5 different lockdown experiences

Live in Moka

30 Apr 2020

5 different lockdown experiences

Five residents of Moka tell us about their daily life during confinement. It is not always easy when you have to combine teleworking, home schooling, frontline work and fending for the family. Fortunately, they are never short of ideas to make life in confinement (almost) perfect!

Annick Retourné

Annick Retourné and her 10-year-old daughter have been confined to the first floor of their home since 18 March 2020. They are not allowed to go outside – not even in the garden – as Annick’s husband, Jerome is a police officer and he is using the ground floor to decontaminate his duty gear. “We’re doubly confined,” says Annick, “and our daughter is feeling a bit down because it’s hard for her to stay away from her father.”

Annick is a Grade 4 teacher and she has offered to teach her pupils every morning using Zoom. “The parents are very committed,” she says. “The approach is different, and I like it because it’s also a way to socialise in confinement.” Annick remains optimistic, and despite the difficult conditions, she takes the opportunity to be with her family, spend time with her daughter and get back to what’s important. “This crisis encourages us to care above all for others’ well-being. We understand better the importance of family ties without letting routine get in the way. [...] We also realise how fragile life can be and the importance of solidarity. I learned more about my neighbours and needy people in the surroundings through our WhatsApp support group. My husband is also engaged in social initiatives. For me, there’s a lot of positive things to learn from this experience.”

 

Nicolas Mathieu

Nicolas and his wife Kathlyne are housebound with their 6-year-old daughter. Daily family life consists of homework, gardening, baking and recycling. “We have prepared a daily schedule that keeps us busy,” says Nicolas. “We don't have time to get bored!”

Nicolas is the founder of Keep The Pace, a company specialising in hiking and trail running in Mauritius. He is usually constantly on the move with his job and the lockdown has given him the opportunity to take a break and rest. But he isn’t ready to give up sport altogether: he and his wife train for one hour daily. “I use the lockdown to do strengthening exercises: stretching, flexibility training, push-ups, skipping, etc.,” he says. “Staying active lifts your mood and improves your sleep!”

 

Kurline

Kurline has been a field worker for ENL Foundation since 2019. She is also the secretary of the Telfair En Marche collective, which is composed of volunteers from the region. Since the start of confinement, the collective had been calling vulnerable families to identify their needs and relay the information to ENL Foundation to enable the implementation of solidarity actions.

Kurline is confined with six of her family members - including her two-month-old niece. She concedes that the first weeks were tough. But they have been able to get organised since then. “My brother, my mother and I are the income earners and we each have our responsibilities. Mum is in charge of buying the frozen goods, my brother takes care of the bread and vegetables and I look for the non-perishable food. We initially bought everything in large volumes, but with seven of us at home, our stocks drop very quickly!” Like many households in Telfair, she and her family had to prepare their meals on a wood fire at the beginning of confinement due to a shortage of cooking gas.

They also had to get organised for household cleaning and they all have their turn. The rest of the day is spent playing family games. “It’s love and mutual support that give me courage. Sometimes Mum, who is from Rodrigues, revisits her dishes, we play cards... Confinement is an opportunity to spend family time together.”

 

Kitty Philips

Kitty has spent “24/7” with her 7-year-old son since lockdown has been put in place. The cancellation of all her orders has landed as a blessing in disguise that allows this self-employed baker to enjoy family time during this period of confinement.

Her husband, Julien drives every day to the hotel he manages. “I salute his courage and that of his entire team. I was particularly touched by an anecdote: the queue of people waiting in the blazing sun to enter the supermarket in Ebene had stretched to the hotel, and the latter’s teams did not hesitate to go out and give them some water to drink.”

Kitty doesn’t find it hard to be cut off from the outside world as she is used to working from home. Managing everything on her own is fun, but also tiresome. “I take care of the house, the garden, the dogs and the meals. Luckily, my son helps me a lot: he loves doing the dishes! Confinement has given me the opportunity to create content for my Instagram page and share recipes with my followers,” she says. Kitty expresses concern however about post-crisis prospects – she started her business, Madame Macaron, just a month before lockdown was introduced. “More than ever, we Mauritians will have to be courageous and work hard to tackle the crisis ahead of us. I have no doubt that we will pull this off. Resourcefulness is in our DNA. I believe in us!”

 

Johanna Steciuk

Johanna and Damien have two children aged 5 and 7. “They’re enough to make lockdown a tough call!” she says with a laugh. The young mother is a kindergarten teacher and the school where she works ensures continuity of study – which means that she keeps in touch with her pupils. “At home, we have a very flexible schedule because every day is different. It helps me organise the family, the house, and myself as you could easily get overwhelmed.”

Johanna’s husband is a doctor who continues to work and see patients – which poses a risk even if the entire family takes all recommended precautions. “We are taking one day at a time for the time being. We live in a morcellement and I’m fortunate to be able to go for a walk or a run with my dogs. The time I spend outdoors really helps me unwind!”