up from friends and family but had not had the time to read. Now, I have had time to read quite a number. Incidentally, just before the lockdown, I had got Sylvia Browne’s collection incuding End of Days, Prophecy and Book of Dreams, among others, and these have kept me busy. I also write my random thoughts after my daily reading routine. Some, I share with the public through my Newspaper OpEds.
It has also been a good time to do personal reflection or meditation, especially in the quiet of the night when the curfew kicks in. This is so unbelievably refreshing.
I also use some time to connect with friends, family and the public via my social media platforms. It had been so long since I was last active on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. I have used this time to actually improve my presence on social media, through sharing verified and useful information on Covid-19.
I think as many of us as possible should be on the frontline in the fight to contain coronavirus, and that is why I am spending my time being part of the front-liners, especially using social media.
To keep physically fit, I have scaled up my evening brisk walking (around home) – and occasionally, I wear the apron and spend time in the kitchen making healthy meals.