#World on lockdown; 13 ways to keep busy while social distancing

#coronavirus#lockdown#covid19by Lian OkolieMar 23rd, 2020

World on lockdown

The track title says it all

2020 started off on a high note. January 1st I woke up and decided it was finally time to take the step I had been thinking about for so long. I cut off all my relaxed hair, because I wanted to go natural. I also decided to start a blog to document my journey and everything that my journey (as a natural haired woman and a black woman) entailed. After looking back over the last decade I decided to embark on the adventure of taking my long term plans and goals from the pages of my notebook and bringing them to life.

Everything was falling into place. We had decided on our date to move back to London. We had a tenant for our house and we had found a home in London. Everything was set, just waiting on our moving day. Great right?

I had stopped listening to the news a few years back, I couldn’t take it anymore, it was all so depressing and heartbreaking. I would still check up on headlines. Having said that in this day and age you can’t escape the news, it’s everywhere you turn on the internet. In the end I set up a flash briefing so every morning I get my briefing from BBC, NPR, then on to the daily show, Kimmel & Fallon things to elevate the spirit and put a smile back on my face.

Listening to the news in Dec/January I started to hear about this Coronavirus in Wuhan China and I remember not feeling anyway about it the first time. The next day Wuhan China again, more people affected, “Oh, that’s a shame I hope they’ll be ok”. The next day, I’m hearing more, the next WEEK it’s still going on, more infected, people dying… Oh wow China, that’s sad. Then the next week it’s still going but still I’m thinking “Poor China. Wuhan, OMG that’s a shame”

Next week you start to hear about cruise ships not being able to dock, more people are dying, it’s spreading to neighbouring cities. Next thing you know China’s on lockdown (it’s getting serious now but it still all seems so far away).

3 weeks later it just kept moving, Coronavirus Coronavirus Coronavirus, ok now “What the hell is this Coronavirus?” Coronavirus Coronavirus everywhere Coronavirus. USA, Italy, France, UK, Australia, Spain like wow!

Cut to 4 weeks later and the world is on lockdown. You can’t leave your homes, more and more people are getting infected, Thousands are dying, borders are closing.

At first it was reported that there was a high mortality rate, mostly 50 years and over (but that demographic has widened), and those with underlying medical issues. I still haven’t heard of any children dying but the deaths don’t only include the elderly or those already ill.

It’s insane, it’s like something out of the movies. It’s reminiscent of all the apocalyptic zombie movies I’ve watched. You heard of life imitating art? This is just taking the piss. I’m half expecting the dead to rise as zombies and start terrorising the planet… I’m playing, but you know what I mean. It’s that feeling of, my goodness “What the hell is going on here?” “Is this a movie, am I dreaming? “Did I fall asleep on the 31st of December and I haven’t woken up yet, I must be dreaming”. It’s so surreal!

I can’t be the only one who was concerned that a company called ‘Gilead’ (a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines) was granted a seven year monopoly for ‘Remdesivir’ (one of several drugs being tested to treat the coronavirus) by Trumps food and drug administration. With that status ‘Gilead’ would be the sole distributor of ‘the cure’, well potentially, if it actually worked. I’m half expecting governments to start rounding up all the women ‘The Handmaid's Tale’ style. Thankfully due to public outcry led by Bernie Sanders (amongst others) ‘Gilead relinquished it’s claim. Basically Gilead will not, potentially, have a monopoly on ‘the cure’.

Everyone’s confined to their homes, everybody's scared. Governments and Healthcare professionals are trying to figure out how to get the virus under control. Lockdowns are in effect because the virus is spreading so quickly and also because healthcare systems do not want to get overrun. If everybody keeps going out and in so doing keep getting sick, then the healthcare system in your various countries won’t be able to handle the number of sick people there will inevitably be.

Healthcare professionals are doing an amazing job. Everybody else has been told to work from home, to stay safe and not get infected and they are out there on the front lines literally. They remain in contact with people with the virus, putting their own lives at risk. It’s amazing and I applaud them.

You hear world leaders saying things like situations like this have not arisen since world war 2, where people were confined to their homes for the greater good. Yes if you think about it civil liberties are all out the window but it’s for our own good and we really have to understand that.No matter how ill timed or unfavourable it might be.

We were meant to move on back to London, from France, on the 21st of March. We found a home in London that we are paying for, we also have a tenant who is meant to move in to our home on the 1st of April and we’re stuck here on lockdown. The whole thing has just been a pain in the @£$% to say the least.

The worst part is we don’t know how long this lockdown is going to last. In China it lasted about two to two and a half months (they plan on reversing the lockdown on Wednesday 25th March). Here in France we don't know. We are waiting with baited breath to see what happens on the 1st of April when the current 2 week lockdown period will be over.

It’s times like this that you would think that no matter what is going on in the world, people would have some sense of community. But as we have seen there are alot of people out there who are just out for themselves, trying to get paid. We’re human, you can’t really hate on that but at the same time we need to think about each other. You go to the supermarket these days and the shelves are bare. As shelves are stocked, customers are emptying them out by the lorry load.

Some people have decided to resell items online for 100% markup or more. Reminiscent of war time where quite a few people made fortunes on the backs of the needy/desperate as well as the government. It’s ridiculous.

We do need that sense of community, the sense of ‘no man is an island’ we’re all in this together. Think about your fellow human being. How are people fighting over toilet paper? You go to the supermarket and you can't find toilet roll. People are buying out baby formula so they can sell it at a markup because they know people need it. I mean ‘come on’, “really... Really... baby formula?”.

Right now it’s worrying. It’s really starting to take effect now, because it’s all becoming so real. People are worried in their homes and you wonder will everything ever get back to normal? Yes I know this is all going to end at some point but afterwards could things ever be the same. Essentially after this pandemic has died down there will be two eras BC and AC (before Coronavirus and after Coronavirus).

We just need to find a way to keep ourselves sane while we’re stuck at home. There are so many things you could try, to alleviate the boredom or just to keep sane (thank God for technology and the internet). Here’s my list of 13 things to do while social distancing:

  1. Download ‘House Party’ an app that lets you video chat and play games with multiple friends and family members at once (up to 8).
  2. Have a ‘Netflix Watch Party’, watch shows and movies with friends in real time (there's also a chat section. desktop and laptop only).
  3. If you're a movie buff Amazon has added ‘Amazon Cinema’ to Prime Video. Amazon Cinema allows you to pay to watch movies that are on release in theatres from the comfort of your own home.
  4. Better yet have a virtual dinner party.
  5. Follow @Dnice (DJ D-Nice) on Instagram and party your cares away at his virtual party ‘Home school at #clubquarantine”. Have a laptop? Video call a few friends then it’s On!
  6. Follow Debbie Allen for virtual dance classes on Instagram
  7. Read that book you’ve been putting off reading, because you didn't have the time, #nomoreexcuses. You could even read it online or better yet, my new favourite pastime, audible. With audible you can get on with other things while listening.
  8. Find your new favourite podcast. There are so many podcasts out there with some great content. Browse some podcast platforms and pick out a new fave. Have no idea where to start? Try my article on ‘15 podcasts to check out while social distancing’
  9. Take it a step further, pull out that notebook you’ve been using to jot down all your ideas and start taking steps to make those ideas reality.
  10. De clutter your phone, why not, you currently have more time than usual. If your bored get your phone and organise your emails, photos and delete any of those apps you no longer need.
  11. Learn a new language. What’s stopping you? French, German, Mandarin, Spanish. Make a choice grab the Duolingo app and get busy.
  12. Practice makes perfect: what part of your hair and beauty routine are you still having trouble with? You struggling with getting that make up looking tight? Maybe you need more inspiration for your hairstyles and or hair care... Google is your friend! Search out tips and practice, practice, practice.
  13. Learn something new. We’ve covered languages already, what about photography, diy. You could even learn how to give your partner, or maybe even yourself, a haircut.

Aside from that, I’ve got a lot more time to work on my blog and trying to make Vrai Locs what I envision it to be. oh and lest I forget... the packing, preparing for our move back to London and praying it will happen soon.. #nomoreexcuses

We just have to stick together and understand it’s not just about us, it's about everybody and we should actually respect the rules, because if we don’t then the lockdowns will last longer.

IF YOU KEEP GOING OUT DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOU’LL GET ARRESTED OR FINED, THE LOCKDOWN WILL LAST LONGER. If we want it to end asap, we need to stay our arses home. So that this situation can get over and done with sooner rather than later.

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