COVID-19: Positive and Negative Impacts

Sr. Mary-Comfort Onyinyechukwu Okoro, OP
Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena,
Gusau, Nigeria. 

The COVID-19 has had a lot of both positive and negative impacts on my life as follows:

A.  Family:  Within this period, I discovered that my concerns care and love for my family has increased. I prayed for them more consistently and placed calls also. Besides, I sent my little personal allowance to them to assist them in buying healthy spices for eating. 

B.  Community members:  This period afforded me the opportunity to bond more closely with my Sister in the community. We spent more time together in prayer, adoration and doing house chores.  To cope with the boredom, we brainstormed and came up with the idea of beginning communion project that will keep us busy and earn us some money. We also attended two online courses together.

C.  Colleagues in ministry: This was a difficult time for my ministry and I had to devise a means to keep us together. We were bonded by the staff and PTA meetings we held. We ran online and one-on-one face-to-face course for our students which helped to keep us bonded within the period of lockdown.

I work in education ministry, teaching students and doing some administrative work. My ministry was hugely affected both positively and negatively in the following manners. 

1. Positively:

  • I was able to develop a stronger relationship/bond with my staff and parents because we kept meeting in order to make decisions that concern the school.
  • I was able to step up to the challenge of the moment by using technology in teaching and learning for the students. We organized online/ face-to-face classes for our students.
  • Due to the second point above, most of my parents were opened to buying and started using android phones in order for their wards to have access to online courses.
  • It opened my eyes and gave me the privilege to start thinking of other ways to engage myself apart from teaching and administration.
  • Furthermore, the lockdown offered me the rare opportunity to minister to children outside my school. I taught them moral instructions and other academic subjects. It was very fulfilling to me.

2.  Negatively: I was negatively affected in the following ways: 

  • I stayed idle for weeks without being actively involved in formal education until I took up voluntary teaching in the church.
  • Throughout these months, I earned no salaries to support my Congregation.
  • My Congregation and I suffered financial setbacks due to the item before.
  • There was also a setback in the level of development I would have achieved in the school.

Thanks for giving me this unique opportunity to share my experiences; and may God continue to bless and strengthen you.

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