COVID-19 Dairies – During & After Suva Lockdown

From the moment our Honourable Prime Minister announced and  confirmed Fiji’s first case of COVID-19 (on Thursday, 19th March, 2020), my family went on high alert.  Life within my home changed dramatically.

There are 4 people within my household which includes my father, my mother, my brother and I.  For the first few months following confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Fiji, I was the only person from my household that was travelling to the Office for work.

My father, who works at the Ministry of Economy, had taken leave until the Suva Lockdown was lifted on Friday, 17th April, 2020.  My father then joined me in travelling to work on a daily basis.  My mother is a teacher at Veiuto Primary School so she had stayed at home by virtue of the extension of the school holidays by the Ministry of Education.  However, on Monday, 27th April, 2020 the Ministry of Education advised that all teachers are to report to work to prepare learning resources for school children who were to remain at home.

My brother is an accountant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Suva and was also working from home from the time the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Fiji.

Considering our movement and the potency of the threat that COVID-19 posed, our family (mainly my mother) had put in place controls to ensure that our family kept safe during the uncertain times.  These controls include doing the following things when we returned home from work (or any other essential visit):

  1. Washing our hands for 20 seconds using soap that is placed at a tap located outside our house before entering the house.
  2. Not touching anything in our house when we enter the house after washing our hands.
  3. Removing our work clothes (or other clothes) when we enter the house and placing our work clothes (or other clothes) in the washing machine. This was followed by having a shower.

Our extended family is quite a close-knit unit and normally we would go to either my uncles or aunts house but the restrictions to social gatherings prevented us from doing so.  I can’t even remember the last time we visited any of our relatives.  We have even gone to the extent of not dining at the same table during meal times.  Instead, we spread ourselves out within the Living Room and the Dining Table during meal times.

COVID-19 transformed life at my home.  We are doing things that we would not have normally expected to do.  Although we are not sure of the time frame we will be affected by COVID-19, we will continue practicing good hygiene, social/physical distancing and limiting our movement until we are certain that we have overcome COVID-19.

Author:  Krishmal Dutt

September 2020

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