Museum of Civilian Voices — "We could not inquire into the coronavirus – equipment remained in Donetsk"
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Tetiana Hololobova
age: 38
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Krasnogorivka
Krasnogorivka
"We could not inquire into the coronavirus – equipment remained in Donetsk"

Tetiana and her family had to leave their home after a sleepless night to the bombing sound. They moved to Mariupol without their belongings, hoping that they would return after their summer vacation… Now, because of the coronavirus situation, Tetiana, as a medical worker, has to work around the clock seven days a week. Modern medical equipment remained in the uncontrolled area because of the war. The Foundation helped to buy new equipment doctors so urgently required.

The hardest part is to lose your home. It's terrible to have no place to live. Our lives have been destroyed almost completely.

In the autumn of 2013, the Euromaidan began. My little child, my daughter, was two years old at that time. Experiences and changes in our lives began from that moment. In 2014, the situation escalated even more. And the events – the Referendum, the Crimea situation, and the direct military actions –affected us in 2014.

It was the end of June - beginning of July, when the liberation of Krasnohorivka began. We had our own house, but it was destroyed as a result of military operations.

Sleepless night

Sleepless night. We could barely sleep because of the bombing which caused dreadful shaking. We could hear gunshots. We were dressed. There was no basement in our house. We took water supply, food, and documents to the neighbours' basement so that they could hide in case of bombing. The attack stopped by the morning, and then we went to live with our parents.

We stayed there for two or three days. So our relatives suggested going to Mariupol. It was summer, so they said, "Go to the sea and rest a little." But no one thought it would end like this. We came to Mariupol in what we were wearing, and stayed until today.

The most difficult test

The hardest part is to lose your home. It's terrible to have no place to live. Our lives have been destroyed almost completely.

We will never be the same. Everything has changed for us, especially living in a strange city. We didn't know anyone here. We don't have any relatives or friends.

The war is an event we would like to forget. No one in my family got injured. We didn't have any wounded or killed people either. The child is alive and well, too. Nevertheless, it was very difficult mentally and physically the first year when we came here. I found a job and a place to live, but  realizing that we lost everything was hard. I can't say that no one helped us, but it was hard.

Assistance by the Foundation

That was the first time we encountered the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, which provided humanitarian aid. Food rations. My child was little at that time — she was only three years old. We received rations every week.

When the war began, there was still a sanitary and epidemiological service and laboratory centers that were equipped with modern equipment that could be used even now, in military conditions. When the military actions began, and Donbass was occupied, a lot of such equipment remained in the uncontrolled area.

Donetsk was the centre of culture, medicine, and laboratories. Naturally, the occupation had a negative impact on the availability of laboratory centres, because we did not have such equipment here and could not conduct research.

Round-the-clock work due to the epidemic

We are under quarantine due to the coronavirus. We are a specialized organization and can't switch to remote work, change our schedule or alternate. We work around the clock, we do not have days off. We have an irregular working day. There are no holidays, vacations. The work goes on round-the-clock.

It is very difficult psychologically, because there are no relevant algorithms in our country. When the war came, we didn't know what to do — to fall to the ground, close our eyes and lie down.

Now we have so much information about the wounded, what to do in situations like this that we have become mentally exhausted. People went on sick leaves. Physically, it was impossible to work.

Tests for the entire region, delivered by the Foundation

During the epidemic, due to the fact that a lot of equipment was left in the uncontrolled area, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation helped us a lot. It provided the equipment that we are currently working on. We bought some of the pieces ourselves and equipped them to make it safe for our employees to work.

The Foundation helped us a lot in purchasing a device that we use to conduct research on coronavirus. We didn't have such equipment — it remained in Donetsk. Now, thanks to the Foundation, we are conducting research on the entire Donetsk Oblast.

Planning is no longer relevant.

Values are definitely changing because of the war. Previously, I could plan for a certain amount of time ahead. Now I can't. Planning is no longer relevant. I used to prepare for something in advance. So you begin to reconsider what you value most and begin to live in a different way.

I dream to own my own apartment or housing. When we lived in Krasnohorivka, family and home were the most important thing that cannot be changed.

When the war broke out, and everything changed, we had to adjust. We only need our own housing now. It is hard, because renting is expensive. We would really like to have our own house or apartment.

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