This Coronavirus - I would say that I feel empty, with the uncertainly of the future that behold us. We are facing unprecedented challenges that this pandemic that has affected our lives, socially, economically, and of course psychologically.
Everything is restricted; going out, meeting with friends, you are always alone and it brings all the memories back mentally. It is like you have been placed in a cage and you don’t know when you will be let out from it - staying at home for long without going out is depressing.
Though many lives have lost, many are fighting for their lives in both homes and hospitals. Many of us are scared to contract the virus. Before lockdown or the isolation, as asylum seekers, we were already restricted in a way that we were isolated. Most people will not understand that, but it is like our lives have always been like this.
The lockdown and social isolation prevent the spread of the virus, but has its own challenges. If you go out for shopping, or for a walk, you do not know if you are going to catch it. It creates a fear in you - that you don’t trust anybody. Even the people who you live with, you don’t want to associate with, always in your mind thinking ‘will I be safe?’ Before Coronavirus, people were friendly to one another, but now you are always looking over your shoulder. You don’t want to let out a cough because you know that you will be looked at.
It’s hard to go to the shops, especially the corner shops. As food prices have increased, most of the shops are asking to pay on a card, but as an asylum seeker I do not have a bank account. And the little resources for my upkeep is challenging; as a destitute asylum seeker I don’t receive any support from the government. The life I lived before was limiting, before the Covid-19, but at least I had my surroundings. Now, nothing.
The deathly virus touches everyone, people shouldn’t look at us as asylum seekers. This Coronavirus should teach us that it doesn’t matter who you are, it shows the world that everybody is equal and in that anybody can become infected. We must continue to recognise the equality of all people, some people are starting to understand that this is about humanity. Before this, not everybody took the time to look after each other, but now we are doing that; phoning each other, and checking on the loved ones. We are starting to realise that any of us could be affected.
As undocumented immigrants the opportunity and support to us is limited. But thank God that Boaz continuously helps and supports, that I have a roof over my head, and with the weekly income and food parcel every week. They check on me all the time. Thank you to other organisations that I am involved with, their kind support, I honestly appreciate all of it.
Some of these organisations are helping with top-up for my phone and my internet every month, and by calling every week to check on me. I am able to continue doing my volunteering work from home and I love it, at least its keeping me going, and having Zoom online meetings with other organisations keeps me alive. No matter what, I am giving much more out there, and I couldn’t have done it better without you all. This is so important. It helps me to be in touch with the world. I can’t imagine not having internet during a time like this.
Coronavirus came and it taught us that we have to appreciate everything. At the end of this, we will come to appreciate one another and truly learn to be there for one another.