Klavdiya Kazakova, Ukraine

Klavdiya Kazakova is 79 and lives in the Zolotoe town in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. She moved to Zolotoe from Pervomaisk when the military conflict in eastern Ukraine started in 2014. Klavdiya has IDP status (internally displaced person). She is a person with limited mobility and lives alone. A volunteer from HelpAge provides Klavdiya with information and psychosocial support at home.

“I first heard about coronavirus from news broadcasts on television, when the outbreak of the virus had just begun in other countries. I learned more about the COVID-19 pandemic from Elena, a HelpAge volunteer. She told me in detail about the first symptoms of the disease, preventive measures and personal hygiene. Now I strictly adhere to these rules. For disinfection I use simple and accessible means: laundry soap, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide. After going out, I must wipe my shoes and dry my outerwear in the fresh air.”

“My children didn't visit me often before, and now that there is no transport connection, I only can communicate with them by mobile phone. I am an older person, I have many age-related diseases. It’s difficult for me to move around the house and I almost never go out. At first glance, when the pandemic began, it seemed that nothing had changed in my life. But now I live in constant fear and stress for my life, and the life of my loved ones. The volunteer’s support is very necessary for me. Thanks to her visits, I don’t feel alone and defenseless.”

“Now we are in quarantine all over the country. We are practically cut off from nearby cities. We have a health centre (medical station) with a nurse. But under these conditions, I try not to go out and visit the health centre so often to avoid getting sick. To go to the grocery store you need a mask. There are no masks or disinfectants in our pharmacy, so the volunteer from my village helped me sew a mask to protect myself against the virus.”

“There are several grocery stores in our town. There is a steady supply of food and there are no problems with this. However, it should be noted that the prices of food and essential goods are constantly growing. My pension is not very large, 2647 UAH per month (97 US dollars). I limit myself in many ways as I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Despite everything, I try not to succumb to panic and depression, and I try to adhere to the recommendations of doctors and monitor my health.”

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