Palm Sunday 2020

Sunday 5th April 2020, Mauritius – Lockdown Day #17

It’s a beautiful morning with the sun shining brightly through my window and a gentle breeze moving the curtains. A perfect day to go to the beach. If only…..

Today is the 17th day of lockdown. Only the 17th day. My memories of pre-lockdown life are hazy. It feels like an eternity ago when I was rushing through four lunchboxes in the morning.

Since lockdown began, I wear multiple hats in a single day: homeschooler, cook, cleaner, lecturer, arbitrator… to name a few. It has been incredibly challenging to take on all these roles. Had the hubby not shouldered so many other responsibilities that come with looking after children and after a household, I would probably have been running around the house like a headless chicken!

Today is Palm Sunday, a very special day for our Christian friends who start the Holy Week leading to Easter. All churches are closed around the island. So are the temples. So are the mosques. So are the pagodas. We have been told to pray at home. We have been told to turn to God for solace.

“Mauritius now has 227 cases of Covid-19, including 7 deaths”, says the radio presenter. Yesterday, a 20-year old died. She had no underlying health conditions and it is not clear how she caught the virus. Her whole family is in quarantine. A young cousin of hers had to complete the paperwork for her funeral. It breaks my heart to think that she died alone. Her parents could not see her one last time. This is tragic.  

As I sit and look at the birds through the window, I wonder what life will be like when we get out of this crisis – our Prime Minister loves to use the term “crisis”; he uses it several times in every single press conference. Actually, will we get out of this? And if we do, won’t we have to relearn to live “normally”? Or will “normal” life be different? Will social distancing and often washing our hands for 30 seconds become part of our DNA? Only time will tell.

“Ma, I’m hungry. What is there to eat?” asks my six-year old. I snap out of my reflection and come back to reality. Thank God for the special people, the little things and the responsibilities – however daunting they are at times – that keep me grounded and going through this time of “crisis”.

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