The rapid spread of COVID-19 caused countries across the globe to get into lockdown in a bid to contain the virus. So I became stranded and was unable to return home. I am from Norway and they shut their borders in mid-March, way before the UK restrictions came into place. I couldn’t fly back to my mother’s place in Sri Lanka as she lives with her mother who is over the age of 80, who would probably be at risk if I go there. My father got trapped in Ghana when he went for a trip with his business partner. I do not have any family members or any closest friends to be go and be with in the UK. So I decided to stay back in the student accommodation I am currently living in.
As I am self isolating alone, it made me wonder how everyone else, especially the ones that are self isolating by themselves and/or away from their family are coping at the moment.
I am doing fine as I keep myself busy by doing things that I used to do such as gaming, cooking everyday, binge-watching new shows and trying to work out. But it also made me wonder how everyone else, who are in the similar situation as I am, is doing. So I reached out to my friends, acquaintances and complete strangers through FaceTime.
Shane Sealey, 21 Student
From Bridgend, now living in Cardiff
I’m not 100% sure if I’m coping well. Sometimes I can feel my anxiety shoot up when hearing news about the pandemic. My daily life is slowly changing back into old habits of staying indoors and playing games, listing to music and playing guitar. I use these three to de-stress when I’m ever worried about Uni, the news or anything else.
My family seem to struggle as my mum & dad both have their own partners and kids. My dad finds it hard as he is so used to working he finds himself bored with a house full of kids. My mum is worried about the future of her nine month old son and seems to find herself stuck in a house and not able to go out. I am a bit worried about them. I just hope one day all this ends and we can go back to normal
Vedant Malik, 26 Student
From New Dehli, India, now living in Treforest, Pontypridd
I am from New Delhi, India. I am studying BSc (Hons) Football Coaching and Performance at the University of South Wales, I live in the student halls at the Treforest campus . I try to be positive and keep myself occupied by following a schedule. Exercising, reading, watching football related content, learning new recipes to cook, Netflix with a beer or two is what my usual day is like.
My family is doing fine back home and are following the government’s lockdown restrictions. Like others, I am also relying on social media to connect with my family. It’s been 7 months now since I’ve seen them and I am looking forward for the situation to get better and go back home.
Sam Padget, 34
Self employed. Runs film business 74 Productions From London, now living in Cardiff
I’m usually out and about most of the day, it’s strange to be cooped up at home. My day to day usually consists of meeting people and team working with others so it’s a weird situation. Cabin fever has definitely set in!
My family and my girlfriends family are all over the world, all are in lockdon in Denmark, Norway and the UK. So far no Coronavirus, but I am a bit worried as my mum is retired and classed as ‘at risk’ while my dad is a key worker (social worker) who is out meeting people every day so needs to be careful not to bring the virus home from work.
Meenu Srinivasan, 26 Student
From Kerala, India, now living in Cardiff, Wales
Just putting my head down and doing the mountain of assignment work that is still staring at me from across my room.
My parents are social distancing inside the house in Kerala, India. Staying safe and thankfully they have a residential society taking care of what they need to make sure they don’t have to go out. And my brother is in the US and US is quite bad. But thankfully my brother is also staying in and staying safe. So we’re doing okay and hoping we can cope really
Prasad Muthian Thankappa, 30 Branch Manager, Bank of India
From Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, now living in Nungambakkam, Chennai, India
Banking having been classified as essential services during the Coronavirus pandemic and since I deal with customers from various places I have sent my wife and 1 year old son to my in laws house to keep them safe from any infections in case I became an unidentified carrier… The fear and anxiety of the family always threatens us whenever bad news is read or seen.
Having been a very social person with a hectic management work schedule – attending meeting, maintaining customer relationships and financial cum credit analysis of companies and individuals, I find it depressing and bored to live a secluded life all by myself.
Having enjoying all facilities like maid , driver, etc it is annoying to do household chores. I have started taking care of my fitness by walking in my terrace everyday for 45 minutes and that helps me cope with inbuilt stress.
It is very frustrating to get provisions since the shops are open for limited timings and my work hours coincide with it. Most of the shelves are empty and force me to adjust with basic dairy and bakery goods.
Matthew Houghton, 24 Specialist at Apple
From Manchester, now living in Cardiff
Currently living in Roath by myself whilst my housemate is staying back in Birmingham.
I’m doing well! I usually love being by myself but that effect wore off after the second week and I’m finding it to be really lonely which I don’t necessarily mind, I’m just bored of being bored.
Playing games with friends back home is another thing to do, and the regular calls from home and the few videos conference calls with friends kind of keeps the mood somewhat light and in good vibe – even though on certain days it could feel little low and down because of being indoors and isolated. But I guess it’s just about getting through this time.
and images by Aarthy Balaganesh (pictured top of article)