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Why birth of BritBanglaCovid?


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis,  I wanted to find out how Bangladeshis in Britain have been coping with the lockdown. Although it's necessary for everyone to comply with self-isolation and remain two meters distance from others in public, many Bangladeshis are also worried about  their family members. I am worried about my father who has been in hospital several times this year. His health problems are linked with breathing. He is also in his early 80s.

Just like my siblings and cousins, a number of Bangladeshis work as frontline key workers such as nurses,  care workers, social workers and other public sector workers; many of these individuals have put their lives at risk by working in dangerous and unprotected conditions. Current government statistics show that a high proportion of ethnic minority British citizens, such as Bangladeshis, compared to their white colleagues, are more likely to be vulnerable to catching the virus and die from it.  Many of them are also living in overcrowded conditions.

In April-May, Bengali Muslims in Britain prepare for Ramadan, a holy month under Islamic calendar. During this month they would fast, pray and gather in groups to celebrate such a festive occasion. Due to the lockdown and social isolation, it maybe extremely difficult for a lot of people to come together to appreciate the spiritual time. If many of these Muslims have stopped gathering - how are they coping in isolation?  I want to find out from these British citizens.

I have been in isolation for over a month. Initially, it was a shock to my system.  I have always been very social: working as part of a team at work, visiting my parents, friends, and siblings to catch up with things in person, speaking to my neighbours openly in public whenever I wanted to without any fear of restriction. Suddenly, everything that I use to do had disappeared without having the opportunity for me to properly say good bye to close members of my community. It was a very cruel experience indeed.  

My experience made me think about the experience of other Bengalis in Britain. I want to find out about their experiences in times of Covid-19. To understand them more,  I have decided to create this blog.   Hopefully the video I made can explain more about what I was thinking during the lockdown.

I want to share these experiences through the mediums of videos, speeches, and other things that I can get hold of whilst I keep the social distancing rules as prescribed by the NHS and the government. 


Comments

  1. Great blog Ripon. You grappled but got to grips with self isolation in creative and rewarding ways. Keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. If you can think of anyone who might be interested in being interviewed please let me know. :)

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