There is no doubt that the impact is devastating but ironically it is also revealing, educative, enlightening and challenging.
Devastating in the sense that:
- some have contracted the virus and have sadly died of it.
- some of our people are not taking it seriously out of ignorance or nonchalant attitude.
- We, as a Nation do not have all the facilities needed to curb the spread, but so far, we have been lucky. The spreading is not at an alarming rate yet. We pray it remains so.
- Very painful not to be able to go for daily masses especially for the lay faithful.
- Another area of concern and disappointment is that schools at all levels are shut down and it gives room for some youth to engage in some shady activities.
- Parents are not finding managing the young ones at home easy at all, it is really challenging for some of them. We have families so we know and hear their cry.
- Some families rely on their daily business to feed themselves and their families, so the lockdown is really crushing for some in spite of the limited relief materials and food that come from the Church or Government. Hunger is a real problem faced by many and in that sense, life is really tough for some Nigerians.
However, we believe that if we remain faithful to the Government regulations of lockdown it will do us a lot of good. We cannot give accurate statistics because it keeps changing.
It has been revealing in the sense that, it is a time of learning one or more thing about the character of the Sisters we live with. We are all learning the new lessons with caution and gratitude to God, and praying to be better Christians.
It is educating and enlightening in the sense that it has afforded many Sisters ample time to pick up a book and read, and time too to listen to the news with keen interest. There is also enough time to do some research on the internet and to catch up with pending paperwork etc.
It has been challenging because the OLA Sisters who teach, work in administration and involved in Pastoral work and Social Apostolates are really missing meeting face to face and working with the groups of people they serve. Especially since it is such a difficulat and challenging time for all. Some of our Sisters really find it difficult just to BE. Our Sisters do what they can to share what little we have, for example cooked food and grocery items, but it’s not very much and it can be really frustrating knowing that the people are still in need.
It has been a time of prayer. This time has afforded us all more time with the Lord and especially for prayers to be said for God’s intervention for the world. For example, we have a daily Holy Hour and regularly pray the Rosary.
We believe that the impact of this dreaded disease has not been easy on us as a nation, as an OLA Province and as women religious, but there is a sense of hope that given the right attention, caution and prayer this too will pass away. Only time will tell.
Stay safe and keep praying.
Province of Nigeria, OLA