How Am I Going to Tell My Kids the Story of COVID-19 Pandemic in the Next 5-10 Years?

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In most of African cultures, education was largely known by oral instruction rather than by use of reading material. This way of educating children has no changed. Every child needs a story. How will children make sense of the times we are living through?

The oldest was in kindergarten when lockdown interrupted their school lives. She is 4 years old, she has been saying, Daddy I want to go out and go to school, my response? “My dear, we can’t go to school because there’s a virus that’s making people sick so we can’t go, we don’t want to get sick.” I wish I could explain to her like a grown up person that everyone in the world is experiencing the same stress and worries at the same time. Even though we are physically distanced.

I was fortunate enough, my company created good plans to keep their employees as safe as possible while also protecting their business. So, I was working from home. My kids and I stayed inside for months, we were just tired all the time. This is what it’s like when the world turns upside down.

How can one virus stop the world?

You’re not alone if you feel that 2020-2021, perhaps the most dramatic and memorable year of our lifetimes. The deprivation of normal social contact.

We lost a lot this year: the stability of our normal day to day. We lost touch with friends. We lost loved ones. I would tell my children in the next 5 or 10 years later about what life was like during the pandemic. We all respected the basic measures that reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We washed our hands regularly, used hand sanitizer, we avoided touching our face, we wore a mask probably to learn and teach with it.

Additionally, I want to tell my children sad stories of that time too. There were disappointments: many businesses collapsed, people lost their jobs. Yes, life was unbearable with harsh reality. I missed out my physical graduation, my graduation ceremony happened on zoom.

I hope in 10 years’ time I will be able to give all details about COVID-19 pandemic and help my kids understand what the years 2020-2021 were like. Five years from now, you may have kids of your own. What are you going to tell them about what it was like to be around in 2020-2021?

When I look at my kids and I think about different aspects of the coronavirus with its damages, I ask myself: How will I tell my children the story of the pandemic?

We need to integrate this pandemic into our school Curriculum

The Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything that modern humans have ever experienced. The world will not be the same when we emerge from this and yet we have no way of knowing what it will look like. What is certain is that this moment is historic and it would be a mistake to let it pass without pausing to think and reflect about it.

Government, Ministry of Education and other stakeholders need to take advantage of this learning opportunity and help our future students what Covid-19 pandemic looked like. We need to create national documentaries on Covid-19 crisis of how faster the disease spread, health outcomes, personal responses, Government responses and lessons learned.

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