"We are all going through the same thing."
The coronavirus is massively spreading every day and every minute globally, leading countries into lockdown. As families have been in lockdown, issues are beginning to rise and the pressure is increasing.
The majority of the world is currently in lockdown due to the coronavirus. The virus is an illness that affects your airways and lungs, causing people great breathing difficulties.
To prevent it from spreading even further, governments around the world have instructed people to stay at home to save lives.
Even though staying at home, not doing anything sure does sound glorious, it still comes with its issues and drama.
These problems arise due to various reasons and are most definitely issues in many South Asian households.
DESIblitz discusses the issues that are arising in South Asian households during the lockdown.
Getting People to Listen
This is one of the main reasons why the virus has spread; people are simply not listening. The government has instructed that people must stay at home and going out only if it is necessary.
There are many South Asians who think they are as powerful as the hulk and think it is acceptable to carry on as normal. Can we just clarify; it is not fine.
Wearing a mask over your face is not going to prevent you from catching the virus. This is something many of us need to remember before deciding to go out.
To make matters worse, many elders amongst the South Asian community are not listening. As the elder community are much more vulnerable, it is particularly dangerous for them to leave their houses.
Commonly, the elder South Asian community will just not change their ways and habits. They continue to go out to their local grocers every day even though they are living with people who are not as vulnerable.
Student, Adil speaks about how he has seen some South Asian’s not staying home. He says:
“I live in Birmingham and I was driving through Small Heath which is an Asian dominated area and I was shocked to see so many people carrying on as normal.
“What was more disturbing was that there were so many old men and women walking around, not even social distancing.”
This damaging mentality can eventually damage the elders in our family, all because they will not listen.
Many elders in South Asian families do not understand how serious the virus is, purely because they do not understand what they are saying on the news.
So, we need to put our foot down and get them to listen, even if they do not like it, it is for their benefit. It is the responsibility of the youngsters to educate the elders concerning this serious matter.
Strain on Relationships
After working a full days job, we are all looking forward to coming home at the end of an exhausting day. However, now that we are home 24/7, seeing the same faces constantly can be a little frustrating.
In many South Asian households, there is always that bit of tension between certain members of the house. Yet, normally, we can all take some time apart, giving each other space.
Unfortunately, since the lockdown, families have become much more involved in each other’s lives. This can cause arguments and of course, family drama.
Luckily, not every South Asian household has this problem, but there are definitely are a few.
More than anything, looking on the bright side, it can also fix broken relationships.
Now that families have the time to sit down and talk things through, it could turn out to be a good thing. Sit down together and talk about your issues or any problems you are going through as a family.
Moreover, it can be especially hard for couples who are living alone as it just the two of them. It is not only families that need time apart, but couples need it too.
In regards to couples, there are many newly-weds’ honeymoons which have been cancelled due to COVID-19. This means that they are home-bound and have been thrown into the deep end earlier on in their marriage.
At the beginning of a marriage, couples are still getting used to each other’s habits and things do not seem as normal as before. However, during this lockdown period, newly-weds might be finding out things they do not like about their spouse.
There is not only a strain on relationships between members of your house during the lockdown. Those in romantic relationships are also having issues as they can not see each other for weeks.
This could possibly lead to loneliness and depression as individuals are craving love and attention. The only way to solve this issue is to video call each other, it is the closest way of seeing each other at such a difficult time.
Finances & Businesses
The coronavirus affects those who are self-employed, have their own businesses or are freelancers during this lockdown. This is most definitely a cause for concern in various South Asian households.
Restaurant owners have been affected massively due to sudden closures, meaning there is zero cash flow. So, how can people provide for their families in this difficult time?
Luckily, financial orders are being put in to place for those with businesses and the self-employed. Yet, these financial measures are not being put into effect fast enough and only partly resolves the worry.
Also, how long will this type of financial help from the government help households?
Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered because of the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the coronavirus.
Furthermore, due to the cancellations and postponing of weddings during the lockdown, it has affected the South Asian wedding industry too. Easter tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for the South Asian wedding industry.
Many couples have postponed their weddings to the summer, whereas there are some that have cancelled altogether. However, there is also worry about how long this lockdown could go on for.
Shelina who runs a South Asian wedding decor business speaks about how lockdown is affecting her business, she says:
“The Easter holidays, as well as the summer, is our busiest time of the year. Winter is really quiet for us in terms of business so our cash flow is weak as it is.
“So, now that Easter is going to be dead too, it is really affecting us but we are trying to remain positive. I guess we are all in this together, as we are all going through the same thing right now.”
COVID-19 and the lockdown have unfortunately disrupted the cash flow of many businesses which leads to worry and distress. This worry and frustration then lead to arguments and tension within South Asian households.
As families are now at home the majority of the time, it means that a lot of food is consumed, very fast. This results in a lot of money being spent on grocery shopping frequently which, in turn, affects finances.
With more money going out rather than in, tensions are at an all-time high.
One of the main concerns during lockdown has been a shortage of food. When the virus first broke out in the UK, hundreds of people were rummaging the supermarkets and were panic buying.
This led to the shortage of staple items such as tinned foods, eggs, pasta, toilet roll and much more. Families would hop from supermarket to supermarket, trying to simply find a box of eggs.
Atta (wheat flour) is especially hard to find in the supermarkets. As atta plays a big role in the diet of many South Asians, it is causing issues.
The shortage of atta is a massive issue, especially amongst the elder generation as they typically eat chapattis daily. There is also a shortage of daal (lentils) in some supermarkets which also creates issues in South Asian homes.
However, since the government has tightened the rules and the virus has spread, even more, matters have calmed down. Many supermarkets have restricted shoppers to the number of items they can buy.
The majority of supermarkets have also held out a strict social distancing rule. This includes, only allowing a certain number of shoppers into the store at a time.
These rules and restrictions are there to give those who are vulnerable an opportunity to buy what they need. Some supermarkets have even dedicated a specific time in the day to NHS staff and the elderly.
The virus has also affected smaller grocer stores as their suppliers are selling items at a higher cost. This means that grocery store owners are not being able to buy any stock as it is too expensive, leading to a shortage of food.
Worry over Keyworkers
During the lockdown, key workers are the only people who should be at work. NHS staff, teachers, supermarket staff, police and government-funded organisations are some of the many keyworkers.
As we all know, a lot of the NHS staff do happen to be South Asians, meaning that they are key workers.
This then means that families are beginning to worry about their children who work for the NHS, being prone to catching the virus.
As the NHS staff work closely with those who have COVID-19 with little protection, they are then putting their lives at risk. It is important that as a key-worker you keep yourself and your family safe by being extra precautious.
Nurse, Aisha speaks about the difficulties she and her family are going through. She mentions:
“I still have to go to work because I am a qualified nurse, it is terrifying but the only thing that helps is knowing I am helping people.
“Since this lockdown where things have gotten serious, my parents worry for me every time I go to work. I understand their worry but I don’t like seeing them on edge like that.
“When I come back from work, I wash my clothes and have a shower to make sure I’m not spreading anything.”
If a family member is required to go out to work on a daily basis, they instantly become vulnerable to catching the virus. Issues arise when they return home to their families with the risk of spreading the virus.
During this difficult time, there is also worry about those children who need to continue going to school. If a child’s parents are keyworkers, they are still required to go to school to make their parents’ lives easier.
However, even though a positive does equate from this, a negative also arises. Many families worry that their children will catch the virus from other children at school.
As the virus is spreading and the world continues to go into lockdown, it is important that as a family you consider how to make your lives stress-free.
If you are going through similar issues, sit down with your family and sort it out calmly and respectfully. It is very important to simply speak up about anything that stresses you out or worries you during this hard time.
Together, we can beat this virus simply by staying at home and being considerate towards others. By keeping your sanity, we will face fewer issues during the lockdown.
Finally, stay strong and most of all, keep safe. We are all in this together.