100 days of Covid-19: How life has changed for UAE residents
Many say the transition from the older world to this new world of social distancing, masks and sanitizers has not been very difficult.
Daisy has been home-bound for almost two weeks now.. "Where will I be at this time a month later," she thinks to herself. " Will I be in the same room, working, eating, working out here in my room or will I get to see the outside world once again, I miss it..". Daisy is not alone, millions of people across the globe are now adapting the new course of life the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has forced them to take and not many are complaining.
Many say the transition from the older world to this new world of social distancing, masks and sanitizers has not been very difficult, thanks to the UAE government that made it easy due to its gradual and systematic measures.
From shopaholic to home bird - a smooth transition
Calling this "pandemic time" an opportunity to rebuild ourselves, 29 year old entrepreneur Mariah Siddiqui, said: "Although I miss the outside world, but it is the optimism that our UAE government has lent us that makes me feel that there a number of opportunities that we are now realizing."
Calling herself an impulsive shopper, Mariah, says she has now taken to online shopping and says it has helped her make some "profound" discoveries. "I am someone who loves to go out and shop, so the fact that I can't step out helps me reflect on why I need to shop for things that I already have. I love skin-care products but I've now switched to home skincare remedies rather than commercial products and I m thrilled as not only am I saving my time and money but also loving the benefits of these natural products. Also, I'm recreating my entire workspace as I would work from cafes and being away from them makes me realize what I miss. If I didn't have this chance, I wouldn't be able to reflect on what environment boosts my productivity. So I am now going online and looking at the right office table for home, flower vases, coffee mugs, etc and making my own kind of workspace so that I do not feel the need to work from outside because I've pondered on why I'd go out in the first place.
Housewife becomes tech-savvy to order groceries online
Her mother Nilofer,a housewife had never ordered groceries online before the pandemic struck but she has now downloaded the apps for various home delivery portals and has been using just a click of a few buttons to get a whole lot of grocery delivered to her door step. " It is hard to believe that someone like me who detested using technology has now got latched on to it, thanks to the encouragement and great services this country has provided us. I would never shop online for anything but now I have ventured into this digital world and I am realizing how easy it can make our lives. My daughters are all the more happy to see me getting tech-savvy and I even surprised them by ordering some of their favourite dishes online, which they never thought I would be able to do."
Students bond well with distance learning
Grade 10 student of Gulf Model School Sayaana Vijayan said although the thought of virtual classes, online collaboration and smart learning seemed a daunting task but the Covid-19 threat led her and her friends to find new ways to connect, bond, ponder over various issues and also learn at the same time.
"To be honest I wasn't looking forward to distance learning but to my surprise I am finding it interesting and engaging. The video calling apps helped us connect with our friends and teachers. This was a great opportunity for many people to discover their hidden talents. Just like us, our mother earth also started to feel better because of the reduction of pollution and ozone depletion. We will surely overcome this pandemic, whatever it takes.
"Coronavirus has made a lot of difference in our life. When we were asked to stay in quarantine for many days we never thought this would help us change ourselves in many ways. We spend more time with our parents," she added.
A new experience with telemedicine
Living a hectic lifestyle P. Gopalakrishnan, a chronic blood pressure patient who has to be under constant medication and needs regular medical advice from his doctor, wasn't sure how he would manage to go for his regular consultations as he didn't want to expose himself to any infection by physically going to the hospital. He was pleasantly surprised when his doctor at Aster Hospital, Qusais allayed all his fears by introducing him to telemedicine.
" I was scared to visit the hospital for the regular follow-up considering the risk of exposure to infection and that is when I found out about Aster Hospital, Qusais branch's telemedicine service, and it worked very well for me. I booked for an appointment and the nurse did the initial assessment online, then I met my doctor online for 20 minutes and later their 'Lab @ home' team visited my home to collect my blood samples for further investigations. Based on that they prescribed the medication and I got the medicines delivered at home. I feeling happy and thankful for the new system in place."
Work from home becomes a norm
While adhering to the lock-down and working from home recommendations, Ali Shabdar, MEA Regional Director, Zoho Corp said the pandemic managed to make the seemingly impossible 'working from home' a norm. "Our modern civilization is going through its biggest test yet, and we get to experience it first hand. After a decade of pushing for it with no avail, working from home has become a norm in merely three weeks. Almost every work paradigm is being challenged. And that's a good thing. We are forced to sit at home, only to reflect on the fact that all those shiny objects we defined our status with have lost their purpose in a matter of days. It is our privilege to be among heroes who sacrifice themselves for our health, safety, and comfort. This painful and disruptive human experience is a leap forward in multiple fronts, happening to us at a dizzying speed. We will come out of it stronger."
A new start with online art
Describing how the teaching and learning art has changed in these times since the Covid-19 invasion too place, Alan Mongey Art teacher and mentor at Mawaheb from beautiful people, art studio for People of determination, said: "The regular hustle and bustle of the studio, our social interactions and mentoring has all moved online. The artists themselves are embracing this new way of teaching and interactivity. With platforms like WhatsApp and the video conferencing of apps like zoom we are able to set lesson plans and communicate directly with the artists and their families. With this new way of learning they are fully engaged in becoming more independent and are constantly sharing their drawings, paintings, exercise routines and helping out around the home."
He said moving online has given artists a platform where they can show off their individual talents and hard work to a larger audience.
Foodie begins cooking at home
Foodie Misbah A, who would be mostly out and about trying new cuisines at different restaurants, said this was probably the first time that she had not stepped out of her house for almost three weeks now but she said this helped her discover some latent talents, which she never thought she had.
"The initial days were tough for me as I would go out almost every second day with my friends to try out new restaurants. But gradually I started cooking new recipes from YouTube and I asked my family to rate my dishes. To my surprise they all loved my new recipes and their positive comments encouraged me to do more cooking and giving my mother some rest and also led to improving our relationship with each other. I've started playing indoor games with my family and sometimes we sit together and watch some productive clips online. Overall quarantine has given me some great family time."
Talking about couple goals, Canadian couple Lucia Sabatino and her husband Rino said they are thoroughly enjoying the stay at home time that has taken them back to their childhood days. " Both of us are now doing a lot of creative stuff together such as exercising by running up and down the stairs together, cooking together and tidying up the house together too. We also reminisce about our childhood as I am reading the Dr.Seuss collection for some of my students online and Rino helps me with recording it. We also sit and make paper flower messages to extend positive messages to our community.
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