Earlier this year, as people had started making summer plans and rejoicing the start of a new decade with 2020 settling in, the world got hit by a deadly pandemic.
It all started with China first reporting a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. As per the official reports posted on social media by the World Health Organization around January 4th, there were still no deaths reported.
Later the same week, the WHO went onto issues guidelines on how to detect, test, and manage based on what was known about the virus at that time. Eventually, it led to the discovery of a novel coronavirus identified as Covid-19 as China publicly shared the genetic sequence of Covid-19 with the world.
Covid-19 Becomes a Global Pandemic
As later in January, cases started popping up in Thailand, there was no doubt that the virus had begun to spread outside of China. The scary part about all of this is that even now, the rest of the world was functioning normally, and there was little to no panic surrounding the outbreak.
I recently became a new mom. As a single mother and a working woman, I was going about my household chores and looking after my infant while working up a tight schedule. Obviously, if I had known at that time the threat this disease imposes at my child and me, I would have taken better precautions earlier on instead of having to after.
It was going on pretty much normal here in the US until mid of March when it started getting severe. Alarming levels of spread and inaction by the government authorities caused deep concern across the country enough to lead the WHO in assessing Covid-19 to be characterized as a global pandemic.
The concern of Every Single Mother
That is exactly when the alarms went off for me. Working as a single mother is already deeply concerning and challenging. Also, not to mention that I have a 3-month old baby at my responsibility, not an understanding kid.
My child has not grown up yet and relies on me for everything, from food to cleaning and sleeping. Battling my anxieties and understanding that I have to fulfill my responsibilities, there were instances where I had to step out.
By starting of April, there were 1 million confirmed cases reported of Covid-19 by the World Health Organization. And the US government had imposed a complete lockdown, causing chaos all over the country.
As the world around me started closing in, and people around me were more diligent in fighting for toilet rolls than basic food supplies, I faced the worst single mother challenges in this situation. I knew that my most irrational fears could turn into reality within a blink of an eye. And that is precisely what happened when I started developing the symptoms of Covid-19.
How Covid-19 Effects A Single Mother
The novel coronavirus is not a disease that shows obvious symptoms right away. So the impacts of Covid-19 for me came upon much later on. Especially since I was looking after my infant, I didn’t have much time at my hand to cater to my own developing changes.
This went on for a while until one morning, when I woke up with a jolt because I was unable to breathe. My baby was crying at my side, but I was in a mild shock as I tried harder to breathe, but it felt like the air was not passing through my lungs. That is when it hit me that I am unwell and need to be looked after.
It took me a while to overcome my breathing issue and calm my child. After this, I immediately dialed my doctor, who has helped me deliver my baby just three months ago. As I discussed my ailing condition with her, she was reassuring and calmed me down but firm in her stance of telling me that I might have been gotten infected on one of my trips outside.
She told me to keep an eye out what the WHO and the CDC have to say for the inevitable impacts of Covid-19 for new mothers while keeping a strict communication contact with her. I was already experiencing dry cough and fever when my body gave up on me, and even the easiest of movement like going to use the loo became tough for me.
Coping With Covid-19 As A Single Mother
The very first thing that came to my mind was my child. How will I keep a baby away from me that depends on me for everything there is? The thought was frightening in itself as I wasn’t sure if I could transfer the disease to my child. Coping with Covid-19 was going to be difficult even if I hadn’t caught it.
But the fact that I am a baby-mother who needed to be looked after myself, I was required to do it while having to look after my own child. And this was much more challenging than I had initially accounted for. Nonetheless, it had to be done.
Hence, coping with Covid-19 for me started with firstly getting my house disinfected and locking myself in a single room. Then I made a call to my lovely neighbor Jennifer to come over and stay at my house to look after my baby.
I could have asked a family member as well, but I wanted someone who lived nearby to easily come around and go back to her place if she required it. She was kind enough to agree, and as I battled out the coronavirus in my room all by myself, she looked after every need we had.
Challenges I Faced As a Single Mother
After completing 14 days as prescribed by my doctor upon the CDC’s official preventive measures for caring for someone at home, I was finally free of Covid-19. I went to get myself tested, and as the results came back negative, I was thrilled to finally get back to work and look after my baby.
My neighbor was very kind to me, so as a token of gratitude, I paid for a month of her food supplies even after she resisted my gift.
But this wasn’t all with the happy ending because the world was still battling this deadly pandemic. My single mother challenges were not coming to an end anytime soon. As my house help and babysitter still couldn’t come and I had loads of work piling up, I had to look after everything myself.
From cleaning the house to looking after my baby’s needs, my own needs, keeping a check on my health, cooking, and working to earn a living, my single mother challenges just kept growing. In addition to all this, many other things were going on other than Covid-19 that made the situation worse.
There were rallies and spike up in the Covid-19 cases as the restaurants, and public spaces started opening up again. So the government had to go back to shutting everything down. All this while I finally felt that I could use some house help but as the number of cases started increasing again, I couldn’t muster up the courage to get one.
As of now, I am still working around balancing the house chores and my office work. Now my baby is five months old and can eat solid food, which has greatly reduced my responsibility of providing liquids.
In my defense, I will say that maybe I was irresponsible in taking my precautions earlier, but as a single mother, I panicked and wanted to cover all my bases before this Covid-19 took over the world. Ever since recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, I have been very strict with my cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. I also make sure that my baby is kept in utmost hygienic conditions, and I haven’t since felt the need for house help or a baby sitter.
A single mother I am, but not definitely a damsel in distress. I found my strength in these life-sucking times as I fought the most difficult battle 2020 could throw at me. I am proud to have come out of it a stronger, better, and powerful woman and single mother!
Samantha Kaylee is currently working as an Assistant Editor at Dissertation Assistance, an excellent platform to avail services like write my assignment UK. She has gained significant experience in her field by working with reputable organizations. She likes to share her opinions on how to handle her personal life with work.