This lockdown and social distancing is hitting people differently.
I don’t have a problem with it.
I may sound like an extrovert; it is easy to sound like anything you want when you are a writer. I am also a ‘show’ person. I get to stand in front of people to speak and I am good at conversing with people. Also, I am full of wisecracks and stupid stories that make good ice breakers.
So it would seem that I am outgoing.
I am not, really.
I love, absolutely love being by myself.
In fact, I can stay indoors weeks on end if there was no need to step out.
All I need are books and food.
So, with the lockdown and all this social distancing and knowing who I am; it is hard to connect with how difficult this all is for other people.
Watching my nanny and husband grapple with confinement has made me appreciate just how hard this is hitting people who like to go out. My nanny is always as busy as a bee even when there is nothing to do.
She is incredibly restless.
A typical day starts with the kids being prepared for school. She then goes to her school…learning tailoring/fashion designing. She comes back on time to receive the kids from the school bus before I am back. Then the flurry of activities that come with caring for kids before it is night.
She still in the midst of all the work started making and selling Kunu. This takes a chunk of her time.
She loves being sent to the market. Always walking up and down.
Day one of lockdown, she woke up to her alarm clock. Before 8am, the house was clean and she had had a bath; worn ribbons on her hair, put on makeup and was sitting restlessly.
Day two, she knocks on my door.
“They are selling tomatoes outside.”
I was puzzled. What took her outside?
“Should we buy?”
Why not? I thought. I sent her.
‘‘I have soaked millet, I want to go and grind it.’’
Ah ah? Who does she want to sell the kunu to in this lockdown?
I was concerned because I am taking this lockdown seriously but if she has soaked the millet; then she might as well make the kunu.
The market is open. People are going and coming.
I sit her down and explain the pandemic and how our best bet was staying at home. I allowed her to sell the kunu but told her to leave it after this batch is sold. I did not want a situation whereby the market will be raided because this is Lagos and Nigeria.
She is now behaving like she is sick. She is carrying a long face and taking plenty strolls within the compound. I keep laughing to myself.
She tells me that the people at the market were warned not to open up.
I wonder how she knows even though it is a five-minute walk away but I say nothing.
‘‘Mummy. The market is still open.’’
‘‘Ah! How do you know? I told you no going out.’’
‘‘Ehm ehm… my leg was paining me because of too much sitting down.’’
I really laugh at this point.
‘‘That makes no sense. You are just restless and not used to little activity.’’
Later on, she goes; ‘‘Ehm mummy… the people in the market are really hungry because people selling food did not come out.
I ignore her. Because there is no way on earth I will allow her to make food to go and sell. Pele, she is seeing business opportunities in corona times.
It is almost like someone died. Moping and walking about aimlessly. She still wakes up and gets ready as though she has somewhere urgent to go to.
My husband is also like a caged tiger. Prowling through the house daily. He won’t admit it but this sitting down at home is getting to him. He goes to work online. They have loads of meetings through virtual conferences, so he is busy. The problem is not the work. He just misses the packed days and complaining of traffic and being too busy.
I, on the other hand, cannot even remember what day of the week it is; not to talk of the date. I barely remember to have baths. As a matter of fact, I am reading a book a day; day dreaming and relishing the time spent with my family. I am not doing a lot of writing, I am replenishing. If this lockdown is extended for as long as a month, I am good.
But I know that it is a privilege of sorts that I can enjoy this. I have food and my nature blends with it.
I know that some people are having a really tough time.
People who are lonely because they have lost loved ones and holiday times or periods of stay at home amplifies emptiness. People who are lonely because they do not have anyone to love; or who loves them romantically at this moment.
Those who have big issues… They do not have the mask of a busy day to shelter them from thinking of the problems they are dealing with.
People with mental disorders; people that are clinically depressed or those that suffer from massive anxiety.
My mother hated any confinement. She liked to always be on the move. This would not have been funny for her.
So guys, a little prayer that we are able to cope with the lockdown and come out of it sane.
As for my fellow introverts… No! Life cannot remain like this forever. Don’t be too sad when it comes to an end.
We shall outlive COVID-19 and this lockdown.
Have a lovely week, mostly indoors.
Remember, we save lives just by remaining isolated.