Amid the daily government and announcements and news headlines, it can be all too easy to forget the human face of the fight against COVID-19 in our hospitals and care homes.
Here, our Activity Centre’s Shoshi Black pens some personal thought on a ‘regular’ day at Heathlands Village during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Today was a hard day.
Nothing in particular happened, just another regular day in Corona life. But for some reason I snapped and panicked, and felt the weight of the world on my chest.
I’m lucky, I am one of those who still has a job. And a job that I love. But right now, that job is hard. I think today I needed to pause and reflect on what it means to be working in a care home at present.
It’s deserted. Like a ghost town. Instead of walking in to a smile from Hymie, a wave from Millie, Mimi and Nathan in the atrium, and a crowd joining us in the Activity room, it’s empty. Staff rushing around with masks on. Five weeks on, and it’s still a shock to walk into.
We go from room to room. Some have orange signs on their doors, warning us to keep clear. Each time you see one of those, there is a nervousness in your heart.
We take rummikub, cards, music into the lounges. We take our smiles, laughter and hearts and give them to our incredible residents. They have been through so much in their lives. They each have a story to tell, wisdom to share, and we’re honoured to sit with them from two metres apart and give them our time.
We are blessed that the sun is shining, not a small feat in a city that is renowned for its rain. We take turns walking with the residents around the garden. The spring blossoms are in bloom and it’s beautiful!
Those are the good moments.
Then there is the sickness that surrounds us. The fear, anxiety and stress that we all hold onto, to keep everyone safe. The knowledge that our best efforts and all the love in the world can’t always control the uncontrollable.
Those times are scary.
There are tears, raw emotion, and worry. And this is OK. That shows our passion, our devotion, our love and our care.
The Fed is a family. We are all in this together.
And that is our secret weapon.
When it’s difficult and overwhelming, we take a deep breath and look around us. The building is covered in posters, letters and warm wishes from the entire community.
The PPE we are wearing has been donated by different people and businesses in the community. The staff around us are caring and devoted 100% of the time.
Everyone is looking out for each other, whatever position we’re in, we know we are in it together.
The residents and families are forever thanking us and the clapping as we leave the building on Thursday nights is inspiring.
Hard days happen, like today, once in a while, but the warmth and care we share is constant.
We can do this.”