As the number of COVID-19 cases rise day by day, more and more people in Qatar are being more careful, staying home and avoiding physical contact.

So how are people in Qatar coping with self-isolation and/or being in quarantine?

Marhaba asks friends within the community to find out!


Amena Tena | Director – Marketing and Communications

Self-isolation 
How do you practise self-isolation? It is a state of mind. As long as you register in your mind that you are doing this for your family’s and friends’ safety, and at the same time contributing to public safety, self-isolation is no longer a daunting task.
What’s your daily routine like? Phone calls, conference calls and emails tend to keep me busy. The only difference is that I don’t have to wear a suit daily for work.
When and how do you buy groceries? Once a week, online mostly.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? By phone calls and WhatsApp.

Working from home
How’s working from home working for you? It requires strict discipline, and clear communication and expectations. So far, it has been a rewarding experience.
How do you interact with your colleagues? By emails, phone calls and WhatsApp.
How do you manage to stay productive? Meeting deadlines and keeping everyone focussed becomes an utmost priority. I am blessed with great team players and everyone so far is on top of their game.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? If given a choice, I would split time in future. Both options have their perks and drawbacks.
How supportive is your company/organisation? Very understanding and supportive.


Anjabin Siddiqui | Marketing & PR Executive

Self-isolation 
How do you practise self-isolation?

  • I love to cook and experimental cooking mostly
  • I do work on myself with Home facials/hair oil massages
  • I love to knit as well
  • Marathon of watching my favourite series

What’s your daily routine like? I do very simple things when I am at home I wake up early morning usually like 5 am and then I choose my tea as I have a small box with a variety of teas in it. Make some breakfast for myself then water my plants and feed the fish in a small aquarium she is my companion. If I have anything to clean or wash clothes I usually do that afterword’s and maybe relax or talk to my mom she always makes me laugh and feel relaxed mostly talking to her. I plan something nice to cook usually as I am a foodie and I end up always cooking seafood and some Indian style veggies. I then do my facials as I have some facial kits which have like 4-5 types of mask and in between my favourite tea breaks with some interesting series and of course I do hair oil massages for myself which is really relaxing.
When and how do you buy groceries? At this stage, I go grocery shopping once a week or sometimes in two weeks. I try to avoid weekends as it’s very crowded. I stock five types of vegetables including leafy vegetables and another which I find fresh and of course, I stock seafood as my love for seafood is unending. Apart from that, I stock the necessary day-to-day use items.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? Usually, WhatsApp is the best tool to be connected; social media channels also give us access to their activities.

Working from home
How’s working from home working for you? Currently, I am still working from the office.
How do you interact with your colleagues? By phone and email.
How do you manage to stay productive? We can finish our pending E-campus training or mostly plan our future marketing campaigns.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? Office.
How supportive is your company/organisation? They are very supportive. We have a nurse who comes every morning to check our temperature and we can get any health-related advice from her. Apart from that, our management has installed hand sanitisers around our offices.


Christelle Bou ChebelMarketing and Communications Manager

Self-isolation 
How do you practise self-isolation? I am at home all the time. I even walk at home just to move my body a little bit.
What’s your daily routine like? I wake up, have my coffee and breakfast, pray, write stuff in my diary (yes, still doing it!), read a bit and then kick off my working day.
When and how do you buy groceries? My husband does the shopping. We usually buy groceries for at least a week or so in order not to leave the house a lot.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? Thank God for social media platforms! I use Skype for business.

Working from home
How do you practise self-isolation? I do not really like it as I am a very active person and I love to socialise but now it is a  necessity and I’m trying to make the best out of it.
How do you interact with your colleagues? By phone, WhatsApp and Skype calls.
How do you manage to stay productive? I kept the same routine, write every day what tasks I want to do for the day.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? Definitely office!
How supportive is your company/organisation? Very! They even allowed me to work from home since I am pregnant even before the government’s decision.


Diana Ramirez | Public Relations and Marketing Manager

How do you practice self-isolation? Keeping myself busy indoors
What’s your daily routine like? Cooking, reading, studying, watching series, do one catch up video call with friends and family overseas, disconnect from social media 80% of the day
When and how do you buy groceries? On a weekly basis usually to the nearest grocery store but sometimes, we make a trip to Lulu/ Monoprix.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? By video calls and online chats.


Dionne Lobo Marks  | Blogger

Self-isolation
How do you practice self-isolation? I get most of my exercise moving around in the house and within my office.
How is your daily routine? I’m still going to the office as my job requires me to be there. Not much has changed except for the weekends, which are spent at home watching Netflix most of the time.
When and how do you buy groceries? We go out individually to buy groceries most of the time. We buy everything we require at one time and try to limit the number of times we visit the supermarket. We also buy some groceries online when we don’t feel like going out.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, families and colleagues? Living in the age of so much technology, staying in touch with family and friends is really easy. From WhatsApp calls to regular phone calls, it’s easy to stay in touch.

Working from home
How’s working from home working for you? I’m at the office on most days, however, when I do need to work from home, nothing much changes.
How do you interact with your colleagues? I usually interact with colleagues over WhatsApp, Microsoft teams and regular phone calls. All meetings have now moved to virtual meetings now.
How do you manage to stay productive? Focus on working when at the office. I spend my free time working on my photography and trying to learn more on videography.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? Both work perfectly for me. Work is work whether from home or the office, the only difference being at home I get to work in my PJs.
How supportive is your company/organisation? I work in the health care sector which is the busiest sector at the moment. The organisation is very supportive with regards to the current situation.


Fatima Dhai | Blogger

Self-isolation
What’s your daily routine like? Cook, work (right now I am focusing my writing on inspirational ideas to do at home to motivate others online), trying to bring in self-care like reading a book, spring-clean cupboards, pray and in the evenings, we relax and watch Netflix. I also listen to podcasts on social media marketing and take online photography courses.
When and how do you buy groceries? For daily basics, I use the Instashop app which connects me to the two small mini markets at The Pearl-Qatar, which are Plus Point and The Hub. They are reasonable and deliver to my door. I have also been ordering from Carrefour on Talabat.
How do you exercise while self-isolating? I use the FREE online app @fiton and go for a short walk alone in the afternoon outside my home. The sun and fresh air really lift my mood.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, families and colleagues? Staying in touch with friends and family helps a lot. My friends are planning an online Zoom tea party in our PJs next week. I think a dinner party will be next on our list and a Netflix Party where we can watch a movie together on Netflix. There are many videos calling apps out there but I prefer WhatsApp (with Turbo VPN) for family and Zoom for work.

Working from home
How’s working from home working for you? It is challenging as my husband is now also at home. So we try to give each other space when it is time to work.
How do you interact with your colleagues? Over Zoom.
How do you manage to stay productive? I try to start work with a clear plan, my laptop, water and notes are ready on my desk. I have a to-do list and try to minimise distractions. Husband and I are in separate rooms or I put on my headphones. I think it is important at this time to also not be too hard on ourselves and balance our time between work and looking after ourselves. We all need a break and this is a time to reconnect with God, our families, our loved ones and re-evaluate our busy lives.


Jittranuch Mingkwan | PR & Marketing Executive

Self-isolation 
How do you practice self-isolation?

  • Frequently and properly washing hands or using hand sanitiser
  • Avoiding close contact with other people
  • Stay home
  • Using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately
  • Don’t use public transport and taxis
  • Follow government rules

What’s your daily routine like? Play more attention on hygienic, not panic but to be careful.
When and how do you buy groceries? 1-2 times a week, shopping for basic necessities and as infrequently as possible
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? To keep in touch with friends over the phone or internet, but no physical contact.

Working from home
How’s working from home working for you? When working on my own with no face-to-face interaction, it can be easier to just work for long with unbroken periods but some parts of the tasks are more convenient to work in the office.
How do you interact with your colleagues? By phone and email.
How do you manage to stay productive? Talk with all members about the privacy while working at home (during working hours), set up space or a separate room for the working area.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? Office.
How supportive is your company/organisation? It provides electronic equipment support, a conference call link and is flexible with timings.


Catherine W Gichuki | News Reporter

How do you practice self-isolation? I live alone, so it’s much easier for me to practice self-isolation. I have been house-bound for over 10 days now and I have gone outside only once for less than 45 minutes for an errand. I try to make the best out of the situation, I have a lot of ‘me’ time and I try to do things that will make my life better in the long run. I try not to read, watch or listen to too much news about COVID-19 because I feel sometimes it can be too much.
Besides working, when alone, I do a lot of activities in the house. I make delicacies that I have not been able to do for a long time; I read a lot; watch comedies from different parts of the world; watch home makeover and interior design shows; watch inspirational videos on YouTube, among other things.
What’s your daily routine like? I wake up between 7:30 am and 8:30 am, start my day with a morning devotion where I commit my day to God. After that, I do my work-out routine for about 30 minutes. I settle down to work from around 10:30 am – doing phone interviews, sending interview questions through emails, coordinating with colleagues and making phone calls to contacts. I also file stories through email.
Bearing in mind that I am one of the community leaders of the Kenyan community here in Qatar, I also find time to contact a few people and answer questions from some community members. I try to raise awareness about the precautionary measures and directives on the current situation. I retire to bed between 12:30 am and 1:30 am.
When and how do you buy groceries? I do groceries at least once every 10 days, though when I run out of something, I call the nearby grocery store for home delivery.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? Phone calls, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
How do you manage to stay productive? What helps me is that before I retire to bed, I’ve already figured the story ideas to work on the following day. I also set a deadline for myself for each particular task. I am very passionate about my job and whenever I’m working, I put my entire energy there.
Do you prefer working from home or from the office? Firstly, I would like to say that even though it is not an easy task to work from home, it is the best thing to do during this season. However, in normal circumstances, it is easier to work from the office because one can enquire something from colleagues easily without having to make a call. And as a reporter, it can be challenging to work from home because I prefer face-to-face interviews; attend press conferences and events which is not possible at this time.
How supportive is your company/organisation?
All my colleagues have been so supportive. I can’t ask for better workmates. My editor in particular has been really helpful. He gives me story ideas to work on, and if he sees an important update in Arabic, he lets me to know.

Meech del Carmen | Qabayan Radio

How do you continue to access information during COVID-19? The government of Qatar is never lacking when it comes to information dissemination. News updates mostly come from MOPH, GCO, WHO, Philippine Embassy of Qatar and other reliable sources. What’s great about this is that the media work together to inform the public about the latest happenings related to the threat of COVID-19 and Qatar.
What measures are taken to make sure news is relayed without any delay? We always check for news updates and breaking news only from reliable sources. We make sure that we don’t miss any relevant and accurate information that should be announced on-air and even online. Each radio jock also prepares for their news segments every day – at least one news for each hour of their board work.
What measures are taken at press conferences? We only attend press conferences or meetings if it’s under the Government of Qatar/ministries. We practice social distancing and make sure we wash our hands or sanitise before and after the event.
How do you interact with your colleagues and editor? Staff are WFH since Thursday and all our RJ’s only go to the station on their segment and go home right away. The internet/technology has been really helpful in this time of circumstances.
How do you practice self-isolation? Our operations are still on-going, but we have already started working from home in the office, so that helps each and every one of us to really practice social distancing.
What’s your daily routine like? We all check emails early in the morning. Check and monitor each and everyone, especially the RJs or their radio segments by listening through our website qabayanfm.com, as you know we have a radio plugin. So that our listeners can always tune in and know the updated news here in Qatar and back home in the Philippines.
When and how do you buy groceries?
I can’t speak for others but most of us did buy ahead of time foods that can last for a while.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues?
By social media, communication apps like WhatsApp and video calls, if needed.


RJ Francis | Qabayan Radio

How do you continue to access information during COVID-19? We get the information from reputable news agencies/outlets here in Doha and in the Philippines. Apart from these, we also attend and secure information from press conferences initiated by the GCO and other ministries here in Qatar.
What measures are taken to make sure news is relayed without any delay? We verify the date it was released and counter check with other news outlets for the accuracy of the information. It is shared on-air by our RJ’s like The Top of the Hour news once it is published on the news agency/s website. It is also shared on our social media pages, once available.
What measures are taken at press conferences? Our representative notes down all the pertinent information during a press conference. We ensure that we get first-hand information from the source.
How do you interact with your colleagues and editor? During this crisis, we all use online tools as our form of communication. Emails and phone calls are also vital to clarify details or information.
How do you practice self-isolation? The broadcasting/programming team has the only people having access to the booth or studio at the moment. We only report to work during our board work to lessen interaction. No live interviews are scheduled or conducted at the moment.
What’s your daily routine like? Once I get to the office, I make sure that I wash and sanitise my hands before I go inside the booth. I clean all the hardware that we likely touch all the time. I search the net for fresh news and tidbits related to COVID-19 and anything else interesting that I can share to the listeners. Then, the usual RJ tasks take place, play music, greet listeners, play requests. After my board work, I work on graphic design for guest posters, client promotions, marketing offerings, etc. We also conceptualise scripts and produce audio materials.
When and how do you buy groceries? I do my grocery every two weeks (or when necessary). I don’t hoard to make sure my veggies are fresh for consumption.
How do you stay in touch with your friends, family and colleagues? At the moment, social media and other online apps are the best way to connect with family, friends and colleagues. It’s fast and real-time and we have a reliable internet connection in this country.


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