A teenager’s thoughts on getting through the pandemic

Story: Syed Shaheer Hussain

The lockdown has been hard for all of us. At present, though, this lockdown is being conducted worldwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I would like to share with you the ways in which I was able to keep active during this phase.

I first found out that we were going to have a month’s holiday after my friend’s birthday party in early March 2020. I was very excited and happy that we were going to have a small break from school. I was only expecting a month off, but then our circumstances started to change.

Oman didn’t have too many cases in the beginning, but towards the end of the holidays, many more cases began to appear. I was quite sad when I heard the holidays were extended, knowing we wouldn’t be able to continue school this year. The first two or three weeks were okay, with the malls and shops still open, but later on, because of the situation around COVID-19 cases, the malls had to be closed to decrease the number of new cases. I even got a little bitter, because I couldn’t go outside with my friends or family.

Coming up to the second month of the holidays, my routine began to break down. I began studying at irregular hours and started sleeping late. I often began having mood swings during this period, where I’d go from happy to angry and vice versa. Staying home for a long period made me sad as I am quite an active person, who goes outside to play every day.

Into the middle days of the second month, I started to get bored. The one main thing that kept me busy was the homework that was being provided by my school. Here, I would like to say a big thank you to the school staff. Now that I couldn’t go outside, I started trying out a few new things that could be done while still inside.

I discovered quite a few nice skills that had been inside me for a long time. One such skill that began to grow was my writing. I see myself writing better, more descriptive pieces. One of the main elements that keeps me motivated is that I am safe with my family. Not everybody has this privilege during this hard time.

Moving on to the third month following the end of the school year, I started to get a little bored again. Thanks to the power of social media these days, I was able to search for a few things to do at home, along with my sister. My routine during this month is surprisingly starting to form again. Again, I am very happy to have the privilege of being with my family during this hard time, while many other people live alone in their homes, their beloved ones away from them.

I have provided some tips below that you could do to go through the current period. Before I move on, I would like to congratulate Oman for handling the situation well so far. New cases are indeed rising, but the medical authorities are handling it well, and proof of that is that the death rate is quite low.

Some things/activities you can do during quarantine:

Do some fun challenges – You could do some fun challenges with your sibling. For example, you could do the ‘Last one to leave the fort challenge’. All you need is a sibling, a room, some equipment to build your ‘fort’, and you are good to go!

Watch movies – Ever wished that you didn’t have to go to school because the newest season of your favourite Netflix show is out? Well, use this time to your advantage. Go on to Netflix, make some popcorn, and enjoy!

Writing – You can start writing a small diary or journal. When we are done with this pandemic, you can share it with your friends so they know how you spent your time. 

Learn – Take this time and learn a new language. You can download Duolingo or a related app and learn a foreign language.

Plan – You can start planning for a future holiday. Have fun and daydream about a future holiday destination you could possibly go to, after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

I hope this small list of activities will help you. There are many more things you can do as you stay home during the pandemic. 

Stay happy and stay safe!

(The author is a student of Grade 7, A’Soud Global School)