Editorial note: All Guest Post authors share their views and experiences, and do not represent Week of Saturdays.
When I taught my fellow Youth Corps members about COVID-19 back in January, it was just a disease in China. I didn’t imagine it would become a global pandemic.
I had talked about it because I was giving a lesson on Lassa fever, a problem in Nigeria at the time. I was emphasizing the importance of washing our hands as a way to stay healthy and protect yourself. Then it became the “novel coronavirus” and started to spread across the world.
The funny thing is, COVID-19 was named on my birthday, 11th February, and then, a month later, on 11th March, it was officially a pandemic. Still, I admit that I underestimated it, I didn’t imagine it would cause on a global lockdown for months (almost a year).
It’s been a dreadful, nerve-wracking, and crazy period, these past few months. Like everyone else, I have had to make changes to my life because of COVID-19.
Becoming more health and hygiene-conscious
In 2020, Nigeria has experienced two diseases — Lassa Fever and COVID-19 — that require everyone to be conscious of how the environment affects their health. I even took handwashing classes to learn to wash my hands properly.
Now, I am always aware of where my hands touch, others’ actions around me in public, and how I behave when I get home after a day out. I may never stop being this way. I may become a little Naomi Campbell, who was well-prepared for a pandemic like this.
Antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizers are my new best friends.
The lockdown led to a sedentary lifestyle for a lot of people, including yours truly. Living this way is dangerous for a lot of reasons. And when I realized myself going down that path, I decided to start exercising.
For someone who detests exercise and with all the gyms closed, this decision was hard to enforce. Thankfully, Chloe Ting came to the rescue, and I joined the bandwagon. I have started exercising to keep fit and ensure I don’t fall sick while keeping COVID-19 at bay.
Thank you COVID, at least I got something good out of you.
COVID-19 came, and the restaurants closed. Every meal had to be homemade because I wasn’t going out anymore. I quickly realized how damaging it would be not to make healthier choices regarding food and nutrition.
Excluding the daily exercises, there were no other opportunities to burn as many calories as before. It was easy to slip into the habit of eating snacks and unhealthy food. So I decided to become deliberate about what I was ingesting.
I joined the intermittent fasting gang. And since I prepare all my meals, I now eat healthier too.
Appreciation of family and friends
If there’s nothing else COVID-19 has taught us, it has shown how fleeting life is and how easily a loved one can go forever. Every day, we are inundated with news of people dying. I’ve also had some family and friends who had COVID scares and went to get tested.
We were told the vulnerable groups, and my parents, who are elderly, are in this group. The fear that anyone of the people I love could get infected made me love them even more.
I now go out of my way to always stay connected to everyone I love, and I am so thankful for their presence in my life. The lockdown may be unofficially over, but it has become a habit to speak with family and close friends every day.
COVID-19 has had devastating effects on a lot of things. It wrecked the economy of a lot of countries. Yesterday, the dollar price in Nigeria rose to an all-time high of 505 naira to one dollar.
Things have gotten worse in just a little while. This economic fallout prompted me to make inquiries into possible investment opportunities for me. I had never been even a saver before now, but with everything happening, I had to tell myself the truth. My financial habits needed a big makeover.
It has been fun learning about saving and investment options. I have already become an ambassador for some platforms and gotten my family and friends to take their financial literacy and future seriously.
So once again, thank you COVID-19, I have now gotten my finances in order because of you.
I am not one of those who wanted to pull out their hair because they’ve been locked indoors for a long time.
Yet, I have never been more aware of my mental health and how fragile it seems to have been this year. My fears and anxieties were brought to the fore of my mind.
Something good came out of this, though: I have learned to journal and now write more than usual.
I also decided to start freelancing and use the words in my head for the public good, not personal consumption. I won’t thank COVID-19 for this though, but I look forward to honing my writing skills and earning more from it.
It is now apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects may linger longer than expected. I hope, however, that things go back to normal soon.
Until then, I won’t let me down. I’ll stay motivated and engaged. Writing this made me thankful, it could have been a list filled with negatives, but it isn’t.
Feature image via Nappy.co.