2020, it really started well, I was picking up in my new job and everything seemed rosy, my relationship was blossoming, I had rejoined the gym after an absence of 6 months or so, I had moved to a new house and environment. Everything seemed rosy until someone in Wuhan-China decided to drink Bat Soup well …

Anyway at the  end of December, public health officials from China informed the World Health Organization that they had a problem that a new virus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan. They quickly determined that it was a corona-virus and that it was rapidly spreading through and outside of Wuhan. Although it originated in China, the country took aggressive action at the start of the outbreak, shutting down transportation in some cities and suspending public gatherings. Officials isolated sick people and aggressively tracked their contacts, and had a dedicated network of hospitals to test for the virus, ultimately Bat was ruled out as the cause of the Virus, but thinking out aloud , why would anyone drink Bat soup of all soups in the world?

In Kenya we continued going out for dinners, going out for movies, church ,hikes and the likes, life continued as normal ,even when we heard that the Corona Virus had grown legs, and was now in Iran, and had started killing prominent guys in the government. We still continued living life, taking selfies, drinking porridge and eating ugali ‘haha’, “I Know its not funny “chuckles”..

What got people scared was when the Virus took a trip to Italy, and all of a sudden people were dying like flies, all of a sudden everyone was scared, In Africa we were still taking selfies, apparently there was a rumor that Africans were Immune to the disease, but this was dispelled very first when countries like Nigeria started reporting Corona Virus Cases, early in mid of  march we also had  a case in Kenya , 3 Weeks in , the cases were now almost 200, ladies and gentlemen the Chicken were coming home to roost..

Everyone was in panic mode, we were now wondering , with our limited health resources this deases would definitely swipes us out all, the Government assured us that it would do everything to take care of us, and they outlined some of the measures that would help in preventing us from getting the Corona Virus.  We were told to stay at home as much as possible, especially if you’re feeling sick. To Stay home even if you’re not feeling sick — evidence suggests people can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms. We were told to wash our hands, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, and cover our mouths if we had a cough.

We were told that You can also wear cloth mask or face coverings when you’re out in public, especially in places where it’s hard to stay far away from others. But wearing a cloth face covering could help stop your virus-laden particles to other people, even if you don’t know you’re sick. The other day a friend was joking that its now difficult approaching a lady because you never know what’s beneath the mask, you could date someone then once the Corona is over you find that they don’t have teeth or they have beards.

Apparently if you’re a young, healthy person, you might not feel very sick if you catch COVID-19. But if you don’t stay home and away from others, you could pass it on to someone older or with a chronic health condition who is more likely to have a severe case of the disease.

So one of the best ways to slow the spread of an outbreak is by staying away from other people, which is also called “social distancing.” That gives a virus less opportunity to jump from person to person. It’s why everyone is being asked to stay home. Those measures apparently help blunt the impact of the outbreak by slowing the virus. If fewer people get sick at once, it’s easier for health care providers to give everyone good care.

By now you may have noticed a divide among your friends. As social distancing and self-imposed quarantine wears on and more workplaces urge employees to avoid the office, the Covid-19 outbreak has left many people more alone than they’ve been in a long time, or ever.

Fear, frustration, boredom, resignation, : This is the cycle of emotions that we have been going through in Kenya, and we are resigned that, at some point, life will go on, and we must somehow live with the threat of this virus.

One of the key questions is how do we stay sane during these difficult times, I will outline a few points that you can follow to help you maintain sanity and not deep into Anxiety and depression

Do keep a healthy diet 

When you’re at home it can be tempting to just sit on the sofa without moving, eating unbalanced meals and snacking all day as a way to entertain yourself.

Try to do your best to eat well. Make sure you cook what you eat. Add more fruits, vegetables, proteins, and vitamins to your diet. Eat twice or thrice per day.

Also, stay away from drugs and alcohol. Consumption of these will lead to more anxiety, panic, and depression

How to feel less anxious about the Corona Virus.

Try to get exposure to the outside world and exercise as much as possible within the limits , Our physical health and mental health are linked so try to create a routine that includes some physical exercise.

Although you can’t spend time with others, do make the most of any private outdoor space you have – such as a garden or balcony – if you have one, as being in nature can also help our wellbeing. 

Humans were created to be social beings. Many of us would seldom survive alone. This is especially if you are an extrovert by nature.

Take time to go out for a walk in the vicinity of your neighborhood. Of course, do this while still considering the social distancing rule.

Say hi to your neighbors. Introduce yourself to those who still don’t know you. One rule of thumb is always to make time to know people in the same neighborhood. Ask them how they are coping in this period. Take time to chatter as we have a lot of time now.

You never know who you may meet.

With all news going around on mainstream and social media, we are highly susceptible to becoming victims of negative information. Make sure you do not fall for misinformation, rumors, fear-mongering, and fake news. The most important thing during this period is maintaining a positive mindset and attitude.

If you find the news distressing, then you can limit the number of times or the possibility of coming into contact with this information. You can minimize watching the news to twice or thrice a day and only from trusted sources.

Do maintain a sense of routine 

We should try to eliminate idleness during this period. Nasty and toxic thoughts creep in when you are mentally and physically inactive.

Do you see those books stacked up on your shelf that you haven’t read yet? How about you start with those. If you’d rather use your PC or phone, download an e-book and get busy.

Also, get a collection of podcasts, movies and TV series to watch during your free time. The emergence of Netflix makes this simpler. This could be a great way to unwind if you are not able to do so during the normal work routine.

Go back to an old hobby or develop a new one. This could involve painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument or singing.

Since e-learning is now booming, access to learning material online is now easy as it could ever be. This includes YouTube videos, online tutorials, e-books, and e-courses. You can opt for either free or paid material.

Find yourself spending all day in your pajamas or remembering at 3pm that you haven’t brushed your teeth because you knew you wouldn’t be seeing anyone? Although in the short term it can feel nice to be lazy, in the long term this isn’t going to be good for your mental wellbeing.

As far as possible, try to maintain as much of a routine as you can. Wake up and go to bed at healthy times to ensure you get enough sleep.”

Find some time to still have value to your day, life cannot be just eating and sleeping. Do something fun for yourself (that isn’t just Netflix). 

I’m seeing a lot of people who are self-isolating are losing their optimism for the future, they are using time for self-reflecting and picking apart everything that is wrong with their life: their job, their relationship, their friendships. When we’re overwhelmed by a mundane life, it can quickly draw out the joy, so make fun for yourself.”

Sitting in front of a screen all day – whether for work or pleasure – is not the best way to spend long periods of time. Especially because the blue light from devices, like smartphones, can be disruptive to your sleep and overall well being.

Stay Connected

Just because you’re self-isolating, doesn’t mean you have to cut yourself off altogether. “If you feel that you’re beginning to struggle, take some time to call a friend or family member. Talk about how you’re feeling.

But more than two months into a crisis that has already killed thousands around the world, there has also been a shift in perspective for us when we remind ourselves that, in the grand scheme of things, the disruption in our lives is minimal compared to those who have had to risk their lives to save others.

We have gratitude that we have our families by our sides, that we are still healthy, that we have a steady supply of food and that we have roofs over our heads.

And we do have hope that a vaccine will soon be found and made readily available to everyone, allowing for the opportunity for all of our lives to eventually get better.