Before COVID-19, Aïchatou Cheitou, 33, says her life was simple. Now she counts the ways that the pandemic has complicated life for her and her family. Her work is shuttered. Social life, and the joys of naming ceremonies and weddings, are suspended. Her seven children are out of school, and because her own education was limited to adult literacy courses, she can help only the youngest with their at-home lessons. Her family stopped eating three meals a day.
“What worries me the most is my children’s schooling. I’m concerned that all next schoolyear will be cancelled. And I’m worried for my husband. He manages a store, but sales are practically nil. I pray to Allah that this virus will disappear, and we can go back to normal,” Aïchatou says.