In response to the article we published with entertainer Andy Reay click here on the subject of what do you do during Self Isolation, we have started to receive messages from many happy people as you will see.
We have had an interesting email from Roger Bara who has interviewed 2 single mums living 3,000 kms apart but having similar issues to deal with.
For those readers who would also like to share their experiences please email email@example.com and we will try to publish them on our website and in our weekly online e-newspaper. Let’s try to make the world happy again by sharing good news.
For those people who are wanting to return from the UK to the TRNC or go from the TRNC to the UK please go to Facebook page “TRNC Residents trying to get home” click here and register your details as directed.
From Roger Bara…..
This is the current story of two girls from Jersey, (Channel Islands, not America!), both single mothers, who are great friends but live 3,000 km apart. They also share a lifestyle of almost complete isolation. One of them is well known to me – my granddaughter Paige, living here in the TRNC – the other, Victoria, I have never met, and she remains back in Jersey. I’ve interviewed them both, remotely of course, over the past week.
Paige is studying Interior Architecture at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta, with a couple of months to go until graduation. Though now it’s live online courses instead. Baby Laith is just 13 months old, nearly two of which have been spent in isolation from everybody except mum. “We’re not allowed out of the house except for essential journeys either to the supermarket, chemist or bank. I’m told Laith is not allowed into shops, so I can’t leave him at home alone! I have to ask a neighbour to look after him, (as there are no deliveries here) which is technically illegal.”
Despite the isolation, Paige remains optimistic. “We are very lucky to have a nice big garden, so we try to spend as much time outside as we can. There’s a communal swimming pool in my complex, so we can do laps around that, and Laith likes to look at the cats! I try and arrange many different activities with him, and we make lots of stuff like baby paint; today he’s got rainbow spaghetti to play with. He’s teething at the moment, so is whinging loads, and that’s when it gets hard – it’s not like you can put him in a buggy and go for a walk – simply not allowed.”
But there are other downsides, of course. “The worst thing is not knowing when I’ll be able to see my family again – they’re missing so much of him already, he’s growing up so quickly. Video messaging is fine, but it’s not the same as seeing them in person. My family in Jersey are supposed to be coming for my graduation, but that’s unlikely now.”
How about the difference between North Cyprus and Jersey? “It’s a lot better here, the lockdown was much quicker and earlier, and we might see things opening again soon, whereas, in Jersey, it seems so much further behind.”
There have also been positives.“Being able to spend so much time with Laith. Normally, we’re always out and about but it’s so good to have the time to sit 1-to-1 and play all day – I’ve learnt how to cook fish for the first time, and am doing a fitness programme as the gyms are all shut. I’m keeping as occupied as possible, so I don’t just eat chocolate all day like I did for the first month! But I would love to just be able to go out for a walk with him, especially when he’s not on good form.”
Back in Jersey, Paige’s friend Victoria is similarly confined to her 2-bed house, but for a different reason. In Jersey, they have only recently shut the airport, and you are still allowed outside for an hour or two for exercise and dog-walking. But for Victoria and her two boys, that’s no consolation. They all have serious underlying medical issues, so self-isolation is a no-brainer.
She told me they were coping.“The boys argue quite a bit so I make sure they get time away from each other in different rooms. I’ve been trying to keep busy with DIY and cooking with which the boys have been helping and I’ve been helping them with school work – that’s been an eye opening!”
Like Paige, she so misses her family and best friend. “They come around to drop me things off but I can’t go near them. My dad is on full lockdown too so it’s hard not being able to go and meet him as usual, and check on him. I really miss going to work too! I had quite an active job so now I feel a bit on edge not being able to do the same level of activity.”
“I’m feeling bored and anxious as I feel like I should be doing something all the time and feel a bit on edge because I can’t. My friend has been sending me pics and videos to show me what Jersey is like but I don’t think I will ever have the full picture, not seeing it first-hand.”
But there is one thing that terrifies her. “I know the effects of ICU can be through my illness and the recovery afterwards. People are having to go through that, but what’s more scary are the people who don’t listen to all the advice and rules given to stop them from catching it or spreading it. The doctors and nurses at the hospital are amazing and I hope they are not forgotten when this is over.”
Well done to both ladies for their stoic stance during this mayhem, and of course, countless others around the TRNC, Jersey and indeed the planet, all of whom will empathise.
I am hoping that Mrs B and I will before too long be able to give our grand-daughter and great-grandson a cuddle. If not, my enduring worry is that little Laith will think his current sheltered and home-bound life will be entirely normal.