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Sana and Asiya


Sana Iqbal in conversation with
Asiya Siddiquee

Asiya Siddiquee is a Chartered Psychologist from Manchester, and now expat living in China. She relocated to Shanghai over 4 years ago, with her husband and children. Coincidentally, this was the first time since moving to China, that Asiya and her family decided to visit the UK during the Chinese New Year holiday. Sana and Asiya are cousins, and Sana believes Asiya’s perspective and experiences in China have been a wise sounding-board during this crisis. Sana is a Creative Consultant.


Note 1: March-May

On the 23rd January, my family and I decided to visit our hometown of Manchester for Chinese New Year as a surprise for family and friends. As we left Shanghai, we heard that Wuhan had been shut down due to a deadly outbreak. We didn’t think much of it, but as time went by we felt we had made a lucky escape… but had we?

As China closed its borders, our two week holiday became an indefinite stay. My instincts were to prepare for the worst, whilst my husband thought I was being overly worrisome. Soon I would use the infamous, marital phrase ‘I told you so’. 

We became physically prepared for lockdown, but not mentally prepared for the sadness and powerlessness at the rising death toll. Nothing has prepared me for the mental pressure of self-isolation, but I’ve kept strong as staying at home will keep my family safe. 

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