#FarFromHome: Gurmu

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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