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‘I am quite blissful’ says a student who returned back to his family after the lockdown

Story of a student living away from their family during the lockdown and thereafter living in a quarantine centre

Awareness program conducted in quarantine centre. Picture credit Soyam Chinglemba


Many people live away from their family for reasons such as jobs or studies. But, living away from their family during a pandemic is a difficult task. It could also take a toll on their mental health. Uday Basnet, a student from Manipur currently living in Bangalore describes how he could not go back to his family before the lockdown begun. When the cases started rising, the government announced a nationwide lockdown, ‘I wanted to go back to Manipur before the lockdown started but I couldn’t as there was a travel ban.’

Uday says he tried to book flights before the ban, but they got cancelled several times, ‘The outbreak, as well as the cyclone in Kolkata, lead to flight cancellation as it is difficult to find direct flights and we had to travel via Kolkata.’ He says how it was difficult for him to be in Bangalore without his family, ‘I felt like if I were at home then things would have been better.’

Uday says he was worried for his family, ‘But, they were at home safe and sound, but I still suggested them to take precaution about the situation.’ ‘Every parent worry about their children who are living away in an unknown place.’ Says Uday. He says he felt alone, ‘But I had the company of my roommate who was also from my native place.’ He then says he has a sister that lives in Bangalore, ‘So my parents were a little relaxed about the situation but still worried.’

After the first lockdown was over and the travel ban was lifted, Uday went back home, ‘I booked tickets on April and after my flight was cancelled five times, I reached home in July.’ He says he had to stay in the quarantine centre for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for 14 more days, ‘The centre where I stayed is a school having several rooms. In each room, there were seven to eight people living together with one bathroom for each room.’ He then continues, ‘In quarantine centre, if anyone was found positive then everyone had to stay back and after five days there will be a test again. If all are tested negative then only we can go home and start home quarantine but if again someone is found positive then the same process is repeated.’ He then says that some people were stuck in the quarantine centre for 50 days due to this process and return home only after everyone was tested negative.

Playing music with other people in the quarantine centre. Picture credit Soyam Chinglemba

Uday says that in the quarantine centre, he could see the struggles of the volunteer but according to him, ‘The food must be given rich in nutrition for good immunity.’ As the people whose health isn't good will be the victim of COVID-19, ‘We all might be staying under the same building together with the COVID-19 patients, but we will not be aware until test results are out.’ He says how this is the only issue he had with the quarantine centre.

‘I have returned back from the quarantine centre today and have to stay at home in isolation for 14 more days for the safety of my family and society.’ Says Uday. He says that it feels good to finally be back home after waiting for a long time, ‘I am quite blissful.’

After the first lockdown was over and the travel ban was lifted, Uday went back home, ‘I booked tickets on April and after my flight was cancelled five times, I reached home in July.’ He says he had to stay in the quarantine centre for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for 14 more days, ‘The centre where I stayed is a school having several rooms. In each room, there were seven to eight people living together with one bathroom for each room.’ He then continues, ‘In quarantine centre, if anyone was found positive then everyone had to stay back and after five days there will be a test again. If all are tested negative then only we can go home and start home quarantine but if again someone is found positive then the same process is repeated.’ He then says that some people were stuck in the quarantine centre for 50 days due to this process and return home only after everyone was tested negative.

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