NRIs from UK, Bahrain, Switzerland share how they are coping with COVID 19 isolation away from India

We asked a few NRIs from several nations to share how they are coping with lockdown situation as they lead their lives away from home country and family.
People,Coronavirus,covid 19,Coronavirus storiesNRIs from UK, Bahrain, Switzerland share how they are coping with COVID 19 isolation away from India
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People from across the world are fighting with the deadly microscopic villain. As the number of positive cases of Coronavirus rises, tension and anxiety are also mounting higher. The panic and stress are also due to economic losses that people are suffering and also due to day to day activities becoming a herculean task. People from the weaker sections of the society are worst hit. Speaking of India, after alarms about the pandemic were sounded, PM Narendra Modi immediately imposed a nation-wide lockdown which may get lifted on April 14. As per some reports, the shutdown could get extended in order to thwart the spread of COVID-19. 

Right now, unfortunately, the positive cases are more than 5000 and the death toll has increased to 166 in India. While we feel safe as we are in our home and known place, we asked NRIs, who are away from family and home country in such trying times, to share how they are leading life now. Today we are sharing inputs from 3 NRIs from the UK, Bahrain, Switzerland and how are they coping with isolation. Read on to know more.

Ami Mehta, 34. 

Place: Switzerland. 

Profession: Not working at present

1. Do you miss your home country and are constantly worried about your relatives here in India? 

Definitely yes we miss the home country a lot and in such situations, it is much easier and comfortable to be in known locations and around known people. I was worried about relatives at the start, but if they follow what's been told then there is no tension.

2. What is your mental state right now and how are you and your family coping with this situation? 

 Mental state is haywire. We need to know about the country we are in current and also about India for our parents and siblings. We talk on a daily basis. Indian media is quite active updates are faster than the Swiss. We are also facing a language barrier. It took us 2 weeks to find a Swiss specific site where we get cantonwise count of infected people.

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? 

I feel every government is doing its part, but everyone's opinion is different. Swiss has declared they will test people only above 60 as it's critical for them and they are assuming all youth has a great immunity. Swiss delayed border shutdowns and it hampered. India could have stopped the flights earlier too but again people were rushing to return to their base. 

4. Are you feeling safe and what precautions are you taking considering you have a child? 

 In general, I am quite an extrovert and brave girl, this is the first time I m actually scared about something. Maybe because I am in a foreign land or maybe because I am a mother now. My kid used to go to creche for few hours, now that's shut. So I keep entertaining him. I have restricted my kid to go to our society garden also where there is just green grass. As I see other families coming out frequently there with their kids or dog walks.  We sit in our balcony to get some sun and it is difficult for kids to understand this.

5. Are you able to go out and buy essential goods? 

5. We are allowed to but we do avoid it. There is a difference between hiding in homes and avoiding harm unnecessarily. Hence, we are managing with what we have at home very economically. We just don't have snacks as we please, or my husband doesn't get milk coffee every time. Having said that we finally had to go out today after 3 whole weeks for groceries mainly veggies, milk, bread i.e perishable items.

6. How are the companies handling this? Apart from giving work from home, are they giving you some additional health benefits too?

There is work from the home facility for my husband. In fact, his work has increased and also the hours that he puts has increased. 

Nothing to do with a company here, I think it's the people who you work with also matters. For us we were on our verge finishing our assignment, currently, our permit is up to April end which is told to be extended in the corona scene. So that's good but inevitable. Currently, I don't work but I have heard companies like Nomura have delayed their important releases and also told staff to avoid stress which is great.

Name: Suha Shaikh, 24

Place: Bahrain

Profession: Homemaker

1. Do you miss your home country and are constantly worried about your relatives here in India? 

To be honest, I don't miss my home country much but yea I am really worried about my relatives as well as my friends over there. I’ve heard about the lockdown and how it is causing difficulties, especially the ones with infants or toddlers are really worried. A few days ago I heard from my friend that even diapers were not available in the pharmacies. Managing normal day to day activities have really become a task for them now.

2. What is your mental state right now and how are you and your family coping with this situation? 

I delivered my baby girl around 6 months ago and as I was just coming out of my postpartum depression this pandemic outbreak of corona came into the picture, where my husband is stuck in another country and I cannot visit my parents as well. So yeah, it is giving a lot of mental stress to be away from husband and parents but we all are in a way blessed to have a shelter and being provided with all the necessities required. As for me and my in-laws, we are strictly following all the preventive measures like using sanitizers in case we have to go out and avoid going out in the first place.

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? 

Yes the UAE Government is taking a lot of preventive measures to protect the residents. They have started the National Sterilization Program where all the streets, roads and even a single stone on the road will be sterilized. People are asked to stay at home after 8 pm and a heavy fine is imposed on those who are not following the rule. They have also come up with an app where the users can scan the barcodes of all the disinfectant products and see if they are actually useful and good to use. 

Also, they have reduced the rent of many businessmen and providing free visas to the tourists stuck over there. Also, they have imposed heavy fines on the pharmacies and the pharmaceutical companies who were trying to increase the prices on masks and products such as sanitizers etc. The government, the police, doctors, and nurses and all the NGOs have really won the hearts of the people.

5. Are you able to go out and buy essential goods? 

Yes, we can go out before 8 pm and buy all our essential products, as well as, there are online services available from hypermarkets such as Carrefour and Lulu.

Rinal Parmar, 26

Place: UK

Profession: Security Officer

1. Do you miss your home country and are constantly worried about your relatives here in India? 

Of course, I miss my home country and worried about friends and family.

2. What is your mental state right now and how are you and your family coping with this situation? 

 As the situation is critical here so the family is worried and we are also worried about what will happen next. 

3. Is the government doing everything it can to combat this pandemic? 

 Yes the UK government is trying to stop the current situation but we can say one thing is that they are not much serious about the situation and they don’t have enough medical services for the patients. Even the public isn’t serious about the lockdowns.

4. Are you feeling safe and what precautions are you taking? 

Yeah, I am feeling safe and we are using sanitizer, masks and hand gloves.

5. Are you able to go out and buy essential goods? 

Yes, we can go outside and purchase the necessary items. General stores aren’t close here.

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