Rifaaqat was aware of the dangers of Coronavirus, however, he didn’t fully realise that he was at risk. Rifaaqat was fit and healthy and thought that would be enough to protect him from the virus. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
In March at the start of the lockdown, Rifaaqat was infected by the coronavirus and he made sure to take the necessary precautions straight away. Within a few days of showing symptoms and despite his best efforts to protect his family, two members of his family also suffered with Coronavirus.
If Rifaaqat had known what he knows now, he would have taken additional control measures to protect himself and his family from the very beginning. Rifaaqat doesn't want others from his community to suffer the same way him and his family did and now he shares safety messages far and wide to protect others.
“I caught Coronavirus early on in the pandemic and thankfully I have made a full recovery as have my family members. As soon as I got symptoms, I stayed at home but didn’t self-isolate from the rest of the family. By staying at home, I wanted to protect people outside of our family home – my friends, neighbours and our community. I didn’t want to pass on the virus to anyone else, especially those at higher risk such as the elderly or those with existing medical conditions. I was seriously ill for 5-days with a high temperature, headache and not able to eat normally. I was unwell for 2-weeks in total.
We went into lockdown soon after, resulting in working from home and also praying at home as the mosques were closed. I didn’t leave home for several weeks except for essential shopping. It was extremely difficult at first but once we got used to it we were fine – it’s different but not impossible.
We all knew it was necessary, and we all know it still is. After I recovered from my illness, I helped co-ordinate funeral services at the Scholemoor Cemetery and saw first-hand large numbers of families grieving having lost their loved ones. We have already lost too many people to this dreadful virus and don’t want to lose anymore. That is why we all have to follow Covid-19 guidelines in order to safeguard everyone. We must take all responsibility to look after ourselves and each other.
Think about your family, your parents, grandparents, children and remember that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for them. Protect them, protect your community and do everything you can.!”