After about five weeks of total lockdown of some states considered main centres of motion picture production, some notable celebrities speak about the gains and pains of the COVID-19 lockdown.
For gains, I will say this period has given me time to reflect and reassess a lot, with regards to what matters and what doesn’t.
I have found more time to do the little things I am passionate about like, trying out new recipes in the kitchen and getting back into my fitness routine, which my pre-COVID-19 schedule had taken from me. In all, am learning to slow down and carve some balance to life.
It also afforded me time to reconnect with friends I haven’t been in touch with for a while in the name of ‘busy schedule.’
As for pains, I really miss working and socialising with fellow humans without worry. I also miss making projections and plans without running into a mental block due to the uncertainties of the post-COVID-19 season.
Most importantly, I miss credit alerts!
Personal gains for me is that I have maintained my fitness regime, spent time with myself, evaluating my life and doing some spring cleaning to get rid of excess stuff I have around me.
The pains is definitely not being able to work, as our production was halted due to COVID-19, and then inability to go out and interact with family and friends and attend social events.
But I remain positive nonetheless. It is the only choice I am comfortable with.
Bolaji Amusan (aka Mr Latin)
Well, I must say that the pain is greater than the gain. Day in day out, I have to feed over 100 people. Those in my area know that before I wake up, lots of people will be coming in one and twos to ask for favours, particularly to feed.
My members are not left out, the elders and the vulnerable among them.
However, the gain is that I am able to rest, reset my brain and try other things that can put food on my table and above all, I am able to know how poor our people are in this country.
I think government needs to a do a lot, in terms of instituting a proper welfare or social scheme, with support of well-meaning individuals.
Importantly, one lesson this has taught us as practitioners is that we need to always save for the raining day, as nobody is ready to feed anybody in a situation like this. People expected so much from actors and all the cinemas are closed due to the lockdown. So, we cannot shoot and cannot practically do anything.
We needed to use this situation to re-evaluate ourselves.
I have learnt to always take the good out of the bad from any situation, even though it has been tough having to be without my family.
Not working, being holed up, not having my usual choice and variety of meals and missing out on my neighbourhood community has been quite a difficult process for me.
However, I am learning to converse with the walls and the inanimate objects and my imagination has been at its best.
On the other hand, I am so thankful for the green environment, the reduction in pollution and cleaner streets and air generally. The lockdown has afforded people the opportunity to reflect on the priorities of our existence as humans and how durable we can be when faced with the fear of extinction.
I have also used this time to study and finally take the necessary steps towards self-development. For someone like me, who suffers from allergies, ‘social distancing’ is a plus.
So much can be prevented with this practice and thankfully, hand washing is in fashion for the public and to beat this, we need to become germaphobes (this can become an OCD and have a negative impact), so not for everyone.
Can you imagine how much germs a hotel remote control carries? These were things we normally wouldn’t think twice about. This certainly isn’t going anywhere like the rest of the viruses out there, so we will do what is right.
The lockdown has been a most profound experience, both in gains and pains. For the first time in a long time, the entire family is together again, we have been able to catch up and share burdens with stronger empathy, as we have had proximity.
I have personally been able to truly pause, assess both content and approach of all areas of my life to great benefit and I have been able to begin the processes of my book publications that I have put off for so long.
It allowed me to reconnect with so many people.
The pains are not any less intense- being helplessly restricted at home drove home more strongly, the losses we suffered at the truncated production of our play, ALHAJI, the disruption of all the plans we had made for the year, the financial losses, the frustrated projects and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness seeing so many people in hunger and other kinds of distress.
It was going to be a big great year, but…it still will be. No doubt!
Personal gains for me will be a strong focus on what really matters. I have learned to focus on what/who is important in life and to prioritise my time efficiently. We can never say, “this can’t wait,” because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Also, I have always been a clean and hygienic person, but this pandemic has helped me to pay greater attention to my hygiene, especially with regard to hand washing and sanitising. We can stay perfectly alive without expensive cars, eating expensive foods or wearing expensive clothes.
This virus that sees no difference in people has ultimately thought us that there is no difference in people. I hope this is remembered after the pandemic is over.
As for pains, I had to break off my #drlove series set and loss of continuity, and I am not sure how we will achieve them when COVID-19 is over.
This pandemic proved that the world wasn’t prepared for a disaster of such scale. It also proved that politics control the economy and in countries with inadequate leaders, communities are disproportionately impacted.
Hopefully, pharmaceutical companies and governments can change their attitude towards investments in public health and related research. If the mindset continues to be profit-oriented, the future can be as blank as the present chaos.