Late last year, a new coronavirus (SARS-Cov2) emerged in Wuhan, China, causing acute respiratory syndrome in humans (Covid-19).
When the global media started picking up the story in early 2020, no one knew how quickly this virus would spread to the rest of the world, collapsing economies on the way but also in the process of radically and lastingly changing lifestyles as we know them.
On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global emergency and on March 14, Rwanda announced its first official case of Covid-19.
According to the Ministry of Health, an Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai, India on March 8 tested positive for Covid-19.
This was the second case in East Africa, after Kenya registered the first case Friday March 13.
Nine months after the outbreak of the pandemic, the world’s population changed their daily lives to follow standard operating procedures set by authorities to control its spread.
Below, we take a look at some of the lifestyle changes and cherished routines and habits.
Lipstick becomes a victim
The global beauty industry (comprising skin care, color cosmetics, hair care, perfumes and personal care) has been shocked by the Covid-19 crisis.
In addition to weak sales in the first quarter, there were widespread store closings around the world.
In Rwanda, where makeup has become a staple for most modern women in recent years, applying an expensive lipstick and then wearing a face mask do not go well together as the essence of beauty is lost in it. .
Laura Teta Akariza is an aspiring makeup artist. She says that while she was working on 25 to 30 clients per week before Covid-19, today she only has three to five clients.
She says that because of face masks, most women prefer not to waste expensive makeup or spend money on professional makeup on their faces.
“When someone comes to us for a make-up session, it’s because they want to look good and have a better smile. Most don’t see the point of using makeup when the mask is going to cover everything, ”she said.
Hugs are a “Rwandan thing”. From children to adults, hugs have been the traditional way of greeting, but with the colonialists came the three extra kisses that are often given on the cheeks.
The form of greeting that Rwandans have loved and cherished for centuries has now been abandoned. The fact that Covid-19 is contagious means the world has had to improvise and from today hugs and kisses have been replaced by punches, kicks and nothing else requires touching hands.
Nine months ago, if you had told most Christians that the Church is a great idea, but that an online service can serve the same results as well, your idea probably would have met resistance.
When the directive to close places of worship became public, most worshipers believed that would change shortly.
When one month passed and another added, uncertainty about the future forced Church leaders to think outside the box. The services were then taken online and through social media platforms, worshipers were told when to go online.
Although it surprised many, nothing had prepared them to tithe using mobile money services.
Marie Niwemwiza is a Christian who attends one of the churches she did not wish to mention in Kigali. She says that when she first heard about tithing over the phone, she was surprised and amused.
“The first thing that came to my mind was that our churches were more and more money oriented, but over time I realized that there was nothing wrong with that. If I can do it physically, I can also contribute using technology. It was just unusual at first, ”she says.
Yvette Rugamba told this post that Covid-19 has put an end to her Sunday routine where she brings her son to church. She says that although churches have been opened, she still cannot attend sermons to protect herself and her child.
“While all standard operating procedures are followed, I am not 100% sure that is safe. I decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so we’re tracking online, but it’s still not the same as going to church, ”she says.
Weddings become a private matter
One of the first things to take the wrath of Covid-19 is the much-loved wedding ceremonies. It’s no secret that big wedding ceremonies are something young and old alike look forward to. When the government said it had suspended wedding ceremonies on March 21, most dreams crashed on both the wedding side and the guests.
Lilliane Irebe and Jackson Niyomugabo have been planning their wedding since last year.
On March 14, dowry introduction and delivery ceremonies were held, exactly the same day Rwanda reported its first case of Covid-19.
Their wedding ceremony which was scheduled for December 5 had to be revamped as not everyone would be allowed to attend due to limits set by the government to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“It was a beautiful ceremony but it was not what we wanted. We wanted a ceremony that everyone we love could attend but it was not possible. We had to adapt accordingly, ”he explained.
Sylvia Uhirwa is director of external relations at Kepler University and also a social butterfly, who before the Covid-19 epidemic spent most of her weekends attending weddings of friends and families.
She says Covid-19 has left her with no choice but to find other creative ways to reach out.
“As a social animal, my movements were restricted and I resorted to interactions with friends and family primarily over the phone. In a normal year I would attend ten to twenty weddings but this year I only attended two. It’s very unusual, ”she said.
The way we think about work has, for most people, woken up and headed for the office, store, or where your workstation is.
Covid-19 has changed that but in the process has taken us outside the box. For example, some employers who have been forced to send their staff to work from home and have found that it does not affect productivity wonder if those large sums of money they spend on rent and utilities just to maintain a working office. worth.
On the other hand, some people’s work has been severely affected and productivity suffers.
Uhirwa says that one of the challenges she has faced is learning to move from face-to-face interaction and studying that the students she deals with are used to, to virtual means.
“My work and my social mobility have both been greatly affected on my end. I was not able to meet expectations as my job involves students and since March we have had to help them study virtually, which has not been easy, ”she says.
No play time
Rugamba says the same goes for taking his son to public play areas. She says she has completely suspended play time outside the house to protect her son.
“Some places are open, but by the time your child goes to such public places to play, you really cannot control what they will do or who they will come into contact with. I also had to give up public places, ”she says.
Drink at home
Established bars and other entertainment will never forget the year 2020 due to the losses they have suffered over the past nine months.
However, revelers who frequented their homes also struggled to adjust guidelines that require them to drink at home or face fines.
To date, the largest number of people arrested for violating guidelines set by authorities are people who have been drinking or who have missed the curfew because they were drinking somewhere.
Most alcoholic drinkers will tell you that a drink at home is not as pleasant as a drink at the bar and for that, many continue to pay the price.