Jewel Ndung’u, an incoming 2nd year law school student.

It’s been about three weeks since normal operations were suspended by the government. Spending my entire day indoors hasn’t been an easy feat. At first it was exciting because of course as a student you’re always looking forward to some free time. However, after a couple of days of watching global news, the weight of how real this situation is started to sink in. I would find myself watching news from international channels in order to capture the severity in a multifaceted angle. This was scary and, consequently, I became a bit more intentional on following the government’s instructions and helping those around me do the same. 

To cope, I established a routine for every day to keep me occupied. My day begins at around 9am. Once I wake up, I spend a few minutes in bed just doing a mental checklist of what I should do that day. I then freshen up and go to the living room where most times it’s just my mom and I. I have breakfast and, immediately after dive in to help with house chores. Most of my afternoons are spent reading. I have always enjoyed reading and so it is the time of day I look forward to most. Currently I am reading a book called 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harris, a book I am highly rating. Later, I spend time listening to music and playing the guitar. Towards the end of the day, I do Zumba; thanks to my Strathmore school mentor for hooking me up on this. The rest of the evening is spent bonding with family and then I call it a day. I also control what I’m consuming from social media by limiting the time spent there but at the same time making sure I’m checking up on my friends. 

I have not really had the online learning experience since the pandemic came in at a time when I was going for my long break. However, my friends who are on-session have some nice things to say about the experience and they are very appreciative of the fact that their academic calendar will have little adjustment. 

This pandemic has taught me gratitude and challenged me to redefine normal. What we see now is a chaotic world where everyone is trying their best to self-preserve in whatever way they know best. It is unfortunate, however, that for some of humanity, this is their ‘normal’ life. How I hope we would extend the graces we’re given now to beyond this pandemic. I have also learnt to check my privilege and be mindful of others. I would encourage all children to do the same especially with their parents. To be understanding when they can no longer have eggs or bacon and all such niceties at table anymore. When the fridge isn’t fully stocked or when there’s no longer the privilege of ‘quarantine snacks’ because our parents are probably doing their best to save for harder days ahead. On a lighter note, it was not until COVID-19 that I learnt the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic. 

Once all of this is over, I look forward to seeing my friends, giving life to the plans we had and of course living life a little more fiercely.

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