A-Z

Mudasar

Age at interview: 43
Brief Outline:

Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Pakistani
Background: Mudasar is 43 years old and is Pakistani. He is married, with four children, and works as an Uber taxi driver. Mudasar thinks he caught Covid from a customer while working as a taxi driver. Within a few hours, he felt tired and had aches and pains. Mudasar had difficulty breathing, which he found was helped by inhaling steam. 

 

More about me...

Mudasar first learnt about Covid on the news. At first, he thought that the virus was isolated to Southeast Asia. He told his kids not to worry about the virus reaching the UK. When Covid eventually came to the UK, Mudasar still did not think that it was serious. He did not think he would get Covid, and even if he did, he felt like he was young and strong enough to fight it off. When restrictions were put in place, Mudasar continued to work to provide for his family.
 
Mudasar eventually did catch Covid. He thinks he caught it from a customer at work who had coughed a couple times in his taxi. Mudasar explained that within three or four hours of this event, he started to feel tired and had aches and pains. He initially passed this off as tiredness, and tried to perk himself up with coffee. 
 
Mudasar’s sister came to visit before he was confirmed as having Covid. His sister said that his voice was different, and she had a gut feeling that he had Covid. After his sister left, Mudasar’s condition got worse. He felt freezing cold and had to lie on his sofa with a blanket. Mudasar’s wife cared for him while he was sick, and gave him medications and home remedies. He also used steam to help with his breathing, which he found “gave me the hope that it can be fixed”. 
 
Mudasar contacted the NHS when he started having breathing difficulties. They advised him to stay home, as his condition was considered mild. He was told to manage his condition with paracetamol. Mudasar found the “hardest part” of recovery to be getting his breathing and temperature back to normal. After about two months, Mudasar felt fully recovered. 

 

 

Mudasar describes working as a ‘do or die situation’ because of his financial situation.

Mudasar describes working as a ‘do or die situation’ because of his financial situation.

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My sisters, everyone keep phoning me, finding out how am I doing every day. Still telling them, “Still sick, still sick.” Blah blah blah. So they was telling me, “We told you don’t go to work. Stay home.” But, at the same time, “You need to work. You need to pay your bills.” The government is saying stay home. Okay, I said, okay, I’d rather stay home. It’s no problem but I’ve got so many bills to pay. I got my rent to pay. Who’s going to cover my cost? So it’s not easy to stay home. Unless you’re financially well off, you can’t stay home. You have to, it’s a do or die situation [laughs].

 

Mudasar realised the passenger in his taxi was coughing and was not wearing a mask

Mudasar realised the passenger in his taxi was coughing and was not wearing a mask

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I normally work in a day shift like from morning like four, five to two, three o’clock, four o’clock and on that particular day, which I see myself like, you know, I’ve got virus from someone. I picked up this customer, a customer who was sitting behind me and she was a lady and she coughed a couple of times in my car like once or twice and, when I look back, I see she’s not covering her face so I made a request to her, I said, “Please can you cover your face because there’s already the panic in the country that Covid is around so like it’s not safe for me, like you know, I can catch it off even the cough.”

 

Doing a steam bath regularly made Mudasar’s breathing feel better and gave him hope for recovery.

Doing a steam bath regularly made Mudasar’s breathing feel better and gave him hope for recovery.

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This idea came in my mind, to improve the breathing, just take the steam. So when I started start taking that I see that small difference, small light and that gave me the hope, yes, this can improve me. So again, I started taking a lot like, you know, three, four, five times a day. It’s like that, so whenever I do that, I can see that I am getting better, I’m getting better, I’m getting better. So then slowly, slowly like it was at twenty, thirty percent it didn’t go up and then gradually, it came down, slowly, slowly. But then, at one time, I woke up and it’s gone. I say, yeah, that’s good. I’m so happy that there’s no breathing difficulty, yeah.

 

Mudasar thought that he would eventually have to take the vaccine in order to travel.

Mudasar thought that he would eventually have to take the vaccine in order to travel.

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I know that eventually they’re going to inject inside me but I, if I have personal choice, I don’t want the vaccine.
 
Why do you say that, that you know eventually they’ll make you do it?
 
I need to go back home to Pakistan and travel and the way I look at it, they’re going to make it difficult for people to travel like, you know, they want you to be jabbed and all that so, sooner or later, they will get me, but I will take my time.

 

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