COVID-19: How we have been coping with lockdown, Nigerian women speak

To prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease, many countries have ordered lockdown of activities by asking their citizens to stay at home. Nigeria is not an exception, as some states were either on total or partial lockdown, until President Muhammadu Buhari announced a total lockdown of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states during a recent national broadcast. TAYO GESINDE and ONOME OMATSOLA asked Nigerian women on how they have been coping with the situation. Below are their responses:


Dupe Ajisegbede, CEO Dimples Fasion Et al: My strategy is to work from home. My husband had decided that the kids were not going out at all in this season, but because we are aware that children have a short attention span, we agreed to take them out shopping with us for food items, on the condition that they won’t come out of the car, hug or touch anyone; and we have been sanitizing like every other 15 minutes. We also filled up the generator tank so that they won’t be tempted to go visiting friends or neighbours. I think that is all we could do for now.


Yetunde Agunpopo, a barrister: The lockdown has allowed me time to bond with my family as well as plan ahead. It has also helped to reaffirm my priorities and confidence has availed me rest from the hustle and bustle of the society.


Mrs Alaba Olugboye, an entrepreneur: Copping with this kind of situation requires determination and gathering of knowledge. I first read as much as I could about the disease. Then,  I told  my sister-in-law who is a medical consultant  in Canada  to give us a pep talk on the family WhatsApp forum. After this we resolved to obey health laws. The children concluded that I should avoid going out unless it is unavoidable. We do not receive visitors. My son takes the car to work to minimize public interaction. I avoided visiting my granddaughter and I make sure the two people I live with go to the bathroom as soon as they step in. Washing of hands at intervals is a must here. We check up on each other on phone many times a day to ensure compliance. My son in Lagos is the self-appointed family health police; he is a professional at this. We plan to maintain this tempo with hygiene for as long as this crisis lasts. We also do our confession and intensify our prayer life.


Mrs Abosede Olabode, a health and wellness expert: I haven’t been coping at all but it is a sacrifice I must do for myself, family and the community at large. I need to stay at home with my family to help reduce the spread as well as to prevent contracting the deadly virus. This period is to maintain total personal and environmental hygiene. Hand washing, mopping of  the floors and all surfaces continuously is of paramount importance at this time. Also, encouraging the children to maintain total hygiene, especially when you have teenagers at home who get bored easily, is important. It is my duty to create fun at home, listen to them (especially now that fear is gripping everyone both old and young), play with them and allay their fears. This is the time to show love to ourselves and pray to God to have mercy on us and our land.


Reverend Victorine Iris-Nkiru:  Coping with the lockdown is not easy for most people because it has crippled all social and economic activities. No matter who you are, it sure must have affected you in one way or another. But it’s still the best for now. For me and my team, it has been a very busy period. We have been out there trying to see how we could help cushion the effect of the hardship on some Nigerians in our own little way by sharing necessary food items, masks, sanitizers, drugs and others. And we expect all Nigerians to do same. This is not the time to lock yourself and your family indoors and forget that you have  neighbours who might not have food to eat. Many people who have been jobless before now depend on daily earnings. We are not asking people to go out, but you can hook up with  agencies that  are doing that and call to make donations of masks, sanitizers, money, food items, and others. That is what people are doing all over Europe. Some are there cooking 24/7 to make sure the poor and hungry do not die of hunger. Hunger virus kills more than Covid-19. So, let’s all put hands together to make sure we all stay safe and alive through this period. That is why my ministry started the COVID-19 Food Basket. We are taking donations of various items and distributing to those who need them and we will be doing it throughout this period. I intend to keep my family save this period by ensuring they maintain social distancing and by staying indoors to stay safe. This is not the time to visit neighbours. Rather, it is time to stay indoors, eat healthy foods to boost your  immunity and regularly wash your hands and bath from head to toe with hot water. Above all, be prayerful and hopeful.


Ayanfe Oluwaseun, an entrepreneuer: It’s been a very ‘wonderful’ experience to say the least! I have been spending the time reading and working and clearing all the backlogs of jobs I have. I had to go shopping so as to keep the  house stocked up with food. As per safety, frequent washing of the hands and sanitizing is what I’ve been doing. Also, I’m being very deliberate about the information that I allow to filter to me. There’s an information  overload about COVID-19 out there all with the intent of creating fear, which I detest, and the social media is  not helping in this case. So, I am picky about what news or message I pay attention to. This is my way of protecting my mind so fear doesn’t take over.


Bishop Priscilla Otuya: We are coping very fine. We are also observing the rules and regulations as regards staying at home and other hygienic instructions given by the government. Much more importantly, we have been praying and worshipping God because we know that worship brings down the presence of God and in a moment like this, that is what we all need because no disease can stand the presence of God. We have also been making use of this opportunity  to teach the children the importance of obeying God’s principle and government’s orders. They  have been asking me  a lot of questions about what is going on and I am so glad that I have the time to enlighten them about the situation of things in Nigeria in general and the world at large. I must say  that everything  that is going on isn’t a surprise to me because years back, God instructed me to teach my followers how to worship at home. For the past several years now, my family and I have been worshipping at home. We stopped going to church, so, government ‘s instruction as regards everyone worshipping at home is just a confirmation of what God told me years back.


Mrs. Oke-Oluwole Esther: As for me, I’m enjoying my best moment. I actually love staying indoors not going anywhere; I  sleep, wake up, eat, shower, rest and watch movies. So, we’ve been coping very well. I intend to keep my family safe through this period  by adhering strictly to the rules and regulations guiding the spread of the virus which include staying at home in order to be safe, regular washing of hands and proper hygiene, avoiding unnecessary outings or gatherings, avoiding shaking hands with people, the use of hand gloves and face masks, preventing visitors from coming into the house and to crown it all, making provisions for all necessary household needs such as foods and drinks to prevent death by hunger.


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