“This virus is no joke”
“With coronavirus, I know leaving home is risky, but I don’t have any choice,” says Kamal Adwan, aged 25, who lives in a camp for displaced people in northwest Syria. “As scary as the virus is, I can’t leave my family without food.”
For Kamal, sole breadwinner for a family of 15, the economic repercussions of the pandemic are more life-threatening than the pandemic itself. Before COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions, Kamal used to find work on construction sites. Today he lives with his parents and 12 other family members in two adjacent tents in Abu Dali camp. They fled their hometown in rural Hama province in February 2019 after it came under heavy shelling.
“My main concern is to get as far away as possible from anyone with suspected COVID-19,” says Kamal. “The camp is overcrowded and hiding from the virus has been challenging.
“When we first heard of coronavirus, we thought it was a rumour, or nothing more than seasonal flu. Now I know that this virus is no joke and it is directly affecting me.”