We are used to knowing how the coronavirus pandemic has affected countries like China, the United States and Italy. But this is only part of the picture.
During the spread of the virus, two childhood friends who recently connected by chance gathered stories from people around the world.
Dan Shipton and Dan Boyden’s project, World From My Window, aims to publish personal accounts from all countries affected by the pandemic.
Mr. Shipton, whose company worked on the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, said: “If you are alone on your property, wherever you are in the world, you can look out the window and you connect with others, knowing that you are seeing the same sky. ”
Hiba, a busy West Bank pharmacist says she enjoyed being able to spend more time with her parents during the lockout, but is terrified of them at the same time.
“Before this crisis, I couldn’t spend enough time with them because I worked in two jobs throughout the week. I’ve always been afraid that time would pass quickly and one day I couldn’t hear their voices.
“Now I can see them more, it’s a good side of the crisis. “
But the 26-year-old says she experiences daily dread that she could introduce the virus into the family home because of the work she does.
” It’s terrifying. I take care of the patients and come back to my parents every day.
“I am young, I will survive if I get the virus, but what about them?
“I’m like a grenade, I would endanger everyone I meet. I am the one who sees the sick. I am dangerous. “
“We were desperate to see our mother”
It was Easter Sunday evening when CarolHis wife’s mother was seriously ill – and it was a problem.
Travel of any kind after 7:00 p.m. is prohibited under Uganda’s coronavirus lockout rules unless you can persuade a district commissioner to grant you special permission.
Carol’s family could not wait, so her father took the risk and transported her mother 3 km from their home in Jinja to the hospital overnight.
Carol, 30, said: “My sister was so desperate to see our mother that she started to travel the 250 km from the capital Kampala to the hospital. ”
A sugar cane truck, which is not allowed to transport people, passed by and asked for an elevator. The driver agreed to take him – for a price. The taxi trip would have cost 7,000 Ugandan shillings (around £ 1.50) but it was charged 200,000 for the trip.
“She had to sleep under the plants so that the traffic control would not find her,” added Carol.
Carol’s sister managed to get to the hospital to see their mother and was able to update the rest of the family on WhatsApp.
“We are locked in again”
In the capital of Sudan, the lock has awakened painful memories for Heba of a massacre in June of last year.
Heba, who works for an international cultural relations organization, lives with his parents in Khartoum.
“It reminds me of a month that I was dying to forget, June 2019, when we were in total detention by force after the Khartoum massacre, and how we did not have the time, the energy or the capacity mental to face what we have witnessed, “says the young man of 30 years.
“Less than a year later, we are locked in force again with one goal in mind: to survive and start rebuilding our beloved Sudan, and a better world.
“Together we will survive, we will prosper and the best is yet to come. ”
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended on May 23, in the evening, the streets were usually full of people eating meals together while breaking their fast. The absence of these happy and noisy occasions has made the situation more difficult, says Heba.
“It’s like a weird world bingo”
Dan Boyden and Dan Shipton, both 38, created The World From My Window website together, although they haven’t seen each other since they left Backwell School near Bristol 20 years ago years.
Shipton said, “By understanding what other communities and other countries are going through, you can help make the world smaller and connect with people. We wanted to do it by telling stories. “
Boyden is director of The Change Collective, which uses the arts to promote social development around the world.
He said, “We are looking at the situation where a third of the world is in some kind of forced isolation, and how we could grasp that.
“We were amazed at the range of stories we received. It’s a real privilege to wake up in the morning and see what happened overnight.
“It is like a weird world bingo where we will bring a story from a place like Azerbaijan and we will be able to cross this country. “
“I can’t see my children”
There is no national closure in Zambia, but in the capital Lusaka, an area is closed due to the coronavirus.
Arthur is outside this area, unable to see his friends and family trapped. He is also separated from his children.
“My children are in another neighborhood because I am afraid of bringing them to my city; Lusaka is the epicenter of my country, “he said.
“The only thing that keeps me in touch with the people I love is the phone. What if I run out of time to speak tomorrow? “
And although there is no mandatory lockdown, Arthur, 40, program director with local non-governmental organizations, says police continue to beat those found walking after dark or having a drink alone in their parked cars.
He says that for a month he stayed at home, watching reports that cases of coronavirus are increasing in his country.
“I am filled with fear because most Zambians live day to day. The world has stopped moving and my country has stagnated. “
“Isolation has exhausted me”
Lock inside the tank, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Atif, 24, said he was emptied at home of any desire to meet other people or even to have normal conversations.
“I have not left my house for more than 30 days, except once, when I had to put my facial hair in harmony and I could not find a single barber in the whole city.
“From a fitness freak who walked more than 10,000 steps a day barely, those few weeks couldn’t be more frightening. ”
Atif is the co-founder of a tourism application, TripMate, and is in its final year of studies in computer systems engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.
“The isolation has drained my energy even for being digitally connected with my friends and colleagues.
“I often find myself avoiding calls, ignoring messages and leaving nothing to avoid human interaction.”