Social Distancing In Nairobi

Adjusting To A New Way of Life

Margaret's Reflections
3 min readApr 4, 2020

Friday the 13th of March is the day the first Coronavirus case was confirmed in Kenya.

I was attending a music concert at my daughter’s school when the announcement was made. All at once, our attention turned from the performances on the stage to our phones as we searched for updates on the situation.

A sense of doom descended on the day.

The press briefing led to panic shopping of sanitizers and household disinfectants leading to stock out in several shops.

A lot has changed in the three weeks since.

Coronavirus had felt like a distance threat; an illness that would be contained before it got to our borders. Believing it would not affect us we had gone about business as usual.

The first Saturday {28th of March } following the announcement was declared a national day of prayers. The service was conducted by leaders from various religions and broadcast via live stream.

The week after saw the closure of all schools, a ban on mass gatherings and orders to work from home.

With the continued increase of infections, stricter measures have been enforced to curb the spread.

On Wednesday the 25th of March, a plan to enforce a dusk to dawn curfew from Friday 28th was announced. While the intentions of this order were good, the brutal enforcement of the same by security personnel left a bad taste in the mouths of many.

Letting Go Of Things I Cannot Control

I spent the first week after the announcement searching for articles and news updates on Coronavirus. I went from ignoring the situation to information overload.

The consequence of this was an increasing sense of helplessness which affected my sleep. Each night, I lay in bed plagued with fears and worries.

Worries about our healthcare systems, the economic impact of the disease and the inevitable job losses which would arise from the measures enforced to curb the spread of the disease.

Poor sleep led to daytime grumpiness and irritability.

I struggled to concentrate on my work.

I ate away my feelings and spent hours imagining worst-case scenarios.

But with time I chose to change my focus.

I accepted that there are certain factors about the pandemic that I cannot control.

Factors like government decisions, other people’s actions and the global death toll. Focusing on these was increasing the sense of fear and hopelessness I felt which I transferred to my daughter.

Instead, I chose to focus on my thoughts and my actions.

I limited the hours I spent watching the news from an hourly feed to the fifteen-minute briefing held by the minister of health.

With schools closed and no morning commute to take, our nightly routine was fading away. We had stopped practising gratitude each night as we often fell asleep watching TV. The lack of gratitude exacerbated the sense of frustration I felt.

I chose to return to an early bedtime and early wake-up time. Easing into my day is helping me stay focused and energetic during this time.

I use the early quiet hours to practise yoga, meditate and review the plans I had before coronavirus.

Above all, I am using this time to improve my writing skills

Corona Virus has impacted our way of life like nothing else before it. Amid pain and loss, an appreciation for health, family and life is emerging.

We will emerge from this with gratitude and appreciation for little pleasures we had taken for granted.

We shall overcome.



Margaret's Reflections

B.A Psychology. Articles on recovery from narcissistic abuse and running. Are you new to running? Click here to download your free ebook: