What you need to know:
- We have noticed that our homes were just dormitories, our spouses and families mere roommates.
- Among the big lessons from the pandemic is that we should make our schools safer for our children .
During this Covid-19 pandemic, many observers in hospitals are baffled by where the “usual” patients have disappeared to. The hospitals are empty. The postulate is that patients suffer at home, too scared to go to hospital.
I don’t think so. I believe that patient numbers have actually declined but this is a reflection of the hectic work-life and school life that we lead – both the adults and their children.
Working and schooling from home have health benefits. Our children are getting less ill – paediatric hospitals and paediatric units are empty. That is an indication of the unhealthy environment they are exposed to at school.
Women have had less miscarriages, carrying more pregnancies to term – an indication of the stressful lives we live on the pregnancy physiology. Heart attacks and strokes have reduced! Less visits to bars and clubs have reduced the number of traumatic injuries due to road accidents.
Houses are not homes
Think about it: One of the industries that have flourished during the pandemic is the home furniture industry. We have suddenly realised that our houses are not homes – after all these years!
We have noticed that our homes were just dormitories, our spouses and families mere roommates! We had not even noticed how horribly we were living.
Covid-19 suddenly either made us realise that we live with strangers or rekindled our relationships within our families. The former has resulted in increased domestic violence (I’m not excusing it; just hypothesising about it). The latter has energised us into making our homes cosier, more relaxing and more inviting, physically and emotionally.
Among the big lessons from the pandemic is that we should make our schools safer for our children – both physically and mentally. Cleaner toilets in schools will stop children from having chronic constipation and faecal loading syndrome (a condition commonly mistaken as intestinal obstruction).
Volumes of homework cause mental torture to them. They are now more relaxed and creative as they look for things to do. They are less stressed and happier. They enjoy having parents at home!
The pandemic has taught us that we should make our workplaces less stressful. Work-life balance should not just be a phrase we see in the press and business journals, but how we live.
Work must end (physically, psychologically and emotionally) when we leave the workplace. Let us maintain our homes as sanctuaries and places of peace and solace.
Let us do bars and clubs in moderation. We have now learnt that there are safer ways to unwind.
Yet another lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic is that we should stop and smell the roses – enjoy ourselves, our families and our environment. Life, after all, must be worth living!
Dr Twahir is associate dean, Clinical Affairs, and Chief of Medical Staff at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.