Local couple self-isolate in Morocco
Gibraltarian couple Henry and Priscilla Sacramento have decided to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak in their home in Tangier, Morocco.
The couple, who were in Tangier when news broke that the virus had spread to Morocco, decided to stay put when all passenger flights were suspended.
Morocco has since shut down all Mosques, and as of midday yesterday the country had 44 confirmed cases and one death. There were two active cases in Tangier yesterday.
Henry and Priscilla have been keeping safe in their home in Tangier, and both feel well.
The couple were last in Gibraltar for Priscilla’s birthday in early March, and returned to Morocco earlier this month.
“We had already started following [the Gibraltar] Government’s advice of not kissing or shaking hands, washing hands etc,” Mr Sacramento told the Chronicle.
He added they had arrived in Tangier with suitcses loaded with clothes for a local charity and cake for children and mothers. But they did not get in close contact with anyone upon arrival.
“Then we heard that sea-links were closing and airlinks would follow shortly, we looked at all our pros and cons and took one of the most difficult decisions in the recent past, to stay in Tangier,” Mr Sacramento said.”
“Priscilla falls in the over seventy bracket and is healthy and well, I am approaching sixty and also fit and well.”
“In Gibraltar we have my son and partner living with us and under their present circumstances self-isolating is easier done in Tangier than in Gibraltar.”
The couple have been taking precautions for some time now, but their self-isolation began on Sunday, March 15.
They have stocked up on enough food to see them through the next 15 days “at least”.
“We are lucky to have a young man working for us Abdelghani, all our close friends and Facebook friends know him,” Mr Sacramento said.
“He is such a special soul and makes life so much easier, always happy and positive, been with us for nearly three years and is more of a son than an employee.”
Like in Gibraltar, for those in Morocco life has changed significantly, with many places closed down in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
“Apart from closing all frontiers and stopping maritime and air links, as from Monday all schools, cafes, restaurants, mosques and any large gathering have been stopped,” Mr Sacramento said.
“Even the call of prayer has been changed to telling people to pray at home.”
“Large taxis can only take three passengers instead of six.”
Mr Sacramento added, he hopes the drastic measures will soon work and help delay the spread.
“The streets are empty of tourists and very little movement,” he said.
“Some hotels have also closed down for the next 15 days.”
The couple have been washing their hands regularly, disinfecting, no physical contact, and taking hot drinks regularly.
They have also had the good weather in Morocco to take some sun in the terrace and are making sure they eat health.
“We also continue to fast one day a week as we have been doing now for a while,” Mr Sacramento said.
“Can’t stress enough the importance of removing your shoes on entering you house if you have to go out, so you don’t spread what’s on your shoes around your house.”
For them a day in self-isolation begins early at 8am with breakfast and a good morning message to their closest friends and family.
“Lunch will have been planned the night before in case I need to bring out from the freezer, lunch is cooked,” Mr Sacramento said.
“As gyms have been closed exercise program is followed indoors, then it’s shower and some catching up on Facebook, Priscilla is catching up on writing her second novel which had been abandoned for some time.”
“After lunch is the very welcomed siesta which is anything between thirty minutes to an hour.”
“Tea is then served on our terrace we’re we take in some sun and talk or message friends in Gibraltar and other parts of the world.”
The couple then catch up with the news locally, watching GBC, and “keep up with all the latest happenings in our beloved Gibraltar”.
“I have also offered my services as retired welfare officer to the Commissioner of Police to be available to talk to any officer who needs it via What’sApp.”
“We have to praise our Chief Minister and all his team who are doing an excellent job.”