In light of the recently confirmed cases and death in Botswana due to the COVID-19 virus. A state of emergency has been declared and lockdown imposed to protect people and the country. Movement outside of the home has been restricted until at least the end of April.
But, there are still many ways to engage and be of support during extreme social distancing. To make the best of the lock-down.
Why Stay At Home?
The reality is the symptoms of the virus mimic flu-like symptoms that start off mildly and gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms or feel sick. This makes it hard to know who is a carrier of the virus and who is not. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. (Source, WHO).
Many people in Botswana are classified as vulnerable. It is then our responsibility to protect them by staying home and abiding by extreme social distancing.
Who Is Vulnerable?
Some people seem to be affected by the virus more than others. These are the elderly, or anyone living with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes.
According to WHO, people living with HIV and have advanced disease or low CD4 count (high viral load) are vulnerable. Anyone living with HIV and not on ARV (antiretroviral) treatment, is at risk of infections and related complications, in general. It is unknown if the immunosuppression of HIV will put a person at greater risk for COVID-19. In 2017, 380 000 people were said to be living with HIV in Botswana (source, Mmegi Newspaper). Until more is known, precautions for all people with advanced HIV or poorly controlled HIV should be employed.
Remember, staying at home not only protects you but the ones you care about by keeping them safe.
What You Can Do During The Lock-down
1. Reconnect with your family. Use this time to be more present and engage with your child’s play and learning activities. Many couples are using this time to have date nights at home to reconnect with their spouse.
2. Do the things you have always wanted to do around the home. This could be the time you have been dreaming of to clean & organize your home. Rearrange your decor or finish a home project.
3. Interview grandparents/elderly over-the-phone interviews with your parents or grandparents of their favourite memories. Or things they forgot to tell you about their lives. Record for generations to come. If your parents or grandparents are no longer around, starting a family tree or sharing the stories you remember could make for good storytime ideas.
4. Call friends or family. Actively listen. Each one of us is processing the changes around us differently. Remember to reach out to friends and family. They could be needing someone to listen, as they process the changes in their world. Call a friend you haven’t had time to connect within a long time.
5. Start a virtual book club. If reading is something you enjoy. This might be a good time to make use of free online resources and start a virtual book club. Amazon has made some of their books available for free on Kindle. Audible Stories are available for children who are temporarily unable to go to school.
6. Show kindness and generosity. There are many ways to be of positive support. Write comments of encouragement or notes of affirmation to your loved ones. At home or online. Compose a relaxing or inspiring playlist for anyone working from home. Or donate to a cause that resonates with you.
7. Share quick and easy recipes. Try new recipes and share them with family and friends during the lockdown. Family mealtime is a good opportunity to disconnect from negative news and connect with those you love.
8. Stay active, because our movement is now restricted, it is all the more important to be as active as possible. This includes exercise, forms of active recreation, walking, play and dance. As well as activities around the home and garden.
If you are working from home, remember to take short breaks from sitting. Three to five minutes of walking or stretching, will help ease muscle strain, relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation and muscle activity. Regular physical activity can also help to give the day a routine and be a way of staying in contact with family and friends. Have a read of Fun Ways To Keep Fit With Your Kids During Lockdown.
9. Make a life goals list. The downtime may be a time to think, focus on and connect with your values however, that may look for you and your family.
10. Wash your hands. Remember to regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, make sure to wipe and sanitize your home to kill viruses that may be on surfaces. To know more about Covid-19 have a read of our article about it.
For more updates, follow Botswana Government or WHO Health Alerts. We can do this. We will stay at home to keep our country safe. Leave us a comment to let us know what you’re doing to make the best of the lockdown.