Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Black African
Background: Milembe is 52 years old and is Black African. She is married, with two children, and works in human resources. Milembe was worried about the relationship between her African ethnicity and the Covid pandemic. She wonderd if she caught Covid if she would be more likely to die than her white husband.

Milembe felt anxious at the start of the Covid pandemic. She had thoughts like, oh my God if I were to die will my husband remember to call my sisters, my friends She says that watching the news gave her even more anxiety. Milembe became aware that because of her African ethnicity she had to have double the strengt to get through the pandemic. She explains that these are thoughts that her white husband did not have about himself, although she was worried about his diabetes. As she puts it, if it hits this house, I;ll be the first to go

Milembe talked about how impractical it would be to isolate from family members within the same household. It was therefore some relief that she and her family tested positive for Covid all at the same time.

Milembe spoke about the role of conspiracy theories in her decision to take the Covid vaccine. She explains how people in African communities tend to be more skeptical of vaccines developed in western countries. As she puts it, whether they [people of African ethnicity] want to be used as a guinea pig, things we do not know about, we can’t read the leaflet, they’re written in English At the time of the interview, Milembe had her first vaccine and was a couple of weeks from getting her second. She says that she believed that the vaccine would help her recover from Covid if she caught it in the future.

Milembe says that her Christian faith helped her cope during the pandemic. She says that otherwise she would have gone crazy She says that she clung on to messages in the bible about God’s healing. Milembe also says that the focus of her prayers turned to healing.

Milembe’s message for others is if you are alive today you are very privileged She thinks about all the people who died from Covid who had ordinary lives and just happened to catch the illness.

Milembe found it difficult to isolate from her family at home

Age at interview 52

Milembe felt that her children were getting behind with their schooling.

Age at interview 52

Milembe wondered why more Black people were dying in the UK than in African countries.

Age at interview 52

Milembe’s husband was on a zero-hours contract which meant he had to risk exposure to Covid to ensure he was paid.

Age at interview 52