Sri Lanka National Day celebrations
March 19, 2020
Off camera, in camera
March 26, 2020

Happy at Home

By Hubert Vaz

People in Oman – Professionals and homemakers – who have been compelled to stay at/work from home, are making the most of it.

My COVID-19 daily routine

Jane Jaffer, author, founder – Let’s Read

As I love daily walks along the beach, meeting up with friends, counselling clients and working at the Let’s Read Bookshop, I am finding the ‘stay at home’ rule very challenging. To make it work for me, I find it’s important to be disciplined and to have a structure to the day. I try to schedule in all the things I love to do.

I literally climb out of bed straight onto my exercise mat and do twenty minutes of ‘hatha yoga’. After breakfast I sit at my computer and start work. I am writing my memoirs and have been researching my family history. Every so often, I stop to google something relevant to the time period or to message family for more details. I will take a break to walk around the garden for twenty minutes and then get back to work.

After lunch I always read for one hour (I might have 20 winks!) Last night we had our first virtual book club meeting on a conference call. It was fun! I am also trying to teach myself to play the piano. It’s very hard at my age but it certainly keeps my brain working. Most evenings, we will watch a film or a series and I might do a little free weight lifting while I am watching.

The main thing is to always have a goal, to work towards something positive. There are now hundreds of online university courses available for free. I am thinking of enhancing my counselling skills by doing a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) course over the next few months. We all need to stay focused and positive. We can get through this!

Busy with home and family

Madiha al Bakry, Scrum Master, Oman Arab Bank

At tough times like these it’s important to stay safe and be aware of our surroundings. That is why I am now working from home. I have decided to work from home as I want to lower the risks of getting exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

We have been trying to keep busy at home as the children are also out of school for a month. I have a 4 and 7-year-old and they can be a handful. I heard a joke the other day saying “Parents will find the cure to the virus before Doctors do”. I found that quiet funny as the first few days at home, I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. It got better over time as children are full of energy and you just need to find the right activity from them to release that energy. Of course I avoided feeding them anything that contained sugar as my children tend to climb walls if they’ve had sugar. I focused more on healthier snacks like vegetable sticks, yogurt and fruits. I also tried to keep them occupied by playing board games, doing a lot of reading, coloring, drawing and plenty of cooking! Yes, they helped me cook! We also watched a few funny movies which kept us entertained.

Practising social distancing is not at all common in this world, however due to the outbreak it is now everyone’s responsibility to do exactly that. It is very important to keep a distance of at least 1 meter between you and anyone that is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. That is why you should avoid leaving the house if at all necessary.

Another important thing to remember is to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. If your hands get contaminated it can transfer the virus through your eyes, nose or mouth and enter your body thus making you sick. That is why you should wash your hands regularly and use a good quality, alcohol-based, hand sanitiser.

Another thing I liked is I really didn’t have to leave the house as groceries were delivered to my doorstep. There are plenty of applications available now where you can order groceries online to avoid being out in public.

Other than that, the only advice I have to offer is to stay at home and try our best to reduce the spread of the virus. We all need to work together to achieve this.