Umaynah’s Diary from the Coronavirus (Leicester)

Umaynah is Zakira’s 11 year old daughter; before my retirement, I worked with Zakira for 16 years.  She was an Apprentice when I started, and clearly I was significantly older than her.

In the Coronavirus crisis I knew that Zakira was working from home; I wondered if either of her children wanted to take up the ‘7 Day Diary Challenge’ and Umaynah was my first volunteer.  The task was to write a diary, or journal, on seven consecutive days about ‘Life Under Lockdown’.  Each entry should be dated and have no less than 75 words.

Having already been under ‘Lockdown’ myself, I knew how quickly things changed, day by day, hour by hour.  I felt it was important to have an idea about how quickly things might change, from the point of view of young people.

Finally, as this is a Tea Towel Museum, I said I would pick an appropriate tea towel, from my Collection, for each diary entry.  For Umaynah, I chose the photograph’s from Turkey of two tea towels on a market.  When Zakira and her family were in Turkey last summer, her son had insisted she send me photos of some tea towels they saw on a market stall  (then bought the tea towels for me).  Sadly, they are not in my possession because someone stole the contents of the envelope, in the Royal Mail, and replaced the tea towels with a Royal Mail Ballot Paper for a strike they were planning.  But I still have the photos!!

Umaynah’s Diary

Day 1: Saturday 21st March 2020

Today I woke up to the good news that a new baby cousin had arrived in the family. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it would be a brilliant idea for us all to visit him due to the COVID-19 social distancing advice. It does make me feel a bit sad as I don’t know when I will be able to meet him but I think it is a sensible idea. The news and social media has been all about Coronavirus so we have been keeping updated. It has made me feel scared after finding out the amounts of people who are dying each day. Today I have been mostly at home and helping out with chores. It is making me feel a bit sombre that we will probably be restricted from leaving the house and doing usual activities.

Day 2: Sunday 22nd March 2020

Today I woke up to the thought of going to town as me and my brother had to collect our new glasses.  It was exciting and sad – we might not be able to go into town for a while. My mum also wanted to get a few things for our new baby cousin and his brothers for when we do get to see him. It was very quiet; I think a lot of people were taking the advice and staying at home. Dad treated us to some Awesome Chips which we had at home.  We all wanted to get home as quickly as possible.  When we arrived home, we were doing some housework, wrapped the presents and then we sat and chilled out for a bit which was quite relaxing.

Day 3: Monday 23rd March 2020

I woke up early in the morning and got my self ready to do some schoolwork. Working from home is a bit hard for me as I don’t have teachers around me to help the whole day and I can’t see my friends or socialise. After ‘school’ we did a religious tuition online using zoom cloud meeting.  It was very nice to speak to my friends after a long time – well actually it’s been 5 days. It was the first day that my mum was working from home, so we were all at home, but we didn’t spend time together – a bit odd.  My dad still must go to work as he is a key worker. Even though we are at home, we are working in separate rooms which does make me feel a bit lonely.

Day 4: Tuesday 24th March 2020

Today I woke up and followed the same routine as yesterday and started ‘school’. I did feel a bit isolated again but in my break time I sat with my mum, just for some company. We did have plans to go out for a walk during lunch break, but we decided not to because my mum felt a bit unwell. After ‘school’ I sat for a bit then I went on a call with my religious tutoring class on zoom cloud meeting. After that, I went and helped my mum make dinner. We then sat and relaxed for a bit before going to bed.

Day 5: Wednesday 25th March 2020

As usual I woke up and followed the same routine as the last 2 days and I started my schoolwork. Again, I felt a bit lonely, but I had my 2 breaks which I got to spend with my mum and brother. We are trying to make the effort to spend time together and socialise together during our breaks as we can’t go out and socialise. After that I chilled for a bit before I went on a call with my religious tuition group. Unfortunately, the call was getting cut off because of an on-call timer. Maybe the internet is having a bit of a meltdown, with so many people working from home. We then sat and chilled out for a little while then ate. We then found out that there was a boiler leaking, so we had to call British Gas. We also played charades after dinner as a family which was really funny – especially when Dad joined in.

Day 6: Thursday 26th March 2020

Today I woke up and followed my routine and started my schoolwork. Unfortunately, I started my work a bit late, but it was fine, and I caught up with the work. It does feel good when working from home as I don’t have to rush around and get ready and sorted to go out, I can use that time to chill. After, I finished ‘school’ I chilled then I went on a call with my religious tuition group.  Usually the time between school and religious tuition lesson is a mad rush to have a snack, change and get out the house again. After dinner we discovered that boiler has completely broken down.  So now were stuck at home and its going to be cold and no hot water!! Although, I did get my hair cut but my mum got it shorter than even she wanted

Day 7: Friday 27th March 2020

Today I woke up, got ready and started my schoolwork. For my schoolwork I did some science, math, history and geography. It was hard to get ready with cold water. Later, I found out that Boris Johnson had been tested positive for Coronavirus so the conference was lead by someone else. After schoolwork I watched TV for a little while before going on a call with my religious tuition class. After that we had a snack and got our dinner delivered to our house for the second time in 2 days because of the boiler and we wouldn’t be able to wash up the dishes. After dinner we played pool which was very fun. It has been a long week of being at home doing schoolwork. It has been different experience and has also been difficult at the same time.


Thank you Umaynah.  I have to say, I think it is really bad luck to have a broken boiler on top of everything else.  Hope it’s mended soon.  If you want to write another 7 Day Diary, please do and I will publish it.  There will be lots of children, reading this and knowing just how you feel.

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