The world has almost entirely gone into lockdown. Entire countries and economies have shut down while healthcare staff attempt to slow and stop the spread of Covid-19. It is important that we listen to their advice and play our part towards keeping our communities safe. While we find ourselves in the unusual world where streets have turned empty and cities have grown quiet, we must remember that real people are still living their lives.
Our sisters around the world, have had to adapt to this life. This change is hard but necessary and while it has undoubtedly been made easier thanks to technology, the real element that has made this transition easier is the sense of community spirit within our congregation. Our sisters around the world are working together to adhere to health guidelines and to carry out their different ministries as much as possible.
The word lockdown has become a regular in people’s vocabulary around the world. In Nigeria, our fellow sisters have been adhering to public health advice remaining in their respective houses. The regional house and administrative headquarters of Nigeria, have been maintaining self-isolation and social distancing. The work they do in the areas of education, health care and social pastoral ministries have all been shut down. Each evening, the sisters gather for prayer at 6pm, to pray for an end to the crisis and for all the frontline workers, working to fight the crisis.
Talking about the current situation, Sr. Gloria Ozuluoke says while life is continuing on as normal as possible throughout these times, they are not letting precautions slip and personal hygiene remains a priority. Together they work to keep the vulnerable groups in their community safe by carrying out the duties and responsibilities that require the sisters to go out, something the younger sisters have always done. They have also set up a WhatsApp group to share tips and information and to make sure they can check in with each other.
Similar policies have been adopted by sisters in other countries who are also adhering to the public health guidelines to ensure each community remains safe. It is important in this time to make sure, while exercising common sense, to exercise the mind and spirit. Wellness is important in these times, many of our sisters find time to reflect during prayer. In Ireland, some of our sisters have taken to new activities to help support community spirit and wellness by practicing Tai Chi together while maintaining social distancing. Tai Chi originated in China and is a form of martial techniques which have benefits such as improved breathing and posture.
We encourage all our sisters around the world to adhere to public health advice, look after each other, to pray for this crisis to end and also to pray for the frontline workers who work tirelessly for all our benefit. Community will help us all to get through this current crisis and will allow us to continue our work with renewed spirit once it is safe to do so.