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Coronavirus: Four out of six in the same family ill – live together in 85 square metres

When someone in a family living in overcrowded conditions falls ill it is difficult to isolate them. ”It would have been safer to spend a week in a hotel. But that costs the earth”, says Hava, who caught covid-19. Another three in the family became ill.
Hava was shocked when her covid-19 test was positive. 'I didn't know if I would be seriously ill', she says. There are six in her family, and they live in 85 square metres.
Hava was shocked when her covid-19 test was positive. 'I didn't know if I would be seriously ill', she says. There are six in her family, and they live in 85 square metres.
Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Hava is in her 50's. She lives with her husband and four children in a flat that is 85 square metres in size. Hava works full-time in differnt care-homes within the health service. She was surprised when she tested positive for covid-19.

– It was unexpected. I was shocked. I didn't know if I'd be seriously ill. A lot went through my head.

She felt out of sorts, tired, had a cold and a cough and ached all over.

– Then I noticed I'd lost my sense of smell and taste.

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It would have been safest to live in a hotel for a week or ten days, but that costs the earth

Did anyone else in the family become ill?

– Yes, after I fell ill another three tested positive.

How ill were they?

– One was really bad, we took him to hospital. They tested his oxygenation, but he didn't have to be admitted.The others were feverish for a couple of days or so.

Hava has been careful about checking up on advice from 1177 and Folkhälsomyndigheten.
Hava has been careful about checking up on advice from 1177 and Folkhälsomyndigheten.
Foto: Janerik Henrsson/TT
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I cleaned all the surfaces I touched, but it isn't easy

Hava knew exactly what the advice from 1177 and Folkhälsomyndigheten was.

– It's difficult to isolate yourself. All I could do was keep my distance. We used hand sanitizer, I cleaned all the surfaces I touched, but it isn't easy. I had to share the living-room, the toilet and the kitchen with the rest of the family.

Would you have liked to move out somewhere to be able to isolate yourself?

– It would have been safest to live in a hotel for a week or ten days, but that costs the earth.

At 1177 there are competent advisors and information in several languages, including Arabic, English and Somali.
At 1177 there are competent advisors and information in several languages, including Arabic, English and Somali.
Foto: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Hava thinks it would be a good idea to close down the whole community for ten days or a fortnight.

– As it is now, the children still go to school and we adults go on working. Young people don't show any symptoms, but they can spread the infection, she says.

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Several times someone has sat down on an empty seat beside me, although other seats were unoccupied
The authorities advise against travelling by bus.  ”But I have to travel by bus at least twice a day”, says Hava, who would like to see masks being made compulsory on buses.
The authorities advise against travelling by bus. ”But I have to travel by bus at least twice a day”, says Hava, who would like to see masks being made compulsory on buses.
Foto: Bosse Nilsson

Hava has thought about wearing a mask, but it is hard to know how much protection it offers.

– It's compulsory in other countries. It would have been a good thing to make it a requirerment on buses. I have to travel by bus at least twice a day.

– Several times someone has sat down on an empty seat beside me, although other seats were unoccupied. So I've had to change seats.

She thinks that people do not keep their distance.

– Not when they get off either. People wearing masks try to keep their distance. Elderly people in particular wear masks.

Hava has to travel by bus at least twice a day. ”Several times someone has sat down on an empty seat beside me on the bus, although other seats were unoccupied. So I've had to change seats”.
Hava has to travel by bus at least twice a day. ”Several times someone has sat down on an empty seat beside me on the bus, although other seats were unoccupied. So I've had to change seats”.
Foto: Matilda Elfgaard

Everyone in Hava's family has now recovered. She thinks the authorities and other instances have done all they could.

Is it private individuals who have not taken their responsibility?

– Yes, absolutely. That's just the way it is.

Footnote: Hava is not her real name. She wishes to remain anonymous.