My story: Mina

My family’s from Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi community has a high incidence of death from coronavirus. One of my friends caught COVID-19, a young lad with no previous medical conditions, and it was a scary experience to hear about this. He told me his first 10 days were extremely difficult. This brought home how close this virus is and the importance of following the advice provided.

My sister is categorised as ‘vulnerable’ as she’s currently in her third trimester of pregnancy. We haven’t been able to see her during the last few months because of the virus. This has had a big impact on us emotionally as this is the first of the next generation in our family and is a new experience for all of us. Luckily, she’s been furloughed from work since the very beginning which has been a blessing – our main concern was that she shouldn’t travel and be in contact with the public unnecessarily. We’re in daily contact with her which boosts all of our morale and we keep checking when the guidelines will ease for those in her situation.

My parents really miss that contact. This new, limited contact has made them feel lonelier.

The older generation in our community have really struggled with not being able to invite family over to our home. These invitations are central to our culture. It’s been really tough for my parents. The way we socialise with family and friends is by visiting each other at home. As soon as a guest enters a home, we offer drinks and something to eat. Because of the virus, we haven’t even been able to offer a cuppa. My parents really miss that contact. This new, limited contact has made them feel lonelier.

I think the Government could have acted sooner and done more, especially when I think of South Korea and New Zealand who seem to be miles ahead, but all I can do is what’s in my control to protect myself and my loved ones.

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