#FarFromHome: Gurmu

Welcome to our global #FarFromHome series: reflections on covid-19 lockdown from people who are are far from their family and home-country. We hope this brings comfort and reassurance. We chat to Gurmu, from Ethiopia, who lives in Scotland.

What thoughts have guided you through the covid-19 lockdown? It’s quite a scary situation for all humans, whoever we are and wherever we are in the world. I think all humans are together in one ‘self-isolation path’.

Has anything brought you hope or inspiration at this time?  I think everyone is now aware, subconsciously, of our humanity.

What other emotions has this period brought for you? I feel worthless in that we can’t help or support each other. I thank technology that enables us to stay connected remotely each other.

Are you connected to people in your home country? I now spend my time connected to the internet. I equip myself with up to date information, then I share this information with people that need it, like my families and friends back home in Ethiopia.  

What good qualities has lock-down brought out in you? It has enabled me to work and study remotely, updating myself with the current situations where the world at, and stay connected to people.

What characteristics of yourself have you relied on to get through this time? I can say that I am a disciplined and well organised person, I respect the rules and restrictions, and I think this definitely helps everyone.

Has this experience changed your interaction with your neighbours or community? Yes, there used to be a personal or physical interaction in the community, but that had to stop. However, we are still bonding … remotely.

What would be your advice to those people facing loneliness at this time? If you are lonely right now: keep a strong, bright hope in your heart, and tomorrow will be yours. There are many of us in the same situation. Try to break the barriers: stay connected with others, and don’t give up. 

What is your message to people who are living Far From Home during this time? I have this message for the people who are far from their homeland like me: This is unprecedented time in our life, and for our planet. It is time to think about humanity. Keep your solidarity strong, and look after each other please.

Made possible with the participation from the Mental Health Foundation, who has specific resources on mental health during the covid-19 lockdown.