Sufyan is a Young Covid Ambassador and is part of a wider team working across Bradford helping to prevent the spread of Coronavirus by educating young people on how to keep safe throughout the pandemic.
It is not only in his work at the Council that has informed Sufyan of the harsh realities of the Coronavirus. Sadly, he’s been directly affected too, having lost his great aunty early on to the virus and seeing the impact it has had on his parents.
Somehow, somewhere, Sufyan’s Dad picked up the virus and unbeknown to him, brought it home where Sufyan’s Mum caught it too.
Bed ridden for 2 weeks and isolating in the attic of their house, Sufyan and his sisters had to take care of their 5 year old brother entirely on their own. His parents couldn’t come downstairs and nobody could come to their house to help them. Delivering food to the attic door for his parents, Sufyan and his sisters did all the cooking, cleaning, babysitting; at such a young age they took entire responsibility for their family’s welfare.
“As well as my Mum and Dad, some of the family that I don’t live with also contracted coronavirus. My great aunty sadly lost her battle with the virus and it was impossible not to wonder if my Mum and Dad might die too.
It’s been really hard. I was thrown into a world of fear, of having to step up to hold the family together with my sisters. We were dealing with the grief of losing a family member and seeing the impact that had on those really close to me. It was a lot to deal with.
I believe our situation came from misinformation from sources like social media - that the virus wasn’t real; the constant conspiracy theories that were circulating. Some people were blatantly disregarding the advice and it seemed they were using this misinformation almost as an excuse to carry on as normal.
It is because I care about those close to me, because I care about my community, that I volunteered to share the reality of my situation for the ‘Behind the Mask’ campaign. I urge people to follow the guidelines and keep each other safe. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.”