Self-isolation and other quarantine measures have impacted everyone's daily lives amid the coronavirus outbreak, yet the struggles of health care personnel and their families is another story entirely, with most of the precautions taken more like an obligation than a preference.
Meliha Farjad, 42, is among those health care workers who had to divide their personal life into two parts, before and after the coronavirus, as her family life has completely changed since the start of the outbreak in Turkey.
"Although I'm not working with the COVID-19 patients at the moment, I work at a medical facility and must be ultra-cautious to not infect my beloved family with this virus," said Farjad, who has been a nurse for 22 years.
Farjad said she is following rules and advice from authorities to the letter. During work hours, she wears a mask, a face shield and a protective suit and changes her personal protective equipment (PPE) on a regular basis. She has also developed her own "family protection" approach upon arriving home.
"My husband prepares my clothes and leaves them all near the bathroom when I'm home. I take a shower right away and throw my clothes into the washing machine immediately," she said.
The nurse is aware that such measures might not be adequate to eliminate the risk of infection within her family, so she has adopted further measures such as limiting her contact with her husband and daughters.
She went on to say that her husband had taken over the "traditional mother role" at home and started cooking for the family and taking care of the children, adding she barely interacts with her family as they do not even hug each other anymore.
"There is this undeniable psychological effect of the pandemic on our daughters as they can't fully grasp the idea behind the measures, such as avoiding physical contact. After all, they're still very young, but a mother has to be responsible at such times."
Ahmadfarid Farjad, her husband, said there were tangible reasons behind his wife's cautious approach, adding he had a coronary condition and was vulnerable to the outbreak.
"This virus poses a great risk to me, as I previously suffered two heart attacks, and I'm a diabetic patient," said Ahmadfarid, who works as a translator. "One of our daughters was also diagnosed with asthma."
"For these reasons, we're really cautious. I sleep in a separate room in an effort to avoid being infected," he said. "Our home life has completely changed for the past two or three months. Our kids and I have been psychologically affected just like my wife. But I'm doing my utmost best to take over responsibilities now," he said.
He added that he has become the "mother" of the family as he has taken over the responsibility for chores at home.
"Well, it's clear that the cleaning standards have declined for a while, but my efforts are better than nothing, right?" he joked.
"Active (virus) cases are dropping every day, and the death rate has declined in Turkey. Hopefully, if everything continues like that, I hope daily life will start to normalize in the days to come," he added.
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