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128 0 July 15, 2020

My Quarantine Experience – Namibians share their stories

As we proceed with the new normal of life in the time of COVID-19, many Namibians are now having to be quarantined for various reasons with the number of quarantined people standing at over 800 people on Tuesday.

We chat to two Namibians who’ve gone through quarantine to hear just what the experience is like …

Mwahafar Ndilula returned to Namibia aboard an Air Namibia repatriation flight from Luanda, Angola, in May. He spent 14 days in quarantine, going through the mandatory tests to clear him before his release from the Gross Barmen quarantine facility.

A typical day in quarantine looked like …

“Breakfast was brought to our rooms and by 09h30 we went to the clinic (one of the chalets was turned into a makeshift clinic). They took our temperature and asked if we felt any of the symptoms. We then had the rest of the morning to do whatever we wanted to. 

Lunch was brought to our rooms and I’d take a nap in the afternoons. My fellow “inmates” and I would go for a walk around the facility after that and then hung out outside until dinner was served. 

The testing process was …

“It’s different for everybody. For me, it was uncomfortable the first time. They take two swabs. The oral one, which is perfectly fine then the nasal swab. The nasal swab was the most uncomfortable. It’s like you feel the swab going all the way up into your thoughts (yes, your thoughts) and it gave some sort of burning sensation. 

Advice on how to prepare for and cope in quarantine …

“To make your stay more comfortable, your family and friends can bring you anything EXCEPT alcohol. Your parcels are dropped off at the facilities gate, searched by the cops and then brought to you because you aren’t allowed to come into contact with your family. You can have anything from a Playstation, laptops, iPads etc. brought to you. (this was at our facility. I would like to think that each facility has its own rules and regulations). If you find yourself in quarantine, abide by the rules, practise social distancing and respect staff. They are there to make sure that you are safe, healthy and back with your family.”

Varaa Hambira went into isolation after coming in contact with someone she only later found out had tested positive for COVID-19. She spent three weeks in quarantine, one week more than necessary because her test results were delayed. Before going into quarantine, she informed close family and friends that she had come in contact with. This is her story …

A typical day looked like …

“I would wake up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast, get my temperature and blood pressure checked by health officials and FaceTime friends and family. I’d send and reply to emails, read books and watched Netflix.

We didn’t have physical contact with anyone. All meals were delivered outside the room. 

Two swabs were taken, one deep in my nostrils and the other at the back of my throat. This happens twice, the first was on the first day of isolation and the second on the 12th day of isolation. It was more uncomfortable and invasive than it was painful and it only lasts for five seconds, after that you don’t feel anything.

Advice on how to prepare for isolation …

“Get your affairs in order, make sure the relevant people know you’ll be in isolation. Take whatever entertainment you have along, the days are long and lonely. Take along any immune boosters you have because that’s not provided.”

Both Varaa and Mwahafar urge Namibians to remain calm when they find themselves in this situation. According to Varaa, it’s not as scary as it sounds and two things that can help pass the time are rest and reflection. Another important tip she gives is to remember that social workers available are to talk about any anxiety or stress you may experience due to your isolation.

– Remember, should you be showing symptoms or suspect you may have come into contact with a person who has the Coronavirus, call the COVID-19 hotline at 0800 100 100.

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Contact the 99FM Team for more information about your favorite radio station or to simply provide us with feedback!

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Contact 99FM

Contact the 99FM Team for more information about your favorite radio station or to simply provide us with feedback!

Address:
44 Hyper Motor City Centre, Maxwell Street, Windhoek

Telephone Number
+264 (61) 383 450

Studio Number
+264 (0)61 383 484