Zubair is a Chief Technical Officer for a software company, and has had to adapt to doing everything online. Charlotte works as a voluntary refugee advocate.
Charlotte: “As a volunteer I spend a lot of time visiting vulnerable families, and regularly visit the refugee camps in Calais. Overnight this has had to stop, and be replaced by online outreach, which feels totally different. I feel terrible for friends who rely on regular visits and are now limited to phone calls. Life for refugees in Calais was already horrific, but this crisis has made it even worse. The authorities have severely reduced food distributions, and the charities out there are very low on volunteers, so the situation is desperate. I am in daily contact with friends in the camps and their understandable fears are heartbreaking. They tell me they are told to wash their hands, but have no running water. It’s not possible to self-isolate when you are homeless.
I’m an outgoing, gregarious person who thrives in other people’s company, so this current set-up feels very foreign.
No one in our family has been unwell, but we’re following guidelines and staying at home. One week in, and our kids are loving homeschooling, though missing their friends. Suki had a class Zoom meeting on Friday, and the boys are whatsapping their cousins and friends, so thank goodness for technology! I would say, ‘so far so good’, we’re doing really well, and the positives are that Daddy is ‘home’ by 6pm every day, and the kids are getting more involved in household chores!
However much we worry for others, we’re trying to make home life as calm and easy for our own kids as possible – they’re very young, so we try to shield them from our fears. Hopefully they will remember this time as an adventure. We’re praying that we all stay healthy and safe, and are very aware that being able to isolate ourselves in a warm home, with food and entertainment, is a huge privilege compared to others . For this we are very grateful.”