Life, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

More ‘family time’ amid coronavirus isolation at home

Although staying at home has its setbacks for many, some see it as 'window of opportunity' to improve their family ties

Ali Murat Alhas   | 21.04.2020
More ‘family time’ amid coronavirus isolation at home


Millions of Turkish people are staying at home in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, similar to many other countries across the globe, but some of them are turning crisis into opportunity by sparing more time to their families and developing a more intimate relationship.

In line with the suggestions of state officials, millions are staying at their places unless they need to buy essential commodities.

While some complain about being stuck at home, Ayhan Seven, 36, is happy to be able to spend more time with his family, he says adding that this was something he had neglected until now due to daily rush.

"We are all preoccupied with our jobs and daily life and can not spare enough time to our beloved ones, but this is not the case nowadays due to the self-quarantine we impose on our lives," said Seven.

His job was demanding as he usually worked six days a week, and always found himself exhausted upon his arrival home, said the man working as a clerk, and that he could not be the father model he wanted to be as he could only spare less than an hour for his child per day.

“The number of activities, whether it be watching cartoons together or playing some lego, we have enjoyed in the past week was probably more than what I could offer to my child in three or four months,” he said, joking that his 4-year-old daughter was a “big fan” of coronavirus lockdown.

While the lockdown offers a variety of opportunities for him to improve his relations with his daughter, convincing his little girl to stay at home instead of going to a playground has proved to be a real challenge for the father.

“She always wants to go outside and enjoy her day at a playground. The concept of reason does not really work with children because they are so ego-centric, and that’s why I had to buy extra ice-cream for my kid, which might be regarded as bribery that brings us on the same page to convince her to stay indoors,” he said.

Although he had initially thought a full lockdown at home with his wife could trigger some problems, their relationship also got better amid the outbreak as the couple now can put aside their daily responsibilities outside the home and focus on each other, according to Seven. 

Mother happy with return of son

Ayse Dalaman, 58, is another Turkish citizen who sees the glass half-full during coronavirus lockdown as her 21-year-old son finally returned home from university with all schools in the country shut down and education maintained through remote-teaching methods, either on TV or internet.

“Since entering university three years ago, my son has spent a total of three months by my side, and he was not at home even in summer breaks," she said, lamenting that his son almost forgot about the family after departing from the family house.

"Now, he is left with no other option than staying with his family. This is the only positive thing this virus has brought so far,” said Dalaman.

She added that she views this isolation process as a final period when she could enjoy her time with her son, who “will begin to work upon his graduation, become a man with responsibilities and will no longer be her little child anymore.”

“Just like the good old days, we wake up as a family in the morning and enjoy our breakfast as a family,” she said, adding: “I hope this virus does not do any more harm to the world and disappears quickly, meanwhile, we will make the most of this ‘stay-at-home’ policy by embracing our beloved ones.”

Turkey has so far registered nearly 91,000 coronavirus cases whereas the death toll is currently 2,100. More than 13,400 people have fully recovered from the disease, and 1,909 people are receiving treatment at intense care units.

The coronavirus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.

More than 2.47 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll over 170,300 and more than 652,000 recoveries, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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