The Coronavirus Diaries – Part 5
I also wrote a poem about the pandemic because sometimes I just find it better to express myself through poetry.
Last week, I shared some guest posts from friends and fellow bloggers. We’re all going through this together but our experiences are all different.I hope you connected to their posts in some way.
This week I am continuing with guest posts from some more wonderful ladies in my life. Over to you…
SABRINA CHEEMA (FROM MR & MRS UPPAL) – TEACHER & TUTOR
I am a secondary school teacher, and what most people don’t always realise, is that teachers and pupils build bonds – we refer to them as ‘our kids’, we care for them daily, we nag them daily and every single little thing we do during our day at work is for them.
As I always say, I’ve never given birth but I have about a thousand kids.
As a result, during this time, my heart is hurting for families who are struggling to feed their children, to children who live in abusive households or suffer from anxiety and to those kids who come to school for a break.
Despite it being over the computer, we are still here to support our pupils with emotional needs and to try our best to maintain communication so that they don’t feel alone or abandoned, but for these children it will still be hard.
I am also sorry for the pupils who have been working so hard and won’t ever know what grade they would have got in their exams (although, many of them are delighted to not have to sit them).
Finally, I feel sympathetic towards parents who are still trying to work from home. My advice to parents at this difficult time is not to worry, because whatever the outcome of this is, every single child in this country will be in the same boat going through the same system.
During a normal academic year, teachers work tirelessly to ensure that no child gets left behind, this will be no different. Furthermore, teaching is a lifelong career that takes intense training, nobody is expecting that from you.
Instead, let’s use this time to teach our youth resilience, good manners, respect for others and life skills that will undoubtedly improve their attitude to learning when it’s time to return.
You can follow Mr & Mrs Uppal on Instagram
PRIYA SANGHU – UNI STUDENT IN CALIFORNIA
Hi guy’s ! My name is Priya Sanghu. I am a college student at UCR, a microbiology major, and living in sunny California. My experience with coronavirus has been a roller coaster. The fist time I heard about the virus on the news was in January. At that time I had just transferred to a university and was in my first semester, having a great experience with uni life.
At first it sounded like mini-rumours about China struggling to take care of people, the meat market getting out of control and the trending lady eating bats on social media. At that time there was nothing happening in the U.S. that was related to the virus. Then a month or two went by and everything changed!
ZAYNA – RADIO PRODUCER & BLOGGER
Every few hours, I catch myself saying the exact same thing…Is this really happening?
I feel like I’m in a movie, a horror movie where the streets are empty and something evil lurks outside and this is what life has become.
As I leave the house for work, the roads which I’ve spent countless hours stuck in rush-hour traffic are deserted, shopping centres are closed and streets are empty. In the span of a few weeks, I’ve felt my entire life change and every day feels like an eternity, as I live the same day on repeat with nothing to do, nobody to see or nowhere to go.
These are the thoughts that played on my mind repetitively and ultimately took such a toll on my mental health. I had gone to a place of such unhappiness and sadness that I didn’t even recognise myself. I was crying, upset all the time and struggling to manage my day.Thankfully, I’m surrounded by incredible friends and family who would regularly check in, call for a chat or jump on HouseParty and ultimately pull me out of this period and for that, I’m ever grateful.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried really hard to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, to see light rather than dark and spend my time more constructively rather than binging an entire show on Netflix, which just reinforces the concept of being ‘in lockdown’.
My family know that I’m an awful cook. I try, but for some reason it just never works out for me! So I thought I would take this time to improve in the kitchen because it’s a life skill and I should be better than I am! If you were to open my YouTube history right now, you’d see it’s full of cake, cookie, 3-ingredient dishes and easy tutorials!
So far I’ve only made a madeira cake, cookies (which were such a fail that I shouldn’t even mention them), home-made burgers and some Chinese dishes. But I am determined to go from Zayna Travel to Zayna Chef by the time this is all over.The park has become my new best friend as I love spending time there (within the government guidelines of course). There’s something so calming and beneficial about being amongst nature and breathing in fresh air.
Also how many of us have seen our screen time quadruple over the last month or so? I definitely have so I’ve been making a conscious effort to put my phone down, step away from my laptop, turn Netflix off and just be present.
We have so much technology at our fingertips, so use it for positive reasons and keep in touch with your friends and family. Schedule in time for regular catch-ups, just like you would if you were going out together. I know this is such a difficult time that we’re going through but you’re not alone – we’re all experiencing this together as a global community and we will all get through it stronger on the other end!
Take care everyone!
You can follow Zayna on Instagram.
AMAN DULAY – FINANCIAL ADVISORY MANAGER & FASHION & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
Family. That is what is getting me through this ambivalent time. The family I am surrounded by: my husband, my mother and father-in-law and grandad who keep me busy day to day. And the family I miss, with the motivation to make more memories with them once isolation is over.
For me, being away from my parents and grandparents has been the most painful part of this process, as it has for most. I cannot wait to see them but right now I have learnt to accept that in order to ride this wave we have to comply with the rules. It’s a small price to pay!
Unfortunately I had the experience of one my parents being very ill and hospitalised during the past three weeks (now recovering from Covid-19, thankfully). Not being able to be there for them really put life into perspective for me. I took a step back from social media because I needed to process my emotions and seek the support I needed to get through the guilt of not being there for my most-loved.
It’s a process and I know many in similar positions will have felt the same. My honest advice is to be sad if you feel sad, cry if you need to and distract yourself when you need to. Suppressing your emotions won’t help and it OK to feel these emotions, it is ‘normal’.
Almost overnight, my way of working changed, as a manager at one of the ‘Big Four’ financial services firms in the world. I truly believe some of these changes in the corporate world of work will stick. We have all become more caring for each other’s individual scenarios and I hope we continue to do so.Work has defined my experience in isolation, as it has been my routine and provided me with hope for the upturn, post the Covid-19 crisis. I have made myself a small ‘office’ with the luxury of a spare room, an extra desktop screen (this must be mentioned as without it I cannot work!) with a window overlooking our garden. These are small luxuries, which I know many may not have. Spending my days looking at distressed businesses as a result of Covid has made me more grateful than ever.
Social distancing has made me grateful that I am an over-loving kind of person, who can’t help but hug all those I love. I miss those times but I am so happy that I’ve always made the most of every moment. I am also grateful for the time I am spending with my husband. Life has changed overnight, it has slowed down and we truly have time for each other now.
I have learnt to enjoy the extra hours on weekends, between cooking and cleaning, and have been able to enjoy being home in my own way. I’ve not letting social media decide what that should be!
My biggest piece of advice for you all, is not to try and keep up with what others are doing on social media. We can so easily get bogged down with that. It is fine to just rest, be silent, watch TV, and listen to the birds! Be comfortable being you.
You can follow Aman on Instagram.
Thank you to these wonderful ladies who shared their perspectives in this post. I’ll be back next week with an update on what I’ve been up to these last couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine as much as you can (and within the guidelines). Stay safe and healthy.
As always, I’m going to end with a photo of a happier time to lift my spirits.This is a photo of me and Sukh at a family wedding during the 2018 heatwave. Lots of friends and family have had to postpone their weddings due to Covid-19. I can’t wait to get all dressed up again and dance the night away with my loved ones.