Moments of love, moments of joy, moments of tenderness, moments of sadness; that is what life is all about.

It was one beautiful morning and I was wearing my ever happy face. After all the morning greetings, my supervisor shared news of the Coronavirus, which had hit China. We shared the little we knew about it and went back to our routines.

Eventually, COVID-19 debates became part of every morning’s conversation. Before we knew it, the said COVID-19 was in the USA, a little closer to home even. In no time, people we knew were affected.  A week later, the news was all over. As more reported cases began to arise in New York, I was filled with fear. The President declared it a state of emergency, a pandemic. At this moment I was filled with all sorts of feelings.

Information was coming from all angles; some misconceptions kept me going and made me feel safer. You could hear, “if you have melanin you cannot catch the virus.” What a relief!  But before I knew it, news broke that a Nigerian lady in her 30s had died from the virus. It never felt safe anymore.

In no time, life changed. I suffered from anxiety, my head was pounding and I recall calling in sick on one Friday. The following week, my department took extra precautions and set up everyone to work from home. The whole situation felt like a bad dream that I would soon wake up from…but guesses what? It was a reality.

Over 14 days in quarantine and still going, life hasn’t been the same. Living in fear, empty streets, empty grocery shelves, masks, and gloves all over, you can’t trust anyone near you, what a tragedy!

Nevertheless, life has to go on and we need to survive. Adaptation has not been very easy but it is doable. This is a time when you have to get even closer with family and friends and give each other support to get you through. It is a time when I deeply think about what I would have done without technology, yes I mean without the internet. I have made myself active by joining online social activities like games, movies, virtual happy hours and general social media interaction.

The Atlas Corps family has been very supportive. We call each other randomly, play jokes and we conclude with some words of hope. Atlas Corps has been supportive in making sure we are keeping safe and has provided a listening ear as emotions take a toll. I am forever grateful for my host Organization, and specifically, the workforce department for the Ubuntu Culture and leadership. Living in this situation could not be any easier.  My supervisors have actively ensured everyone is safe, provided me with tips on how to survive and stay healthy and ensured that I am all set to work from home (which is a new experience for me) and provided all the support that I need.

As I continue to stay positive and hope to see the light once again, I am utilizing this time to meditate, reflect and plan for the future. Above all, from this, I learn to appreciate life because “at the glimpse of an eye, things can change”. My humble advice; given an opportunity, live life to the fullest and be the best you can be, you never know when that opportunity may be taken away from you.