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Community Stories: Living With COVID-19

Community Stories: Living With COVID-19
Listen to the Chin community’s experiences with COVID-19 and how they protect themselves and others from COVID-19. [In Hakha Chin]


0:00:11                  The world has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic so severely. Among many others, I feel that it has affected the lives of the Chin community significantly.

0:00:22                  The lives of more than 40 pastors, and our spiritual leaders were taken by COVID-19. It broke my heart so much. I cannot help thinking of them. They are always on my mind. I can’t forget them.

0:00:45                  Due to the lockdown, we could not go to church and have gatherings. I often thought about our children the whole night.

0:00:57                  I was so much concerned about our children that they would go out, hang around different places and do bad things, taking advantage of COVID-19.

0:01:18                  When the restrictions were eased and 50 -100 people were allowed to go to religious gatherings, I went to our church and sat in the front row like before.

0:01:32                  Normally, in the first row, before the pulpit is a place where young people sit. I looked at the seats, but it was empty. I did not see any young people there.

0:01:41                  I felt so sad, and I was thinking of them in my heart. They came to my mind.

0:01:46                  We always have to carry face marks, and I don’t like wearing masks at all as it makes me uncomfortable to breathe.

0:02:01                  It was said that COVID-19 is more dangerous for older people and children, and people with disability or medical conditions such as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are at greater risk.

0:02:16                  I prayed to God heartily. I prayed for my family, all my children, brothers, and sisters from the depth of my heart.

0:02:25                  Once the vaccine was available, I got vaccinated twice as I believed in vaccination for my protection against COVID-19.

0:02:31                  Other people said that they had side effects or reaction symptoms of vaccination, and they were feeling sick for a couple of days or weeks. However, for me it was easy, and I did not feel any pain.

0:02:42                  We do not have education and know how to protect ourselves. It is just that we follow the health directions from medical professionals.

0:02:58                  For self-care, I try to have adequate sleep and eat well as possible I could. I regularly drink milk and others like soy drinks. I also eat apples, oranges, and grapes regularly.

0:03:26                  I try not to go out; I avoid going out. I only go out to buy groceries when required and I never forget to carry my facemask with me. I always wear facemasks.

0:03:42                  I always try to stay 1.5 meters away from other people I meet. I avoid shaking hands with other people. I use hand sanitizer regularly. That is all that I do to protect and take care of myself.

0:04:09                  My name is Sang Lian Thawng, living in Melbourne. I am a father of two beautiful children. In 2021, my wife was pregnant, and it was really challenging as I could not go to the hospital with her due to COVID-19 restrictions.

0:04:30                  Specifically, it was more challenging for non-English speakers. When my son was just about 3 months old, we were contacted by the Department of Health that he tested positive for COVID-19.

0:04:44                  Therefore, I could not go to work, and we isolated ourselves at home with family for 14 days. My little daughter also could not go outside and as my son was just about 3 months old, it was really challenging.

0:04:44                  The Department of Health checked in regularly with us. Since there was no medicine at that time, we gave Nurofen to our child. Sometimes, he cried very often, and many times, we could not sleep well at night.        

0:05:13                  As our child was sick and we were stressed, there happened misunderstandings and arguments between parents_ husband, and wife at times.

0:05:23                  During that period, our family and friends supported us, helped us buy food and other things at the market, and left them at our door. We could just wave our hands to say “Hi” and “Thank you”.

0:05:45                  Like that way, we isolated at home in loneliness for 14 days.

0:05:52                  During that period of isolation, we played indoor games to cheer ourselves up, and spent time watching movies and talking to our families over the phone or online.

0:06:09                  On Sunday, we attended the church service online via Zoom and got the chance to connect with our friends.

0:06:18                  After the isolation period, another challenge was that our children did not want to wear masks when we went to clinics or hospitals.

0:06:40                  However, after explaining the risks of COVID-19 and the importance of facemasks to protect ourselves from COVID-19 to our elder daughter, she learned about wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and keeping personal hygiene.

0:07:02                  We also tried to follow the rules such as not going out while sick, and not having visitors at home above the restricted number.

0:07:15                  My experience with COVID-19 was that a lot of things happened unexpectedly, and it was tough. We, the young people like going out and socializing but due to COVID-19 and the lockdown, all our plans were falling apart.

0:07:40                  We could not do what we like to do and go out. As we always had to stay at home, it was very easy to get depressed.

0:07:49                  As we could make plans to do something, it was frustrating and difficult as we were not used to staying at home, and not doing anything.

0:08:59                  Because it was not just one day or two days, and it was not easy to stay at home for a week or two. It was really hard to be locked down in the house for months or a year.

0:08:11                  Also, we normally had a church service every Sunday and a youth choir practice, but we could not do it anymore. We were distanced from all the activities.

0:08:28                  So, it was so difficult for young people, especially for me as a local singer I was usually invited to concerts, however, I could not go to any concert and all my plans failed.

0:08:44                  As young people, we make plans – like I will do this thing this week, or next month or next year. But all our plans were postponed, and we could not do anything. So, it was tough.

0:08:58                  After a while, I fell very sick with COVID-19 and I isolated at home for two weeks. My whole body hurt so much, and it could affect my mental health and well-being.

0:09:22                  Due to a lengthy lockdown, as we had to stay at home for a long time, we could not keep up with our daily routine like time for meals. So, I gained a lot of weight.

0:09:39                  But not just me. It was happening to my friends. They said the same thing that they gained weight when we talked to each other.              

0:09:47                  Some became overweight, and some others lost weight. All our body sizes changed.

0:09:56                  Once the vaccine was released by the Government and available in Australia, I got vaccinated. Even though I got my first dose, I could not go out as COVID-19 was not over yet.

0:10:16                  For my mental health, one thing that I did was meet and have conversations with friends on Zoom online to share our feelings and support each other mentally and spiritually.

0:10:45                  When I was alone at home, I watched movies and dramas. I sang songs and played guitar.

0:10:57                  My name is Ruth Van Cer Hniang. I am in Grade 3 now. The hardest part with COVID-19 was that we could not go to church, and places like markets and parks. And it was too hard to stay at home.

0:11:16                  My sister, my brother, and my father fell sick with COVID-19 in my family. We could not have meals together with our family.

0:11:28                  Whenever we go out, we wear our facemasks, wash our hands, and we stay at home if we are sick.

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