"I want everyone to see this and hopefully smile."
Recruitment agency owner and former breakfast show radio host on Sunrose Radio Mobby Shah has turned vlogger to showcase his family’s days in isolation.
The light-hearted vlogs aim to create awareness and understanding surrounding the current situation of the coronavirus lockdown.
Mobby Shah along with his wife Bushra and their children wanted to show everyone that they are not alone, the importance of helping, parental concerns, provide advice about protection and much more.
Undoubtedly, this is an amazing initiative and allows us to see how this British Asian family is handling the lockdown.
Mobby Shah exclusively spoke to DESIblitz about how COVID-19 has impacted his family, his inspiration for the vlog, challenges and much more.
What were you and your wide doing as careers prior to the COVID-19 lockdown?
I have my own Recruitment Agency and my wife Bushra is a nurse by profession but is a house person as our youngest is two-years-old.
How has COVID-19 impacted you and your family personally?
It’s just surreal how much impact COVID-19 has had on both of us knowing our family is not far but we cannot physically engage with them is very tough.
For the kids, explaining why we are not going to see family has been a challenge for us.
Bushra’s parents are not too far from us but right now, it feels like we are back living in Dubai and FaceTiming everyone, not seeing them has not been easy for us or the kids.
My parents spend six months here and six months in Pakistan. Currently, they are in Pakistan and are in lockdown.
We are told they are safer there but the fact they are so far away is very emotional.
Bushra’s best friend and my cousin’s wife are doctors so hearing first-hand stories of how people are being affected and the state they are in makes us realise how real this epidemic is.
One of my specialities at work is healthcare recruitment, so knowing healthcare professionals who have caught the virus and have symptoms as they are serving patients has been sad.
I can name healthcare professionals who have stopped locuming via our agency and have turned down a role from me to volunteer in Nightingale or in their local hospitals.
Even though I lose out financially, it is truly amazing and it makes me respect them even more.
Then there is the reality of work and workwise me being in sales and running my own recruitment agency – it all became real for me when literally in one day a vast majority of my clients either phoned or emailed to let me know that all recruitment is on hold until further notice.
I have interviews which were cancelled, I had people who were starting work and were told this is now not possible and any new starters in the next couple of months shall not be starting.
Thus, the most important thing is health and making sure everyone around is healthy and looked after everything shall fall into place.
What are the toughest challenges you have had to deal with?
For Bushra, having me home has to be the toughest challenge. No, all jokes aside I think for Bushra and I, it has to be the kids making sure they are okay and they don’t fall behind, they don’t get bored or are glued to the TV all the time.
For Bushra, I know the school closure has been an issue and not because the kids are home, just the fact that with our son who is five and at reception we do not want him to fall behind.
“I have seen what she has been doing and that’s where the idea of vlogging came from.”
What inspired you to create this vlog?
The vlog came about essentially from seeing my wife Bushra and the stages she was going through when the coronavirus hit the UK.
I received a call one day from Bushra saying that Tesco is literally empty and how literally all supermarkets in the area have no stock and we need essentials for home and more so for the kids. We drove everywhere and to different towns and we panic bought.
Then at work, I had people from all different stages, ages or parts of their life speaking to me and hearing them panic, be it about food or toilet roll or just how will they stay at home to parents worrying about their children.
So, I decided in this lockdown let’s learn from one another, I wanted to vlog my first day from working from home and Bushra’s daily routine from start to finish.
Just to show as many people as possible and for them to know that they are not alone.
The daily routine may not be for everyone but who knows it may help a family to organise and see a different way of getting through this tough time.
I was lucky to get to a couple of interviews before the full lockdown and these can be seen in part 2 of the vlog that add some light humour to everything.
There is a Lota segment to make you hopefully laugh and an interview with a supermarket manager to put you at ease.
What are your aims by doing this vlog?
To show everyone that together we can tackle this virus by learning of each other. I want to be there for my wife and help her do things together, me and her.
Also, just to show that by listening to simple instructions the government is giving us we can be safe and overcome this. I want everyone to see this and hopefully smile.
Also, as a man and being British Asian, this vlog is a way for me to send a message to other fellow British Asian males and just males in general about how important it is for us men to help and be there are home and really get involved.
We cannot leave everything to our wives/mothers/sisters/partners and have to take responsibility.
Do you feel British Asian people are heeding the government advice or not?
I had to get essential NHS compliance documents to a care home in Bedfordshire and was shocked with the amounts of British Asians just driving around with friends.
I saw a group of Asian guys walking around and even girls at that.
Driving through a stretch which is predominately filled with Asian shops and takeaways I could not get over the amount of people out with no masks or gloves.
“Shops were filled, there was no social distancing.”
I felt annoyed because I have one hour a day to exercise and that hour for me is to get the kids in the communal area and run around with me. The last thing I want is to lose that because people don’t understand the severity of this virus.
Our Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) was in intensive care and this should show everyone how important it is to follow these rules.
What more do you think can be done to fight COVID-19?
Just listen to the instructions the government is giving, keep the right distance and think of others.
Have you received responses/comments concerning your vlogs?
I have only made it live now but in research when I showed it to NHS workers, key workers and especially parents it has been a great response.
Please watch the 2nd part which is just me and Bushra just sitting together and discussing the virus and some funny things too.
We did the 2nd part again to show how important it is to talk and just be there for one another.
I made these vlogs with my wife, so she and I have something to do together and for families, we shall continue to make content throughout the epidemic so that we can all fight this together.
Mobby Shah and his family have taken on a great task to share their experiences of dealing with the coronavirus lockdown.
It is important to remember that we are all in this together, a message Mobby Shah reiterates to his viewers.
Watch and follow his quarantine days on his YouTube channel Mobby Shah TV by clicking here!