I am Agatha N., born in Mbarara, Uganda. I am currently working as a Software Engineer in Kigali, Rwanda. Indeed the COVID-19 epidemic has left no one unaffected from businesses, families, individuals to governments.

Software engineering has the very strong advantage that it is easier to work remotely than a whole number of other industries. The challenge we faced mainly was getting the remote tools to transition to full-time remote. That meant that for the first few weeks, we suffered a bit of limbo as the development environment was brought up to scratch. After that, we were back to normal working hours with a pace that almost equaled the one in the office. Of course, virtual interaction would never equate to in-person interaction and that is where COVID-19 delivers its back kick. That I am able to transition easily to remote work, I am lucky, though I have had colleagues in other Software companies laid off due to lack of projects during this time because of economic challenges.

Lock-down in Kigali, Rwanda is as efficient as they get. That means I can barely move 100 steps outside my home before I meet a policeman asking where I am heading to and if that is an essential service. With bars, restaurants only serving takeout and transportation at a minimum, my social life is confined to the neighbors whom I must keep 1.5 meters away from. This counts for a boring life in front of my laptop streaming Netflix every evening -(yes even La casa de Papel gets old if it is all you do). Also, I can’t visit my people in Uganda-(I miss “real” matooke).

On a brighter note, I have saved a lot of money sitting at home. I have listened to podcasts, read books, and really gotten to know my neighbors (1.5 meters away of course).