I am not going to talk about what Covid-19 is and what the stakes are medically and scientifically. We propbably have enough of that out there.
I want to not only share how I was impacted as a person, a single mother of 3 boys, a person living with a mental illness (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and a community organizer; but above all about the hope I am finding and sharing through it all.
As a person I was also so scared I thought that was it, am dying sooner than i thought I would lol (can this ever be a forecast? hahahaha). As a single mother of three active boys (16, 13 and 10 with the last being the most hyper hahahaha), I was dead worried if I will get it covered from all angles for them and for us, while getting them to understand and collaborate - especially with the confinement of sorts imposed by our government for prevention and safety measure (it's about protecting yourself, protecting others and stopping the spread of the virus). As a person living with a mental illness, wow I was triggered to auto pilot with hyper anxiety and nervousness and even anger. I was once confined to my room with my late brother in my father's house for two years intermittently by my step mother and so any sort of imposed confinement on me doesn't go down well. Limiting my freedom triggers an over or under irrational reaction from me and I go on auto pilot to protect myself and deal with whatever threats I perceive at the time. Fortunately I know much more about triggers and tools for getting better than I did years back. As a community organizer, I almost felt so helpless because it was like a lot of what I was working on was paused. I was looking forward to participating at an important conference in San Diego California on Tackling Stigma and finding Hope in the summer, and all three abstracts I had submitted (for two workshops and a presentation) had been accepted, and this was cancelled. Some events planned for example the 1st #MentalHealthMatters open day in my country scheduled for April 29th may not take place and my partners from Australia and South Africa wouldn't be flying in anyways. Well, add to this living in a community which is still so cynical about the outbreak and living like all was well and disposing of filth like whatever---arghhhhhh hope was about to fly out of the window...
But, I quickly pulled myself together and stepped up to face my fears and assess the situation, accept the challenges and needs, then decide to do something about it. What I do best is communicate and spread messages of hope. This I have been doing through blogs and vlogs on my different social media platforms. Beginning from home, I have frequent briefings with the boys while trying my best to have us all stay healthy and happy. WHO has a few suggestions too on what we can do in addition to all the preventive measures in place, to stay healthy and happy.
I am sharing the links to the different videos I have done so far for those who want to listen to what I have been sharing with all my authentic and vulnerable self. I do it because it matters to me that when all is said and done I can be proud of the life I lived, and of the legacy I leave behind.