A memory of the first day in quarantine – Mrs Lila Seling Mabo

A memory of the first day in quarantine, with a romantic story about an old adventure in love, with the continuing trails of racial discrimination and social workplace changes.

Thursday,14/1/2021 ( 1/10/2077) Maghe Sakrati 316 days since Covid-19 started and 299 days of lockdown. (3rd National lockdown in the UK). A Positive test result of Covid-19 and the first day of quarantine life. Today’s death toll from the Covid-19 is 1295 and the total toll has reached 88590.

Today, I found out that I had COVID-19 from the letter below;
“Dear Lila Seling Mabo,
Your coronavirus test result is positive. It means it’s likely you had the virus when the test was done.
You should be contacted for contact tracing.
You must, by law, self-isolate immediately for 10 days.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) shown that the daily death from Covid-19 is 1564 which has risen 84,767 total death tolls for today. Today’s cases are 47525 and this is including me.
I have decided to stay at home before I receive my test result. This is because I have all symptoms of the deadly virus; my body temperature is high, I’m sneezing, I have a runny nose, cough, diarrhoea and I am feeling very tired. As we are aware these are all very classic symptoms of the coronavirus. I am yet to lose my sense of taste and smell.

I reported my symptoms to one of my managers at work, who gave me the time off with my family. We are preparing for my quarantine for the next 10 days. But I received a call from another supervisor from work near the duty time and told me that she was not happy with who I reported it to. This supervisor has very little empathy towards the situation that I am in. She was more bothered about the person I reported it too and not the fact I was unwell and had COVID.

I had to report it because this person has been concerned since I started to cough and my co-worker had a positive test result.

She asked me “how are you today?” And I replied that “I’m fine but I have symptoms and can’t go to work for my late shift today”. I was also waiting for my test results. She told me that she will inform the office and told me “ have a rest lila”. I’m a new member of staff for this job within private LTD company after i completed my post-graduation (master degree) and it is just two months over so I thought all staffs are same who work in the office.

I’m still not happy about one of supervisor from work who contacted me after I prepared my quarantine who told me that why you can’t come out and go to work with full PPE to night, you might just have just flu. I’m short of staffs and we have no drivers too.

Also, if you want to take time off don’t contact any person’s mobile just contact the office landline but it was okay to update my client notes and report on my mobile via text.
The person also told me that she has also released immediately message after I reported my symptoms. I totally did not understand it. I quickly checked my email and I found the NHS email that I had a positive test result and I realised that I thought that I made a right decision to avoid transmission of virus to many other clients, staff and vulnerable people. This is my situation at the moment, and it becoming part of my life. I have now become a national statistic. I have now become the numbers that we see on the news, todays I am one of the 47525 people to have COVID. I have a duty to stay inside and protect other people.

The Office National Statistics (ONS) data and news breaking down deaths by local authority up to 3 April, enabling the matching of deaths to data on pollution, age, deprivation, population density and BAME populations in England and Wales for the first time.

A high proportion of BAME residents was found to be the strongest predictor of a high Covid-19 death rate.

The analysis shows that for every 10% increase in ethnic minority residents there were 2.9 more Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people.

The government had to recognise that race and racial inequalities were a risk factor in Covid-19 and that it should address the disproportionate rates of poverty, insecure and low-paid labour, which was often also undertaken by keyworkers, plus poorer conditions and overcrowded housing – all of which were putting ethnic minorities much more at risk of Covid-19 infection.

“There’s no question any more about whether BAME people are bearing the brunt of Covid-19; they clearly are. The question is whether the government view these racial inequalities as a serious enough problem to do something about it.”

These statistics has struck me and stayed with me due to it being racially motivated, and people’s heart are not open to ethnic minority people. It shows that Black, Asian and ethnic minorities are being put in dangers way where this disease is concerned. Being an ethnic minority person, I am facing this situation. If I didn’t argue I could have gone to work. But how many people would I have hurt and put in danger.

My COVID symptoms have started to present themselves; I was struggling to breath, constantly coughing, sneezing. Although I have been taking my medicine, it is only just working . I am staying inside and I am trying to revise a few math subjects before I attend online class, I’m trying to keep myself busy.

Today is a special day for me due to it being the Nepali Festival Maghe Sankranti which is celebrated on the first day of Magh (around mid-January).

Nepali people celebrate it as the beginning of the auspicious month of Magh. The festival is a harbinger of longer and relatively warmer days in comparison to the colder month of Poush.
On this day, the sun is believed to start moving toward the Northern Hemisphere. In that sense, Maghe Sankranti is similar to solstice festivals in other religious traditions. I contacted my parents, siblings, niece and cousins. I really miss my family at this time, we used to celebrate with in the family in Nepal. My mum used to cook special food for us which I really miss.
We used to go far away and meet many friend relatives on those days which we call Maghe Mela ( Tribeni). Most of the youngster , teenagers , elderly and business people used to go to this area by walking miles and miles.

This is a date that is important to everyone, and they can note in their diary and they used to send a letter to their boyfriend and girlfriend to meet up this place once year. There weren’t any technology facilities like there are right now. No computers, no mobile phones and the nearest telephone was miles away.

Some people had to wait 12 months to meet in real life for that reason, that is why the mela was so important for dating and making those days. People used to come to this place from many areas of village and two districts of Nepal like Taplejung and Panchthar Eastern part of Nepal.

There were no roads and transport facilities, so people had to walk all day by foot to get there but now this area is facilitated by everything bus etc as a mini market. I went once in my life to this place for a Tribeni mela , we had a very strong, young bonded community like we used to unite the youth and teenagers, with the middle age people and we all used to walk together, eat together especially when we had to go far way from home.

Everyone’s responsible for one another and we were to count on each other and we made sure that there wasn’t anyone missed from the group until get back to home.

Only, Face to face communication was possible because there was no mobile phones and fb WhatsApp ,viber like we have now. I still remembered those organic golden human attachment and they were enjoyable and the best moments of my life when I was a teenager. My childhood memories giving me fun, and make me smile in this quarantine time that I’m in the UK, I cannot manage and celebrate properly as we used to celebrate in Nepal. I miss this great adventure to the market to meet others, as well as the people that I met along the way, its something that makes me happy and positive within in this global pandemic.

After I had received my positive test result, all the family started to be on alert and started to deep clean the house and we all began to isolate. They bought me food and drink wearing full PPE and left it outside of my door. I had some of the food then I took a paracetamol.
This pandemic shows that untouchable or “caste” system of certain communities is still been practiced and is very bad in human society.

“Even in the 21st century. these people face discrimination and even violence from members of higher castes, or traditional social classes, particularly in terms of access to jobs, education, and marriage partners. Dalits, also known as “Untouchables,” are members of the lowest social group in the Hindu caste system. The word “Dalit” means “oppressed” or “broken” and is the name members of this group gave themselves in the 1930s. A Dalit is actually born below the caste system, which includes four primary castes: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriya (warriors and princes), Vaishya (farmers and artisans), and Shudra (tenant farmers and servants) (Kallie Szczepanski, February 04, 2020).
I experienced this myself before the pandemic but racial discrimination is worse with coronavirus. The virus will slowly disappear with the help of the vaccine, but this racial “caste” discrimination will continue. I am able to highlight these concerns, but more is need to be done about it. People need to open their mind and their hearts to the ever-changing world and not be stuck in the past.

Today’s death toll from the Covid-19 is 1295 and the total toll has reached 88590. This makes me worried when I’m in quarantine with the virus.

My name will be on the next daily infected number, the death toll is very high and still climbing although the vaccine has been rolled out in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of people are being vaccinated daily.

I will not able to explain my future plan at this time as I said to the family in the first lockdown because I have no chance to talk face to face to people at this time.

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