After easing the strict lockdown measures put in place earlier in the year, Rwanda has slowly begun opening up again. Through May and June, more and more businesses have opened and returned towards normal operation as commercial activity across the country has increased. Throughout this easing of lockdown measures restaurants and hotels, for example, moved through lessening restrictions. In July, this was extended to include measures such as the reopening of churches, albeit with a number of restrictions including churchgoers being required to wear masks and not make donations in cash.
However, much like in the United States, as well as other countries that have begun their process of reopening the economy, these actions have inevitably led to a second wave of the virus beginning to emerge, as coronavirus cases are once again on the rise. The month of July saw an over 50% increase in positivity in the country. While still numbering on the lower sides of cases regionally, and especially globally, these recent increases pose a significant risk of spiraling out of control unless lockdown measures are revisited.
Indeed, the government has been forced to go back on some of the reopening, including reintroducing quarantine measures in certain areas, such as parts of Kigali. This trend tells us that for as long as the virus outbreak continues across the globe, the government will have to continue its monitoring and react accordingly with regards to lockdowns and quarantines. This should indicate to Rwandan citizens that an extended period of uncertainty awaits in the very near future as the government is likely going to need to close down commercial activity once more. It should also indicate that even after these near-term measures expire, the government may have no choice but to close down the economy repeatedly through the rest of the year and potentially even into 2021.
For this reason, it is a good idea to consider how you can replace your common outdoor activities relating to hobbies and interests with indoor counterparts, and make necessary preparations so that you will be able to continue without problem. For example, dining out will become more difficult again and so a healthy stock of ingredients and cooking equipment as well as interesting recipes will be important to gather. Exercising in gyms will similarly become more restricted. We have seen in countries where gyms recently reopened, such as the United States, that data suggests it is safer to stay at home and exercise when possible. So those interested in maintaining their fitness should look to acquiring the necessary equipment for home use.
For the more technologically oriented, other countries have seen a huge shift from in-person gambling at casinos to gambling at online casinos. Setting up an account and getting used to the digital interface already now is a good idea for those interested in continuing gambling when lockdown measures are reintroduced. A spokesperson from the online casino PlayFrank told the The Rwandan:
“Our services continue as normal despite the continued abnormal situation that we all find ourselves in surrounding Covid-19. However, we would like to ensure that any potential player who is thinking about playing at an online casino does so with their best interests at heart. Do not play with what you cannot afford to lose and all players should please remember to gamble responsibly when you play at an online casino.” (Source: https://www.playfrank.com/en-gb)
Other countries have also seen a big increase in traffic to online gaming services and video streaming websites, so looking at the best deals now for membership plans is also highly advisable as well as options for the best data plans for your internet connection.
Preparing for a long shutdown will not only help individuals remain happy at home but will also help to encourage successful social distancing and so slow the spread of the virus. For this reason, you should make sure you take the time to think about how an extended lockdown might impact you and the hobbies in which you like to engage. Consider what preparations you can make now so that the transition back into quarantine can be as seamless and easy as possible.