Family of coronavirus victim, 13, can't attend his funeral

Family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim, 13, cannot attend funeral after being forced into isolation because his brother and sister are showing symptoms of the disease

  • Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, died alone in hospital on Monday 
  • Mother and six siblings are now in self-isolation after two of them had symptoms 
  • This means they will not be able to attend his funeral when it takes place today 

The family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim will not be able to attend his funeral today because they are in self-isolation after his brother and sister developed symptoms. 

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, south London, died alone at King’s College Hospital in the early hours of Monday. 

His brother and sister have now developed mild symptoms of coronavirus, so his mother and six symptoms will be forced to miss his funeral in Brixton this afternoon.  

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, died alone at King’s College Hospital in London on Monday 

Family friend Mark Stephenson, who set up an appeal on GoFundMe for the family, said Ismail’s younger brother and older sister have developed mild symptoms including a temperature and loss of taste.

Mr Stephenson said: ‘Shaykh Sharif Zain will be leading the funeral and I will be delivering a short speech for the Abdulwahab family and a few close family and friends.

‘We hope that we can send a live stream of the funeral to his mother and siblings so they can be there remotely, but they are obviously devastated that they can’t be there in person again.

‘It’s extremely upsetting for everyone involved, but they have been very moved by the warmth and very positive messages of support from people following their appeal.’

Ismail, who had no apparent underlying health conditions, was described by his family as a ‘gentle and kind’ boy with a ‘heartwarming’ smile.

He tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday, a day after he was admitted to King’s College Hospital.

Ismail’s family paid a heartbreaking tribute to him on a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral expenses 

Ismail died on Monday at 3am after his lungs failed and he had a cardiac arrest.

On Wednesday, the NHS confirmed a 13-year-old with no known underlying health condition was among patients who had died after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mr Stephenson, college director at the Madinah College where Ismail’s sister works, set up the GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs and for the family, who also lost Ismail’s father to cancer.

By this morning more than £67,000 had been raised, far exceeding the £4,000 target.

Up to 100 mourners including Labour MP ignore coronavirus lockdown rules to attend funeral as police chief slams gathering for ‘endangering lives’

By Darren Boyle for MailOnline

Police were called after reports that up to 100 mourners – including a Labour MP – turned up at a cemetery for a funeral despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Officers were alerted by worried staff after a large crowd gathered at the gates of Sutton New Hall Cemetery in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, on Wednesday.

Birmingham Hall Green’s Labour MP Tahir Ali confirmed he had joined in prayers at at the ceremony – one of TWO he attended that day – and blasted the restrictions limiting funeral numbers.

Police were called to a funeral attended by a Labour MP In Birmingham after they were told a large group of mourners had turned up to the service in Sutton Coldfield on Wednesday

Labour MP Tahir Ali, pictured, said he attended two funerals as an ‘observer’ and said authorities should reduce restrictions as long as mourners adhere to social distancing guidelines

Mr Ali said he is also planning to attend more funerals around his constituency over the coming days. 

However, is appearance at the funeral has been condemned by the area’s Police and Crime Commissioner  David Jamieson. 

Funerals during Covid-19 lockdown

According to newly-released government guidelines the number of mourners should be restricted to allow a safe distance of at least two metres between mourners. 

Only the following people should attend the service: 

  • members of the person’s household
  • close family members
  • if the deceased has neither household or family members in attendance, then it is possible for a modest number friends to attend
  • mourners should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering.

The following people should not attend funerals under any circumstances: 

  • individuals who have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), or who are part of a household where someone has symptoms, or who are vulnerable to severe infection should not participate in rituals or religious gatherings
  • mourners should not take part in rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body. Contact with the body should be restricted to those who are wearing PPE and have been trained in the appropriate use of PPE

He said: ‘Mr Ali has been totally irresponsible and is letting his constituents down. He should be setting an example. He very clearly isn’t. He is not serving his constituents by endangering their lives. He is undermining the work of the police.’ 

The number in attendance was understood to have been between 80 and 100, although most attendees dispersed after saying funeral prayers.

West Midlands Police confirmed they were alerted to reports of a large crowd but officers found 15 mourners in family groups observing social distance rules and no action was taken.

Cemetery staff raised the alarm after seeing the size of the gathering amid fears about infection risks.

Only six mourners are now permitted at any funeral in Birmingham under Covid-19 restrictions.

Today Mr Ali, elected in December to the safe Labour seat, said he was there to ‘observe’ after being contacted by the distressed family, who he knew well.

He said he joined in funeral prayers outside the cemetery and then ‘left immediately.’

He said it was one of two funerals he had attended that day – the other with around 20 mourners at a ceremony in Sandwell – as part of moves to gather information to call for a relaxation in funeral rules to help distressed families.

Mr Ali, who is also still a city councillor representing Nechells, said he also intended to attend funerals in Walsall, Dudley and Wolverhampton in the coming days to do more ‘observations’. 

He is calling for more people to be allowed to mourn together in the city, as long as they observe social distancing rules.

West Midlands Police arrived at the cemetery but found that social distancing guidelines were still being adhered to as the mourners congregating together all came from the same households 

He said it was otherwise putting large families in the city in a horrendous situation.

In response, the city’s housing and neighbourhoods cabinet member Cllr Sharon Thompson, who oversees bereavement services, said: ‘We are clear that the fewer people there are at funerals will, we hope, help us see fewer funerals.

‘There are restrictions in place for one reason – to try to keep people safe and reduce infection.

‘I appreciate some will not agree but my priority is to keep people safe and save lives.

‘None of this is easy. It is a very difficult time and we absolutely understand the distress of families affected by loss.’

One anxious mourner said they had no idea so many people would be in attendance at the Sutton Coldfield funeral, but they had been urged to attend to pay their respects.

They said: ‘We were shocked when we turned up. There were around 80 or more people, all stood together.

‘Groups of six at a time were going into the cemetery to pay their respects. It did not feel as if people understood we were in a lockdown.’

He added that he was surprised to see Mr Ali there, as an MP for the city.

One witness said they were surprised they saw Mr Ali among the mourners at the funeral

The witness said: ‘I would have thought he would set an example. It didn’t seem right.’

Mr Ali’s fellow city councillor Majid Mahmood (Lab, Bromford and Hodge Hill) is also calling for a relaxation in funeral attendance numbers, calling for a maximum of 20 attendees to be allowed to attend.

He has written to city council leaders calling for the number to be increased.

Mr Ali today defended his attendance at the gathering, which is in clear contravention of rules around mass gatherings, social isolation and essential travel.

Mr Ali said he was contacted by a family he knew well who asked if there could be any flexibility around numbers allowed at the cemetery, as they had a very large family.

Mr Ali said: ‘In other council areas many more people are allowed to attend. In Luton, Bradford, other councils, more are permitted, up to 20.

‘Yet here in Birmingham the number is restricted to six.

‘Families are very distressed. They are already unable to visit their loved ones in hospital and then there are limited numbers at funerals. 

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Family of US girl found 18 years after being snatched from mum’s arms tell Madeleine McCann’s parents ‘never give up’ – The Sun

THE family of a girl who was reunited with her parents 18 years after she was snatched from her mum's arms have given Kate and Gerry McCann a message of hope.

The dad of Kamiyah Mobley, who vanished from her mom's bedside in 1988, told the parents of missing toddler Madeline McCann: "Never give up hope".

Speaking The Mirror devoted dad, Craig Aiken told Kate and Gerry: "We are bound together by the terrible crimes that befell our daughters.

"Very few parents in the world are united by such an atrocious wrong.

"But I have worn the shoes the Kate and Gerry now wear. I have walked the footsteps they now tread and I have come out the other side.”

Kamiyah Mobley was taken by nurse, Gloria Williams, from University Medical Centre in Jacksonville, Florida in 1998 and raised Alexis Kelly.

She was raised by Williams, who is now in prison, and ex-partner Charles Manigo – who claims he had no idea Kamiyah wasn't his child – as their own.

But a series of tip-offs led cops to Williams' door in 2016 and DNA tests revealed her true parents were Craig Aiken and Shanara Mobley.

Craig says: "I know like the McCanns what it’s like to be a parent that was accused or had suspicion upon them. It felt like the world turned against me at a time when you needed it most.

“All you wanted was to find your daughter. You just want the nightmare to end."

Aiken, a music producer, was in jail on a minor drugs charge at the time of Kamiyah's kidnapping – he found out his daughter had been snatched at the same time he learned of her birth.

Craig and Shanara split shortly after Kamiyah's birth when the stress of her disappearance put a strain on their relationship.

Craig says the pair were treated as suspects by cops, who he claims wasted time looking at himself and his partner when they should have been out searching for little Kamiyah.

Kamiyah, now in her early twenties has a strained relationship with her birth mum after finding it difficult to accept Williams as a criminal.

At the time of her kidnapper's jailing, Kamiyah said: "My mom's no felon."

And in a subsequent Facebook post, she wrote: "My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted", she wrote. "The ignorant ones won't understand it."

Her birth mum, Shanara has previously said Kamiyah has to "pick" between herself and Williams, The Mirror reports.
But now, Kamiyah – who has been house hunting to move closer to dad, Craig also has a message for Kate and Gerry.

She said: "I am the proof that eventually we find our way back home.

"Never give up that Maddie will one day do the same too. Take heart, and we are always here for you.”

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Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Have Been ‘Closer’ Since Coronavirus Quarantine

While some celeb couples have been fighting while stuck at home together as the world slows down thanks to the coronavirus, it’s bringing others closer than ever!

For Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, some quality alone time was just what was needed to heal their marriage after the former boy band member’s scandal with his co-star!

A source spilled to Us Weekly:

“Although the pandemic is very stressful, Jess is trying to look on the bright side of things and thinks the extra downtime that comes along with the situation is great for her and Justin’s relationship. They of course both have their moments of being irritated, but it has ultimately brought them closer and having the main focus be each other and Silas has been a good thing.”

The pair and their 4-year-old have been trying to make the most of quarantine and have been keeping busy with activities including playing games, cooking, and watching movies. The confidant explained:

“They’re enjoying being healthy and safe together.”

However, things aren’t totally back to normal just yet. They’re maintaining their therapy schedule with Skype and FaceTime sessions, said the insider:

“They make time to work on themselves and open up about their issues.”

But hopefully, this time with family will help them reconnect:

“As a whole, they are having fun and have been getting along. They are doing well and are happy.”

They likely have even fewer distractions than other celeb couples, as it seems the pair have opted to get out of El Lay and stay somewhere a bit snowier instead. Along with a pic of himself in a dreamy mountainscape, JT wrote on Instagram last week:

“Out here social distancing with the fam and a lot of these 🌲🌲🌲 I hope you guys are staying safe and healthy. We need to stick together and look out for each other during this crazy time. Go through my stories for some ways you can support your local communities. While there’s a lot of chaos and confusion right now, there’s also a lot of good and so many ways to help. 🙏🏼 Spread the word @feedingamerica @americanredcross @savethechildren @wckitchen”

We really hope things continue to get better for these two!!

What do U think, Perezcious readers?? Are you and your significant other getting along? Or at each other’s necks? Let us know (below) in the comments!!

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Healthy Italian family of four all killed by coronavirus in the same week as friends mourn a ‘real tragedy’ – The Sun

AN Italian family of four with no underlying health conditions have all been killed by the coronavirus in the same week.

Alfredo Bertucci, 86, from the northern region of Lombardy, died last week and was quickly followed by his wife and their two sons.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Lombardy has been the region in Italy worst hit by the crisis, and Italy has been the worst-hit country in Europe.

It has so far seen more than 110,000 cases, second only to the US, and at least 13,155 deaths.

Alfredo, a well-respected blacksmith who had passed on his trade to sons Daniele, 54, and Claudio, 46, died on March 27.

The whole family had reportedly been experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus, including a fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.

Daniele and Claudio both succumbed to the illness in the days following, and their mother, Angela Albergati, 77, died this morning.

All four had been being treated in the same hospital.

Speaking recently to a local newspaper about following in his father's footsteps, Claudio said: “I only felt I was a good blacksmith after around 10 years, at least to my father’s level.

"He taught me this profession.”


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Family friend Massimo Giovanni Fasano told local media: “We are all so upset, it is a real tragedy.

“They were all so healthy and strong.”

The majority of people dying from the coronavirus have been older patients and those with underlying health conditions, particularly any that cause respiratory problems or undermine the immune system.

Lombardy was the region in which the first coronavirus cases in Italy were confirmed, and later became the first area of the country to be locked down.

Cases continued to escalate in the area, and reports have emerged of the catastrophic impact the number of patients is having on local health services.

Doctors have described having to leave patients who would normally be in intensive care on wards without the equipment or staff to properly treat them.

Recent days have, however, seen a sharp decline in the number of new cases being confirmed in the region.

Of those infected nationwide since the pandemic began, almost 17,000 have now recovered.

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Family of boy, 13, who died after getting coronavirus give tribute

Family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim mourn 13-year-old ‘loving son’ with ‘heart-warming’ smile – and urge Britons to ‘stay at home to protect NHS and save lives’

  • IsmailAbdulwahab, 13, from Brixton, London, died in hospital on Monday
  • He is believed to be the youngest victim of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK 
  • His heartbroken family revealed how he died alone at King’s College Hospital  
  • They said: ‘Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind’
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The bereft and ‘beyond devastated’ family of Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim who died aged just 13 today paid tribute to the ‘gentle and kind’ schoolboy.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton, South London, died alone at King’s College Hospital in London on Monday, with family members unable to visit him in fear of catching the deadly virus.    

He is not thought to have had any underlying health conditions as deaths hit 563-a-day in the UK today, with 2,352 now passing away after contracting coronavirus. 

In a statement issued through GoFundMe, Ismail’s heartbroken parents and six siblings said: ‘We are heartbroken as a family due to the devastation caused by the coronavirus as it becomes too real for us as a family and community.

‘Ismail was a loving son, brother, nephew to our family and a friend to many people who knew him. His smile was heart-warming and he was always gentle and kind.’

They added: ‘We also wanted to re-iterate the need for people to listen to government guidance.

‘Covid-19 is a virus that is attacking all members of our society, not just older people or those with pre-existing conditions. So please do everything you can to ensure that we adhere to social distancing; that people stay at home as much as they possibly can, to protect the NHS and save lives’.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, is believed to have died alone at King’s College Hospital in London yesterday and his family released a moving tribute to the Brixton schoolboy today

They went on: ‘As a family, we have decided not to release Ismail’s picture at this juncture as we are concerned where it may end up and how this will impact us upon seeing it.

‘We as a family are still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of Ismail. He leaves behind six siblings who are completely devastated and this has been made more difficult not being able to be with Ismail while he was in the hospital.’ 

News of Ismail’s death was shared on a GoFundMe page created by Madinah College, in Brixton, to raise money for his funeral and was later confirmed by King’s College Hospital.

The boy’s family, who also recently lost his father to cancer, said they would not be releasing any photos of Ismail and that they were ‘beyond devastated’. 

It comes as a record-breaking 381 coronavirus deaths and 3,009 cases were declared in the UK on Tuesday, which is officially Britain’s darkest day so far in the ever-worsening crisis.

A statement from Ismail’s family yesterday said: ‘Ismail started showing symptoms and had difficulties breathing and was admitted to Kings College Hospital. 

‘He was put on a ventilator and then put into an induced coma but sadly died yesterday morning. 

‘To our knowledge he had no underlying health conditions. We are beyond devastated.’

Mark Stephenson – College Director at the Madinah College where Ismail’s sister works – said: ‘Ismail was tested positive for coronavirus. They have not released the body yet, as the coroner wants to do an autopsy – I’m assuming due to his young age and not having underlying conditions.’

Madinah College in Brixton, London, where Ismail attended. The college set-up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his funeral 

The fundraising page reads: ‘It is with great sadness to announce that the brother of one of our teachers at Madinah College has sadly passed away this morning (Monday 30th March 2020) due to being infected with Covid 19.

‘He was only 13 years old without any pre-existing health conditions and sadly he died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid 19.

‘We at Madinah College would like to appeal to our brothers and sisters to donate generously to help raise £4000 for the funeral costs.’

A spokesman for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time.

‘The death has been referred to the Coroner and no further comment will be made.’

Ismail’s death comes just hours after a 12-year-old girl died from coronavirus in Belgium. 

The girl had had a fever for three days before her death, and tested positive for COVID-19, said Belgian government spokesman Steven Van Gucht. 

No other details were given about her case, including whether she had any other underlying health problems.

News of the boy’s death was shared on a GoFundMe post created by Madinah College, a mosque in Brixton, to raise money for Ismail’s funeral

Young Vitor Godinho seen here smiling into the camera, seemingly a fit and healthy teenager

Tributes have been paid to Julie Alliot, 16, (pictured) who succumbed to respiratory problems in a Paris hospital after first developing a ‘slight cough’ 

Statistics released this morning revealed basic details about the first 108 people in Britain to have COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificate. Elderly people and men were the worst affected, the data showed

It was the first death of a child in the coronavirus crisis in Belgium, which has now recorded a total 705 deaths from the disease it causes, according to the latest official toll. 

Before the Belgian girl’s passing, the youngest European to die from the deadly illness was Vitor Godhino, a 14-year-old boy from Porto in Portugal.   

He died on the early hours of Sunday after falling ill from the virus.

Before Vito, 16-year-old French schoolgirl Julie Alliot was reported as the youngest Covid-19 death in Europe. 

She died at a hospital in Paris on 25 March.

It comes as the UK revealed that some 1,789 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have now died, while the total infection toll has surpassed 25,000.

However, the true size of the outbreak remains a mystery because of the UK’s controversial policy to only test patients in hospital.

The number of new deaths recorded today is twice as high as the 180 victims recorded yesterday. But there was only a 14 per cent jump in daily cases – up from 2,619. 

And the number of hospital admissions appears to have slowed, going up by a ‘constant amount’ each day, data shows – with around 1,000 new patients a day being treated by the NHS. 

One of today’s victims was only 19 years old and had no underlying conditions that made them more vulnerable to the life-threatening complications of the illness. 

Today’s development comes after government statisticians revealed this morning that the true death toll may be 24 per cent higher when people who died outside of NHS hospitals are added in to the count.

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Kim Kardashian reveals family will film KUWTK in coronavirus self-isolation – The Sun

KIM Kardashian has revealed the family will be filming THEMSELVES during coronavirus self-isolation.

The Keeping Up With The Kardashians season 18 finale will be shot by the sisters while in quarantine during lockdown.

The mega-star revealed the news while appearing on The Tonight Show: At Home Edition talking to Jimmy Fallon.

With no members of the crew to assist, the 39-year-old explained how she will be filming the episode entirely by herself – along with her sisters Kourtney and Khloe following suit.

The mum-of-four spoke to chat show host Jimmy about continuing the show during the pandemic.

“It will be all of us in quarantine,” she confirmed to the host.

The brunette added: “Filmed separately by ourselves. “So we all have tripods set up and our iPhones, and the last episode will be what we do in quarantine.”

The fashion mogul later revealed about how she and her family were getting on during quarantine as she video called into The View.

She admitted she is enjoying the time at home with her family. She said: “I actually love that time because we do travel so much in our regular world that this has been…

I think the family bonding part of it all, going on walks outside, we’ve watched every single movie you could possibly imagine..”

“I’ve been showing the kids all these 80s movies, like Harry and the Hendersons and stuff that they wouldn’t watch and it’s so much fun.”

But the housework tasks haven’t been quite as enjoyable as watching classic movies with the children. She said: “I love all the family bonding stuff. I mean I’ve been doing laundry and cooking and the kids just got on Spring break, thank God, being their teacher too.”

She added she had a new appreciation for key workers, saying: “My newfound respect for teachers, they deserve so much.”

Without the usual nannies, housekeepers or any hired help, she admitted: “It’s just been tough juggling it all and you really have to put yourself on the backburner and just focus on the kids.”

Meanwhile fans have slammed the star for “only donating $1million" to a coronavirus fund.

The reality star pledged to donate $1million from her SKIMS shapewear brand for a fund to help mothers and their children struggling during the coronavirus pandemic with fans calling it ‘disgusting trying to make a profit off the pandemic’.

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Celebrating Family Holidays Alone Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely

When the sun moves north across the celestial equator, marking the first day of Spring, Iranian Americans do more than crack open a couple windows and a bottle of rosé. We flock to the homes of our elders to celebrate Nowruz, the largest national holiday in Iran. But this year, with my parents, grandparents, aunts, and cousins all social distancing miles away from each other, I feared that celebrating the family holiday alone would involve a lot less dancing to Googosh and a lot more crying over the phone to my mom.

Founded by the Zoroastrians thousands of years ago, Nowruz lasts 13 days and nights, involves a myriad of puzzling, ancient traditions — setting up a table of seven objects that begin with the letter S (haftsin), jumping over an actual fire, gorging on smoked fish and herbed rice. The vernal equinox is our New Year, a chance to recalibrate and take stock of our lives. But I knew that this year would be my very first time celebrating Nowruz without my family (and the only time, god willing, I’d celebrate confined to a house with my partner). And since kin is such a fundamental part of the holidays, I worried toasting to our health over spotty wifi would feel bleak, like a shoulder pat in place of a much-needed hug.

So, on the evening of March 19, I resolved to compartmentalize all of my anxiety — that my at-risk parents would catch coronavirus, that my grandparents wouldn’t understand my decision to shelter in place outside of New York — and instead focus my energy on positivity and in the spirit of Nowruz. I would do the new year justice, goddammit. And I would do it with panache.

On the morning of Eid, I woke up feeling reenergized. Traditionally, practitioners are meant to don newly crafted or purchased clothing for the occasion. But when I left my apartment to join my partner at his parents’ house, I had hastily packed a chaotic bag containing mostly sweats, still naively believing I’d only be there for a week. The newest item of clothing I had brought with me was a T-shirt handed out at my freshman year orientation. So, I dipped into my partner’s closet and borrowed one of his thrifted T-shirts — the closest thing I could find to "something new."

Next, I practiced another coveted Nowruz custom: cleaning the house. As part of my coronavirus anxiety, and I’d already grown accustomed to scrubbing surfaces as readily as I wash my hands (while singing "Happy Birthday" to boot). But this round of vacuuming hit differently — I was sparked by purpose, washing away the sins of my previous year with each dish. As my knuckles grew coarse and my floor, a slipping hazard, I became entirely present. The coronavirus anxiety that had been building up in the back my brain felt as distant as my family. COVID-19? Never met her!

Another cornerstone of the Persian tradition is Eidi, gifts or money that family elders give directly to children. In following with the spirit of Eidi, I donated what I could to coronavirus relief funds. I checked in with friends and family, especially those who I knew were at risk of losing their jobs or being evicted because of coronavirus-related shutdowns. Although Eidi is usually distributed between family members, taking it one step further felt like an appropriate way to honor our customs while acknowledging the long-term consequences of the pandemic.

At 4:00 p.m., it was time for an early Nowruz dinner — the most crucial part of any New Year celebration. I had sent out a Zoom meeting invite to my parents and grandparents in New York, my aunt and cousins in Iran, and my sister, who goes to school in Scotland, two days in advance. Of course, a couple hours before we were scheduled to meet, I received three different messages from family members, asking, "Vhat ees Zoom?" prompting us to switch to FaceTime.

Blasting Persian pop music, I put on a full-face of makeup, poured myself a supersized glass of wine, and dialed into my first virtual holiday dinner.

"Eide Shoma Mobarak!" my grandfather sang.

And just like that, I started to sob. All of the anxious parts of me that I’d tucked away like stray strands of hair came instantly undone. The sound of my 94-year-old grandfather’s voice, echoing from the kitchen like a soundstage, the vision of my 89-year-old grandma, all made-up with lipstick and hair gel despite just having received surgery a mere week ago, took apart the contents of my brain and scrambled them. I felt guilty for abandoning them, even if I was doing so for their safety. They simultaneously made me want to selfishly see them and reminded me why I was social distancing in the first place.

The rest of the day was spent wiping away tears and refreshing my internet connection. Tears as my mother and aunt argued primary politics while my 20-year-old sister rolled her eyes (the screen delay made it 10x funnier). Tears of frustration as my grandmother stared back at me blankly, unable to hear me through the computer, even with the assistance of her hearing aid. Then back to joy when her eyes finally lit up at the sight of my partner joining me on screen. I went to sleep that night feeling a little less lonely, but hyperaware of the fact that I was, in fact, alone.

Celebrating Nowruz while socially distant wasn’t the fresh start I’d hoped it would be. I didn’t turn a new page in my quarantine diaries, feeling more hopeful about the future of our planet and less anxious about the fate of millions of people around the globe, but I think that’s OK.

We typically depend on our parents, our siblings to love us when we can find it in ourselves. I turn to mine, in times of crisis, for hope and stability. But perhaps the spirit of the holidays isn’t so much applying pressure to be more "on," but rather, withdrawing pressure to derive purpose from a pandemic when we’re feeling off. Our families are meant to let go of the choices we made in the past year, and accept us as we are in the new, without judgment. Why is that so hard for us to do for ourselves?

If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with appears to have shown or be showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, visit the NHS website in the UK to find out the next steps you should take or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.

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