LIVING AT HOME DURING PANDEMIC

How Kenyans are coping with staying indoors during pandemic

Most people have had enough with staying indoors.

In Summary

• From the responses received, some people are hoping life can go back to normal, while some are actually loving it since we don't know when all this will end.

• Staying at home during this period can be both boring and exciting depending on what you are doing.

Residents watch a television at the beginning of a curfew which was ordered by the Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inside a house within Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Residents watch a television at the beginning of a curfew which was ordered by the Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inside a house within Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

You want to go out and meet your friends and family members or even visit your favourite restaurant.

But you are stuck indoors because you have to stay safe and help in reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Most people have had it with staying indoors with even those who loved staying in getting tired.

I talked to some Kenyans on how they are managing to stay at home.

From the responses received, some people are hoping life can go back to normal, while some are actually loving it since we don't know when all this will end.

 
 
 

John Kamau*, a father of three, said that in as much as he loves his family, he's finding it quite unproductive to just stay at home.

"The President did a great job by asking everyone to stay indoors but sincerely speaking, it is becoming boring. My kids have started complaining that they are bored of doing the same thing every day," he said.

He says that he's tried doing activities with his kids but he sees them slowly losing interest.

"I now have to look for other means to entertain them because they are little kids and they have to be kept active or else we will be going back to square one," Kamau says.

Judy Achieng says she's really enjoying the 'staying at home' rule because her working hours really limited the time she spends alone.

"I'm loving this idea of staying at home. I wake up really happy to start the day because I don't have to wake up early. My working hours are crazy," she says.

"I have to wake up at 4 am, start prepping for the day and at 5 am I have to be out of the house just so as to make it to work by 6 am. But I can now extend my sleeping hours and even do I few things in the house as I work."

Staying at home during this period can be both boring and exciting depending on what you are doing.

 
 
 

Maria Mwende, a mother of two, has found so much joy spending time with her kids at home.

"I had forgotten how amazing it feels to hang out with my kids. During this period, I got to find out that my son is really into sports. He loves football a lot and has been practising. I have also learned a few skills as well," Mwende says.

She says her daughter is the quiet type but of late she has been trying to communicate as often as possible.

"She is just like her father. She never talks much and keeps things to herself, but we've been having deep conversations and we've both learned a lot about each other as individuals," she adds.

David Rotich and Sally Kosgey find staying at home really good for them.

Sally says their relationship was heading down south but after spending a few weeks together at home, it has made things a bit better.

"Relationships are hard and you can either try and work it out or let it go. My partner and I have not been ok for months. Fights almost every day and it's mostly because we both work late nights and get home quite late so we never get time to check up on each other," she says.

"But ever since we've been working from home, things have drastically changed. We communicate a lot and spend time together. This pandemic has been hectic for so many people but maybe it's also a blessing to others."

Tim Wanyonyi, on the other hand, is living a different life while at home.

He says he just wants to leave the house because he found out that his parents were not being truthful about their marriage.

"I never knew that my parents' relationship was quite toxic until when we were asked to stay home. The first three days after we started working and staying indoors, I noticed that my parents are not ok," he says.

"My father can't look at my mother and she can't stop raising her voice at him for even the tiniest things like not putting his toothbrush in the right container."

He added that he really wishes that he knew that his parents were not ok earlier and maybe he could have done something because he gets home after they've already retired to bed.

But Wanyonyi says that he's hoping that with time they will learn to tolerate each other during this period.

Last week, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said that the government has witnessed a spike in domestic violence, gender-based violence and sexual offences during the Covid-19 period.

She warned Kenyans against engaging in such vices and disputes during the pandemic.

"As the Ministry of Health what we are really saying is that this is not the time to engage in disputes and to bend about in terms of domestic violence towards our partners," Mwangangi said.

"We want to remind everyone that the law has not been suspended and that it will catch up with those who mete violence on others during this period."