COVID-19 is here to stay

By Enid Westerlund 28 March 2022, 5:40PM

COVID-19 is here to stay and it won’t be leaving any time soon. Like an unwanted house guest who disrupts our routine, we all must find ways of living with the Omicron variant while minimising its reach. As we move into the second week of lockdown, how are you holding up? Are you keeping busy with many projects that need your attention?  

We are back to staying home, remote learning, working from home and for some it’s the first time navigating these changes. We were all hoping that 2022 will bring some relief and the end of COVID-19, but this is not the case and won’t likely to change in the foreseeable future. We must learn to live with it. 

Lockdowns are disruptive to everyone but a necessary step to take for our Government in order to contain Omicron spreading. In reality, Samoa is not equipped for community hospitalisations and now with 1,000-plus cases and increasing, it’s more important than ever before  to maintain our hygiene practices, wear masks and keep social distances. 

Although the numbers are worrying, the Omicron variant is associated with less severe disease in adults than other variants. Thankfully the majority of us are vaccinated and doses are up to date which is a good thing for Samoa. At least we have another layer of protection against the onslaught of what’s to come.  

Adaptation is the process in which an organism changes to become better suited to its environment. This is what we must all face now: adapting to what is already here and what is coming. With the changing restrictions and rules, COVID-19 will be here for some time.  

Some of us are enjoying this small break but most of us also want things to go back to normal. Whatever you are feeling, it’s normal as we all react differently to restrictions and small losses of freedom.  

Go at your own pace: It’s completely normal to feel some anxiety in the current restrictions. It is even more so for us with young children or older families with health conditions. These are the most vulnerable groups without a vaccine available for them.  

When loved ones are in danger, our first reaction is to protect them. That’s probably where some of the anxiety lies, the need for protection. So, it’s okay to feel different emotions. Just because other people are venturing out to meet with friends during shopping, doesn’t mean you need to do the same. 

Do things that are good for your well-being: we are all home with family that need constant care and attention and it’s important that we get along while we are in this together. Do the things that help your mental health, sanity and overall well-being.  

Take small breaks, read a book, listen to music or have a dance competition with your family in between work and school. Do the things that help ease your mind and move your body. 

Set boundaries : now is not the time to go hugging everyone. Keep to the recommended 2-metre distance from others in public, a simple head nod or fist pump will suffice. Exercise caution while venturing out during shopping and stay up to date with restrictions and COVID-19 advice.  

Gratitude goes a long way: even if you’re feeling stressed about restrictions, remind yourself  that this too shall pass. There are exciting times to come and we will all be back to work later. 

Appreciation of the good things that happen in life is an essential part of building happiness. Practice gratitude by simply writing down one or two things daily that you are grateful for.  

You can even share these with your family if you want. Bringing your loved ones into a feel good, happy space can make things a bit easier during the lockdown. 

Use technology wisely: keep connected via technology but don’t let it steal all your free time. Endless scrolling on our device is not good for the brain or the soul so take breaks from work emails, social media and gaming. 

Enjoy your free time: life has definitely slowed down a bit and we have some free time for other favourite activities over the next week. This is also a great time to focus on the essentials and the most important. Whether it’s learning a new hobby, having extra time to get fit and  exercise, time for your Netflix movie marathon and family. 

As we enjoy another peaceful Tuesday in lockdown, don’t despair. We shall learn to live with  COVID-19 and all its attachments. It will continue to change and our Government must rely on the guidance and advice of the appropriate personnel . 

We may not be properly equipped  for what’s to come but we must be ready to adapt. Stay safe and don’t forget to help others near you who may not be as fortunate as you are. 


By Enid Westerlund 28 March 2022, 5:40PM
Samoa Observer

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