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Mikayleigh Haarhoff

Coronavirus, through the eyes of a 16 year old South african

Written by Mikayleigh Haarhoff

2020… What a time to be alive.

We live in a world where everything is handed to us on a plate and everything is fast paced and if we cannot get what we want immediately, it’s not worth it. To be honest, that’s sad. We live in an impatient world. How did we even get to this?

Covid-19 or the Coronavirus entered into our world late last year and has infiltrated our society and way of living tremendously. Within a month, the whole world has entered into lockdown. everyone is stuck inside in order to avoid this virus and the effects that come along with it. Due to this lockdown, our economy has crashed and millions of people have lost their jobs.

It’s crazy to think that 3 months ago i was sitting at the beach laughing with my friends and talking about how 2020 was gonna be our year. Ha, we were embarrassingly mistaken.

Little did we know that in a matter of 2 months, this virus would enter South Africa and change our lives forever. We have had to learn how to live life without physical socialisation, due to this most students have had to transition to online learning. businesses have had to start working remotely and we have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Ironically, i thought i wouldn’t survive the lockdown. I thought i would go crazy not being able to see my friends or interact with others. To my surprise, i have learnt so much about myself and how to adapt and learn how to persevere despite the challenges.

We are fortunate enough, to live in a time where technology is easily accessible. we have platforms like instagram and WhatsApp where we can interact with others on an online forum, platforms like Zoom and Houseparty where we can see each other and have a conversation without physically being together. we actually have it easy.

Imagine living in the 1920s and a pandemic like this swept across the world. we would be stuck inside with absolutely NO social interaction besides our family members. We should be grateful that we have these online platforms and take advantage of them.

There is a pressure to be productive in this ‘self-isolating’ time – to get things done and come out of so called ‘quarantine’ the best version of ourselves. This is such a great motive and idea but some may be feeling depressed in this time and might be discouraged by this, others may take it in the best way and start working on themselves. It depends on the person, but it is important not to be hard on ourselves.

We have never lived like this before, and it’s normal to be scared or anxious, but it’s about how we handle those emotions and feelings. How we get out those feelings and become a better version of ourselves.

I definitely agree that this is the prime time to work on ourselves, but everyone has their own way of doing that and each person should take time and figure out how they want to do that. and if they don’t want to, that’s also totally fine.

I have learnt how to be patient with my family and treat them with kindness despite the fact that we are constantly with each other.

i have learnt how to get up everyday and set goals for myself mentally, spiritually and physically. the simple task of making your bed and washing your face leads to so many great things – even when your stuck at home.

I have fallen in love with exercise and getting active, finding different ways to move my body and feel energised. sometimes, a home workout is all you need. Prior to lockdown, i always felt this need to go to the gym otherwise i would never get a good workout in. Turns out, i feel like i’ve had the best workouts in the past 29 days than ever before.

Of course, i have spent way too much time on Netflix and Youtube but at least i have been able to relax and appreciate this foreign concept of ‘rest’.

At the end of the day, balance is key.

In order to live a happy and content life, you need to incorporate balance. if there is too much of one thing, there will be a lack of work in another.

And that my friends, is the art of living.

Living is about finding the balance in your day to day life and learning about yourself and what you like.
but most importantly, God has been a Rock in my life more than ever before.

If it wasn’t for God, i would most probably still be watching Netflix nonstop and being lazy. But He reminded me that there is a time and place for everything.

There is a time for rest and a time for work.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal

In conclusion, i would like to encourage you to not feel disappointed about this time in isolation. take it in your stride and find ways to make it fun for yourself.

I am not here to give you a list of to-do’s and how to be happy. This is to make you feel just a little less alone and to remind yourself that there is still hope.

Keep pushing and don’t give up. ~ MH

Mikayleigh with her dad, Willem during a recent family holiday before lockdown.