‘Away From Home, Helpful Staff Made Quarantine Easy in Mizoram’
One such day, I had to sit on the fence of the window just to get a look at them (family)!
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
I am a professor at a college in Bengaluru. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, I journeyed back home to Mizoram. My hometown is about 13 to 14 hours by road from the capital, Aizawl. I was in Aizawl for four days and then I had the opportunity to go home even though the lockdown had already began.
A bus was chartered by state authorities to take all students who were arriving from outside of Mizoram to our hometown. While I had returned from Bengaluru, there were students from Delhi, Mumbai, even Guwahati. Around 20 of us were all made to travel in the same bus.
By this time there was already a positive case detected in Mizoram as well as the cities we had returned from, so there was apprehension to travel together.
Just as I was about to board the bus, I was told that as soon as we reach our hometown all of us would straight away be taken to a quarantine centre. This was shocking for me because initially I was told we would be allowed to quarantine at home.
There was fear and anxiety at that moment because all you want to do is be with your family when you are in your hometown. We travelled overnight and in the morning around 9 am, just as we were about to reach our hometown, a medical team was waiting for us at the outskirts. They took our temperature while making arrangements on where to take us.
Quarantine Centre a Pleasant Surprise
When we finally arrived at the quarantine centre around noon. I was impressed by the state of the facility. The rooms were tidy with attached bathrooms. The staff was really patient and kind. Whatever information one required, they would immediately respond on the WhatsApp group. I would say the state government was well prepared in this regard.
They treated us really nicely, food was provided twice a day – morning at around 9 am and in the evening around 5.30 pm. They also give us water regularly. Apart from this, we were allowed to get some stuff from our families.
Although we couldn’t meet our family members, they gave the things we needed to the personnel on duty outside who would then bring it to us. One such day, I had to sit on the fence of the window just to get a look at my family!
They had alloted one room for two people at the facility. There were some people travelling together and they were placed together in a room. I was travelling alone so was coupled with a girl from Delhi.
It was scary to live with a stranger but it was a learning experience. While we both had different personalities, we respected each other, listened to each other’s stories and helped whenever required.
Quarantine a Learning Experience
Amenities aside, the quarantine centre was not without its problems. A majority of the residents there were students and internet was one big problem for them. Most of the students who came back home, their academic session was ongoing and they had missed out on many classes because the connectivity was so bad that they could not join a class.
Fortunately, the authorities were sympathetic towards the students and they provided us with a WiFi connection. It wasn't the fastest but it was enough for students to download PDFs or transcripts of the lecture. I too was able to get my reading done and catch up with friends.
One on night, at around 4 am, I woke up with a throbbing pain in my ear. I realised that there was an insect in my ear.
I was frantic and had to be taken to a hospital to get it removed. Even though a doctor was supposed to be available to us and we shouldn’t have ventured out, nothing could be done at that particular time.
My roommate had a similar medical emergency, she was sick and needed a blood transfusion so the doctors were called in to do that in the room itself.
Therefore, some days were challenging and some passed quickly. It was a relief to have met our families after two weeks and to finally be able to go home.
I may not have seen other residents but I was able to know them through their voices, through their room number, what kind of food they prefer or the kind of snacks they like. I could hear residents who would sing along to music. They were some who were playing and some who were dancing.
At the end of the day, everyone was just trying to make the best of the situation as it was the only human connection one had for two weeks.
At the end, I wish to thank the state government for taking such good care of us and especially the staff who were at a risk because none of us had been tested at the time, but they still performed their duty with utmost professional standards.
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