In this new series, Marhaba brings to you the self isolation, social distancing and working from home experiences of fellow Dohaites. How are you coping? Let us know, write to [email protected] 

Catherine W Gichuki | News Reporter, Qatar Tribune

How do you practice self-isolation?
I live alone, so it’s much easier for me to practice self-isolation. I have been house-bound for over 10 days now and I have gone outside only once for less than 45 minutes for an errand. I try to make the best out of the situation, I have a lot of ‘me’ time and I try to do things that will make my life better in the long run. I try not to read, watch or listen to too much news about COVID-19 because I feel sometimes it can be too much.
Besides working, when alone, I do a lot of activities in the house. I make delicacies that I have not been able to do for a long time; I read a lot; watch comedies from different parts of the world; watch home makeover and interior design shows; watch inspirational videos on YouTube, among other things.
What’s your daily routine like?
I wake up between 7:30 am and 8:30 am, start my day with a morning devotion where I commit my day to God. After that, I do my workout routine for about 30 minutes. I settle down to work from around 10:30 am – doing phone interviews, sending interview questions through emails, coordinating with colleagues and making phone calls to contacts. I also file stories through email.
Bearing in mind that I am one of the community leaders of the Kenyan community here in Qatar, I also find time to contact a few people and answer questions from some community members. I try to raise awareness about the precautionary measures and directives on the current situation. I retire to bed between 12:30 am and 1:30 am.
When and how do you buy groceries?
I do groceries at least once every 10 days, though when I run out of something, I call the nearby grocery store for home delivery.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues?
Phone calls, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
How do you manage to stay productive?
What helps me is that before I retire to bed, I’ve already figured the story ideas to work on the following day. I also set a deadline for myself for each particular task. I am very passionate about my job and whenever I’m working, I put my entire energy there.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office?
Firstly, I would like to say that even though it is not an easy task to work from home, it is the best thing to do during this season. However, in normal circumstances, it is easier to work from the office because one can enquire something from colleagues easily without having to make a call. And as a reporter, it can be challenging to work from home because I prefer face-to-face interviews, also to attend press conferences and events which is not possible at this time.
How supportive is your company/organisation?
All my colleagues have been so supportive. I can’t ask for better workmates. My editor in particular has been really helpful. He gives me story ideas to work on, and if he sees an important update in Arabic, he lets me to know.

Follow more in the Chat Corner series here.