Covid 19: Discrimination in the midst of a pandemic

The world is devastated as we fear our global economy on the track to a meltdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. A virus, which started in China has practically gone round the world, claiming lives and casualty – that’s what globalization does. While scientists struggle to find a cure while scrambling to save lives, the rest of us are agitated, praying and hoping that we will conquer this horror. So you can imagine how shocked I have been when discrimination in the form of racism and racial attacks made its ugly head into this pandemic.

I believe the earliest came from Donald Trump when he tagged it the “Chinese Virus” and got the whole world riled up. I don’t think that when lives are being lost in such great numbers, it should matter where a virus originates- rather, concerted effort should be put in place to battle the virus. Perhaps after lives have been saved, one can go back in retrospect to see what went wrong and how such a pandemic can be prevented from re-occurring. But to blatantly call it a “Chinese virus” is racist. And I thought it would end there until people began attacking the Chinese online.

I believe that the rest of the world have reasons to be upset with China simply for the fact that the government did not come forth with the realities on time. That being said, the average Chinese isn’t his or her government! Should the rest of the world attack the Americans for having a racist president? I mean, common! African leaders are the worst leaders on the planet but does that make me who is Nigerian, greedy, corrupt and incompetent? Of course not! While you can direct your anger to the Chinese government, you should not be attacking the Chinese people because guess what? They are suffering just like us! And please let’s remember the many Chinese descents who are serving as doctors and nurses in so many countries across the world and helping to fight Coronavirus. So since some people are saying Chinese nationals should be sent back to their countries, should we also send the brilliant Chinese doctors and nurses who are risking their lives to save your own nationals back to China?

Just when I thought we had been dished enough discrimination in the midst of this crisis, news filtered in again about how French scientists were suggesting using Africans as guinea pigs for Coronavirus vaccine and I was livid again! What is wrong with people? Do you not see people beyond race? I mean, as humans, we all have the same physical structures, right? We all have our challenges, our dreams just as any human being. Our skin colors just like our unique cultures and religions are some of the things that makes diversity intriguing. But if you think Africans are nothing but guinea pigs, well, then you are a lost cause and cannot be redeemed.

My latest anger is directed to Guangzhou, China where Africans are being evicted from their homes and being thrown on the streets because the local authority believes that Africans brought Coronavirus to China. Not only are Africans being rendered homeless as landlords and hotels are refusing to accommodate them, some of them are being forcefully tested for Coronavirus even though they have no recent travel history. All I can say is this: how hard can it be to treat a fellow human being with respect?

That’s the question I will use to end this post. It’s a good for thought for everyone of us. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO TREAT A FELLOW HUMAN BEING WITH RESPECT?

Covid 19: How cooking is helping me to cope

After being stuck in the house for just a week, I thought I was going to go crazy. The thing about me is, I hate being stuck in one place and I hate mood swings and worse of all, I hate my will power being taken away from me. So I manned up and decided to change my situation. I made the decision to learn something new every day and get my hands and mind busy – cooking was one of the things that I indulged in during this lockdown.

As I found, “Learning changes the physical structure of the brain. These structural changes alter the functional organization of the brain; in other words, learning organizes and reorganizes the brain.” Pls read more here 👉🏽 Here As we learn, nature kind of creates both “hardware” and “software” simultaneously (Read more) and in so doing, the more we learn, the easier it becomes to learn new tasks. If we are not learning at all, we find our brain in some kind of redundancy which makes the task of learning even harder. So for me, learning new things and acquiring new skills is very important because it stimulates the desire in me to learn more. And when I learn more, my confidence grows and then I feel better about myself. That is what cooking has done for me during this covid 19 lockdown.

I do enjoy cooking but I got bored eating the same regular foods every time and thought that by creating new dishes, it would create excitement and bring fun to meal times, which it did because my kids would go, “mum, what are we eating today?”

So, my routine was to learn new dishes and also to find ways that I could be creative with regular dishes that we already eat. So that gets me off my feet to start planning, which I do a day ahead. By doing this, it keeps me excited and expectant about the new day ahead of me. It also makes cooking interesting because the kids and I are learning new things plus it presents a teachable moment for my kids because then I can take advantage of the opportunity to teach them about the culture from which the recipe originated from. When conversations flow, automatically, we are having a good time. Also, by tweaking some of the recipes, I am able to test my creativity and improve on my skill as a cook.

Here are some of the meals that I have cooked:

Chicken curry

This is my version of chicken curry with basmati rice and steamed carrots, which I was just making for the very first time. My family does not like curry but I wanted them to be a little adventurous so I altered the recipe a bit. I used pure coconut oil which I used in stir-frying the chicken and curry to give off the coconut vibe. My family hates coconut milk or anything cream in foods so I had to mix the chicken broth with a little corn starch as thickener which I poured into the curry. And it was a success because everyone enjoyed their meals.

I grill quite a lot now so we had grilled potato jackets with grilled ribs served with carrot purée sauce and mixed vegetables. This was another winner.

Why am I sharing this post? Because I want to encourage everyone who is on isolation or quarantine not to give up – rather, learn a new skill; pick up a new healthy hobby and you will be amazed at what it does to your mind!

Cheers!

Enne

Covid 19 isolation & healthy eating

Hi guys,

The most part of the world is in isolation in compliance with social distancing, Nigeria inclusive. We’ve been at home for two weeks now and it hasn’t been easy.

I realized that when you sit in one place, doing very little, you tend to overeat and I did fall victim in the first week until my body started complaining. Do you know that our bodies complain and give us signs when we are doing too much and over stepping our bounds? The trouble is we don’t listen! But I have chosen to listen so I am back to eating healthy once more!

When you are indoors for the most part, your mind can mess with you which is why you need to eat a well balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals that protect our bodies. We are being urged to eat immune boosting foods and we know that junk food will do the exact opposite so indulge rather in fruits, vegetables and fibers – your gut will thank you and so will your body and mind!

You don’t have to do a complete 360 on your diet – I am simply modifying everyday foods and making them healthier, that’s all – nothing too drastic. Here are a few modifications I have adopted:

I made a vegetable salad of carrots, Cabbage, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with mint and coriander drizzle served with pita bread.

To not discourage the kids, I made the same salad with grilled sausages and a little cream which I toasted on my George Foreman grill. The outcome below:

I made coleslaw of carrot and cabbage with baked beans, some fresh tomatoes, lettuce and grilled bacon. So we still get to enjoy bacon but with salad.

This is grilled plantain with grilled Crocker fish served with stir-fry green peppers and onions in tomato sauce.

This is a very humble meal of steamed brown beans and sweet potatoes pottage made with fresh tomatoes. I replaced palm oil which traditionally is used in Nigeria with fresh tomatoes stir-fried in soybean oil. Served with a sprinkle of coriander.

My kids don’t like noodles so we don’t eat noddles that much but any time I make it, I discard the seasonings that accompanied it and steam it in hot water before stir-frying the noodles. The vegetables were grilled as well as the steak and served with a drizzle of mint and coriander sauce.

Grilled plantain once more with grilled chicken with tomato sauce.

So, I no longer deep-fry foods but grill all the time now. There is now more servings of vegetables accompanying regular foods that we eat. Am just making little changes at a time to keep the family healthy while we are on lockdown.

Did you know that junk foods can cause fatigue? Eating healthy will keep your energy levels up, your brain will be stimulated and you will be healthy and strong.

Please share with me some of the ways you are staying healthy in isolation.

Cheers!

Why are kids so mean?

I started to question why kids are so mean to one another after my daughter started high school and became a target of bullying and verbal attacks from her peers and classmates. I just couldn’t understand it and my eleven year old would come home emotionally bruised not because she couldn’t stand up for herself but because I told her not to engage in altercation with anyone. So she kept her feelings to herself and would come home to vent in her bathroom. I would help her through this difficult time by teaching her coping mechanisms and encouraging her to express herself and defend herself in school without appearing violent or with intent to fight anyone. I also taught her the power of music and journaling to help her through it all. And everyday, we would talk, I would listen to her and counsel her. While doing all of this, I went to the school to speak with the educators as well to get to the bottom of the matter and I realized that kids who could reason from right to wrong, are mean to others simply because those kids aren’t like them or do not share the same values or interests. Thus, my desire to understand why.

So I found this piece on 👉🏽 https://www.google.com.ng/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201803/why-are-kids-so-mean%3famp where it talked about why kids are mean. This article was written by Dr Eileen Kenedy-Moore where she talked about “empathy blind spots” in kids. Here is an excerpt.

“Empathy blind spots happen when children decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore feel justified in being mean to them. Empathy blind spots allow kids to make excuses for being unkind. They insist, “He’s so annoying!”; “She’s weird!”; or “Nobody likes him!” Believing these excuses, they tell themselves that the mean behavior is acceptable, unavoidable, or even righteous.”

As it turned out, this was exactly the reason why my daughter was being persecuted and she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, this set of “cool” girls were bullying others because they were not cool enough. So after my complaint and the girls were made to face a disciplinary committee, I was called to the school to give my opinion and I told the committee not to punish the kids but rather to counsel them because they really are just kids. In fact, I am of the opinion that parents should be held responsible for their children’s bad behaviors because it is our responsibility to raise the kids right.

One of the values that I teach my kids is tolerance and that they are sensitive to other people’s feelings. No child exists in vacuum but if we don’t teach them to be accepting of people, they are not able to have an open mind to embrace everyone regardless of race, culture or beliefs. There is no way on God’s green earth that we all will ever be the same – we will never share the same ideologies and we will never look alike – but we must be tolerant of one another and embrace or accommodate diversity. This is what we should be teaching our kids.

I know that parents are busy but we are responsible for our children and a child can’t raise he or herself – they look up to us to teach them well so let’s teach them not to have biases. The world needs more love.

Cheers!

Enne.

How to make natural hand sanitizer

www.youtube.com/watch

Hey lovelies!

The easiest way to combat viruses and to stop the spread of diseases is through a routine hygiene that includes washing your hands with soap and keeping one’s environment clean. With the corona virus scare in Lagos, Nigeria, we are having to add that to the threat that LASSA fever poses as well.

While it is easy to panic, we must embrace a hygiene routine that can keep us and others safe. So while it is recommended that we wash our hands with soap as often as possible, we must have hand sanitizers with us at all times to sanitize our hands, which is our primary contact with surfaces and germs.

You can easily get hand sanitizers in stores and pharmacies but just in case you can’t find any or would like to make yours, then follow this simple guide in this video and make yours.

For comments and questions, please leave a comment.

Take care of yourself and yours.

Cheers!

Enne

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