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FINALLY, it happened. The much anticipated “lockdown” became a reality beginning last Wednesday after the Prime Minister announced the Restricted Movement Order on national television. While it’s not exactly a full-scale lockdown as practiced in several countries, it’s good enough to curb the uncontrollable spread of Covid-19.

On a personal level, it was some sort of a wish come true for me. Just a day earlier, I posted a wish to several ministries and the Prime Minister himself to take drastic action regarding the worrying situation. My post garnered over 400 likes and 160 shares, indicating that many citizens felt the same way. Thank God the government “listened” and announced a very similar plan to our wish list.

The few hours before the announcement saw panic buying by some citizens. Supermarkets were reportedly crowded with people queuing and jostling for essential items. I guess these people forgot that while they were preparing to quarantine themselves from the virus, they might as well have picked up the virus while queuing. How ironic!

Since the next few days will be spent indoors with the family, we might as well find ways to make the family lockdown positive and productive. First, by ensuring that the home is in tip top condition in terms of cleanliness and tidiness. Get everyone in the family to do the necessary. You can also take the opportunity to do a mini makeover, removing old clothing or furniture by way of recycling or donating.

CREATE BONDING TIME

To fill the days, families can engage in various activities. Perhaps begin with a religious one such as praying together and reminding ourselves via reading the holy Quran or religious books. Take this opportunity to check our children’s religious proficiency. Are they at their appropriate age-level, knowledge wise? Or do you need to reinforce certain areas? Find out and do the necessary.

For something more fun, how about playing games together, preferably “offline”? There are board games, card games or just good old charades. Vary the games and make them “competitive” so that everyone does their best to win. One suggestion: Losers can serve breakfast, in bed, for the winners. That will surely create a tense but fun environment as everyone becomes creative just to win.

We can also use meal-preparation time as a time to bond. Get everyone involved. In between cutting and frying, there’s plenty for everyone to do. Worse case, there are always utensils to be washed. In fact, I’ve volunteered for this part as I’m a hopeless cook in my family.

The list is endless for as long as we remain positive and creative during this unusual time. It won’t last forever but it still requires some efforts to make it productive and memorable. More importantly, by staying home, we’re effectively reducing the chances for Covid-19 to spread further.

I end with a special “thank you” to the frontline medical personnel taking the bullet for us. With everyone’s effort, together we can fight this virus once and for all. God help us.

Zaid Mohamad coaches and trains parents to experience happier homes and more productive workplaces. Reach him at [email protected].

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