In 2010, when I was admitted to Holy Child School, I was oblivious of all the changes that awaited me. The morning mass, morning assembly, taking turns to serve at breakfast, lunch and supper, the compulsory siestas and having to take my evening bath when the sky was still bright, all felt so new and difficult to adjust to in the beginning.
Of all these, my health wasn’t left out, the cold weather on the Angel’s hill made me discover something. The cold weather exposed me to easily catch a cold. In the beginning, I felt it will get better as my body adjusts to the weather. But I was wrong. It persisted. I had to put in drastic measures to help myself. I tried a lot of remedies. I stopped using any highly scented soap or perfume. I avoided sitting or sleeping under the fan and I avoided crowds and people who love to use strong perfumes. Tissues and handkerchiefs became my close allies in the fight.
I only used guardian soap, took the seat far away from the fan and also avoided the top bed in the dormitory.
On days when I mistakenly hugged someone who had used a strong perfume, I had to weep in anticipation of all the pain I was going to have.
On other days when I woke up with a difficulty in breathing because someone had put the fan on in the middle of the night when she was feeling hot, I felt I only had to endure.
On such days when I had to blow my nose, cough, sneeze, use up my tissue and the ones my friends gave me, I knew I was making those I sat in class with uncomfortable.
I felt more concerned about them than I did to myself because I had given up on myself. I had come to accept that could try to minimize the number of times I had a cold but I could not avoid it because of how I contracted it.
So as much as possible, I try to self quarantine. This ‘self-quarantine’ does not mean I stayed in the dormitory o. I couldn’t afford to do that considering how often I had a cold. My ‘self-quarantine’ here means I tried to avoid contacts with people and items as much as I could.
As I tried to make all these adjustments, once a while, I encounter a student who expresses displeasure at how often she saw that I had a cold. Such a person will go at lengths to recommend all the precautionary measures I was already painstakingly observing.
During my first holiday in senior high school, I traveled to the new district my parents had just been transferred to. Finally I was away from the cold weather and all the ‘dbees’ who used all the highly scented perfumes you can imagine.
Day one was exciting 🤩 I ate my favorite food and started sharing my Holy Child School diaries with my family. Day two and three were amazing too. I could wear all the beautiful clothes I hadn’t seen in months. Then came day four and I caught a bad cold!!!! I was so angry. Loool.
Now I had to carefully remember how it started. What did I bring close to my nose? What did I inhale that could cause this?
Then I remembered I had done a thorough cleaning and dusting of the house the day before! So the dust here too has caused this?
I felt so frustrated and I had to carefully observe precautionary measures at home. On days when I wanted to clean and dust, I used a nose mask hoping and praying I do not inhale any droplet.
Our world is currently hit by a pandemic. Ghana, my country, recorded its first case a week ago. Just two days ago, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced a four-week suspension of most activities and cautioned we stay home as much as we can. As I spend my time social distancing today, I’ve been thinking of all the patients infected with the virus and the pain they could possibly be going through.
I know it’s difficult to suddenly adapt to change, but let us all abide by all the measures the World Health Organization has outlined. Remember to stay away from large gatherings for your health and the health of our community.
Let me share my plan for this season with you. Maybe you could share yours in the comment section too.
- Intentionally grow a deeper relationship with my Creator.
- Write more in my journal.
- Complete my reading list.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Drink warm Cinnamon water
- Take more online courses.
- Reflect on creative ways to build my side-hustles.
- Complete my writing tasks.
- Stay in touch with the my team and carpenter in Yevi who is working on our shelves for our library project.
- Learn something new each day.
- Constantly call my family and friends.
- Organize my room space.
- Eat healthy.
- Pray for all health workers and front liners fighting this pandemic.
- Stand strong with deep faith as I pray and hope our earth heals soon.