March 12, 2020 will be a day I will never forget. When our principal told us that the government announced that there would be a closure for all schools for 14 days we were sad to leave our friends, but we were happy to be going home. I also thought 14 days was pretty short.
The next day, I woke up at 6am, just like I always do because I forgot that there would be no school. I immediately started to wonder how I would continue my class work, given that I am in grade 6. I also worried how I would be able to prepare for my PEP exams since I was no longer at school. Luckily, my teacher, Miss Chedda, was way ahead of us. About 12 noon, she contacted our parents via an active WhatsApp group and told them that she would be sending our class work there. I was so elated to know that I could continue my learning.
Adapting to learning at home
Days went by and the fourteen days were extended. I was getting my work done each and every day and I was even learning new stuff. This I found pretty cool. Later in the month, my teacher introduced us to Google Classroom and Zoom which made home schooling easier and even more fun. It also gave me an opportunity to bond more with my mom as she now became my ‘home teacher’. I was at home learning but I loved it.
COVID-19 has caused me to be extra cautious. I treat everyone as if they are infected with the virus. I practice social distancing as best as possible, wear my mask if I have to go out, which is only when necessary and I wash my hands more often now. I also try my best to follow every rule handed down to me, not just for myself but for everyone else around me and those people in my community. I realised that I am now even more ‘essential’ in my community and I have a very important role to keep my community members safe.
Helping keep others safe
Can you imagine a child not playing with her friends? This quarantine had stopped me from seeing my friends face to face but it has not stopped us from communicating. COVID-19 has also helped me to be more helpful in the house. I am helping out in the kitchen more. Thanks to the cooking videos, I can prepare almost any meal by myself now. Now that I am at home learning, sometimes, I help my dad with the animals. Being at home has been a fun learning experience and had made me help my family even more.
I continue to hope and pray that this will be over soon so that I can get back to my normal life of going back to school, church and the fun places I used to go. I also hope that my country can return to its normal state and rebuild the economy. I am anticipating the glorious day when I hear the news that Jamaica is COVID-19 FREE! For now, I’ll continue to enjoy learning from home and enjoying myself with my family at home.
What is UNICEF doing?
Oshea, 11, from Snowdon Primary and Infant School submitted this diary as part of a series looking at how COVID-19 is impacting children and families and also people who are addressing their challenges. Post your #COVID19diaries story to social media and tag @unicefjamaica to be featured!
For more information about our response to COVID-19 assisting government and non-governmental organisations to protect the rights of children, and to access resources for parents, visit uni.cf/covid19ja.