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The Lockdown Lens: accounts from around the world

At the end of March, Anfal Saqib chose the domain name for her new blog, The Lockdown Lens, carefully. As she adjusted to lockdown herself, and connected to family and friends around the world to see how they were doing, she realised this was “a truly unique event from a sociological and historical point of view that is genuinely global and I wanted to capture people’s voices and experiences of this point in time on an inclusive platform.” The blog, contributed to by people all over the world, paints a diverse picture of the situation in the UK, Rwanda, Iraq and a refugee camp in Dzaleka, Malawi.

“…the mood was tense and urgent… I feel that I understand the contagion of fear for the first time… We try to keep upbeat and avoid panicking even in the face of a cancelled connecting flight and the possibility of being stuck somewhere in limbo. ‘Corona’ is the word on everyone’s lips. We hear it slipping through a multitude of tongues, Arabic, English, German and more. It is the ever present, invisible beast.”

A contributor flying through Dubai from Sri Lanka

Anfal is no stranger to lockdown having worked in insecure environments for an international development organisation. “In Pakistan, we weren’t put into lockdown for long periods but there were always these periodic moments of civil unrest where we were told to have enough water in the house to last five days or enough food. Also, while living in Ghana, we lived simply with limited access to certain products or ingredients and we adjusted. This made me wonder if other people were having the same experience or different ones. What was the lockdown like for them?’