The Impact of Covid-19 on immigrants

The first case of coronavirus disease was identified in late December 2019 I remember that day I was at work and heard a colleague talk about a virus in the air and I was “Italians and fake new”.

Covid was declared public health of international concern at the end of January 2020.

Coronaviruses are a large group of common viruses that causes respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms like flu, sore throat, coarse couch, running nose, and high fever.

It was cold and windy when eventually our form teacher entered the class and announced that we wouldn’t be coming to school due to a virus obviously covid: we were scared because she said the virus has spread widely in Italy before the poor masses even knew about it. We took a week off school and came back the next week hoping that things have calmed down.

The first covid case was recorded in my school on the 13th of February when we were planning for valentines outings with classmates. Immediately, the principal called for an emergency meeting and that was how we were restricted from having fun with our friends and classmates.

The main nightmare began in March when covid was declared a pandemic disease. I lived in a camp in Bagheria with other 9 girls and we wondered how we couldn’t contact this virus knowing that we share rooms, bathrooms, toilets and so many things together. We were scared because we started hearing of the consequences of this virus. Many of us didn’t believe it at first until one day we heard on news about a burial mass of covid patients not only this the most shocking part was that as it became a pandemic, Italy recorded a high mortality rate due to covid. Our parents and loved ones in Africa were afraid and concerned about us. I remember when my mum video called me and was crying that finally, I can’t come back to Africa because flights from Europe were restricted in Africa (Nigeria) we all cried and prayed that everything will be fine but it actually got worse. From restrictions of movement to certain places of need to a TOTAL LOCKDOWN.

I saw the world in chaos, agony, pain. During that period I had to stop work for safety reasons because I don’t live alone: in fact, every one of us stopped working. This was when the mental breakdown started. Sincerely initially when it was just a week sit at home, we enjoyed it but we never expected it to last for a good three months. We were restricted from going out, I mean we stayed indoors for three months. Most of the girls started suffering from unknown sickness due to stress. Some had similar symptoms of covid but weren’t positive about it.

To send some money home became a big problem because in Africa they were also experiencing lockdown and we were their only helping hands. The situation became grave, the hunger was too much and we were crying because we couldn’t help them even though we wanted to.

We also experienced good memories with some workers. Technology was great support so we started having an interest in some tv series like Harry Potter and we saw it together, as a family – it was the most beautiful thing about the pandemic. Although we quarreled and fight and sometimes hate each other we had beautiful times together seeing these series. The workers encouraged us that everything will be fine soon but we asked ourselves “when and how”? Hope became our food for thought. We wondered if it was the end of the world. I remember a night when everyone through their windows was waving their light to the darkness and darkness could not comprehend the light anymore: everybody was happy, they sang the national anthem and it brought this togetherness between the citizens and this scene warmed my heart a lot. This means that, at the end of every tunnel, there’s surely a light. We sent light and love to our loved ones across the globe.

Should I talk about the monotony? Life wasn’t really easy at all with repeated activities every day.

It was boring. We had online lessons and studied when we could because we were stressed mentally and otherwise. I and my friends started some home activities like morning workouts and I personally used that period to improve my cooking skills.

Most immigrants weren’t allowed to be transferred to the cities because they feared that had the virus so they were kept in the rescue ships and some in the police camps.

Till today coronavirus has mutated into different types which are obviously spreading more than the previous types. My boyfriend had omicron so he couldn’t travel to Africa to visit his sick mum. He cried so much that it broke my heart to see a man in tears ( I’ve never seen a man cry) so I knew it hurts so much. We are now trying to live with the virus. Some news says that the UN wants to treat covid as the normal flu.

I (we) hope that one day we will celebrate the end of coronavirus in the world. So I strongly believe that the phrase “everything will be fine” is useful most especially to the kids that experienced this pandemic. We will live to tell the story of the end of covid ONEDAY!!! That’s my optimism.

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