“Mummy, don’t cry . . .you’ll get better soon”

The pandemic has upset the lives of people who have been infected by the virus, but not just their lives alone. Their relatives have also had to adapt to this new reality. For some it was just a few days, for others it was longer. The effect was especially felt by people with a disability whose lives depend on someone who has fallen sick.

Francesca Rausi has Down Syndrome. Her mother Michelle tested positive for Covid-19 in mid-September. This meant her child could not hug her for two weeks.

“I missed my Mama a lot,” says the girl.

The mother explained that she began to feel a shortness of breath despite the fact that she had never suffered from this before. Her daughter was near her when she received the news.  Francesca told her mother not to cry and that everything would be OK.

“I locked myself up in a room. By myself. Roderick used to bring me my food behind the door. My daughter used to see me from behind the door,” explained Michelle Rausi.

Her husband said that the news upset the family’s routine.

“For the first three days I was all over the place but then I calmed down,” Roderick says.

While her mother was locked up in her room, Francesca began making cards for her.

“She made me cards which said, ‘Get well soon Mama’.”

Francesca’s parents were surprised how the child, despite her disability, understood the situation immediately.

“I was amazed.  I thought, how could she have possibly understood it so well? I was expecting her to cry. but she understand immediately and I did not even have to tell her certain things. She never cried”, her mother said.

Michelle’s husband and daughter tested negative for the virus. The mother said that to this day she does not know how she got infected because she has always been very careful especially because of her daughter.