Strict quarantine is coming to an end this week in some neighborhoods in Bogota. We asked Olga’s family to share with us what quarantine is like for them:
What is “strict quarantine”? The strict quarantine has been developed on two different occasions in Bogotá. The first one was developed in March where all of Bogotá was in strict quarantine. We were asked not to go out on the street at all, all public places were closed — shops, parks, churches, schools, universities, etc. The use of public transport was also restricted. We were asked to buy enough food before the quarantine so that we would not need to go out. However, if needed, the food stores would be open to buy food. Only one person per family could go out and do what was necessary. Travel between cities was also not allowed. The second strict quarantine (happening now) was based on the area of town that people live in. Although it had the same implications as the previous one, this quarantine was characterized by the fact that the police and the army restricted the exit of the quarantined locality. Different parts of the city were quarantined at different times.
What is a typical day in quarantine like? In strict quarantine, my family and I get up early, do an early cleaning, and have breakfast. In the afternoon we prepare lunch and each one fulfills their school or work responsibilities at home. If we don’t have responsibilities that need to be done, we like watching a movie, playing games, and cooking. At night we go to sleep early, although at this time it is difficult to fall asleep and our previous work routines lead us to have the same schedule.
What challenges do you have during this time? In this time we have had many challenges, starting with having a sedentary life when we were used to having an active life. Families are not able to work, but have the normal responsibilities such as rent (homeowners do not have compassion that people are not working and do not offer assistance), utilities, food, and school supplies that they ask for at school to do the activities at home. Studying from home has also been a challenge for my children because they have to be more self-directed and sometimes do not understand the work.
What is the worst thing about quarantine? The anguish that the disease is going to happen, that there are many sick people and there are not enough hospitals to treat them, not being able to work, not seeing each other with the different members of the family or with colleagues from work and classes. The saddest thing is that the government has not helped people. There are many people who need help in different ways like for the payment of the rent, the utilities, and the internet to be able to work or take classes.
Have you enjoyed any part of the quarantine?
We have had time to share as a family, to get to know each other, to do things together, we have also been able to help other people who need it.
“Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed, and I have replanted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.” ~Ezekiel 36:36