My day job is in the NHS and I run the UK Defence Journal in my spare time. I have a very important message for you.
Stay at home if you can, please.
Due to Coronavirus my role now involves close proximity to confirmed Covid-19 patients. I’m not worried about Coronavirus, I’m worried about what will happen if people don’t stay home.
I’ve worked more overtime this last while than I ever have in such a short space of time.
I am tired, I am weary and I am stressed. Every shift has been tiring. My face is sore with the constant use of a face mask and visor but the fact is everything needs disinfected and sterilised. I’m able to work and I’m thankful for that.
I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse or any type of medical staff but I do work in the Facilities Department (that’s support services from portering and cleaning to IT, estates and everything else), we’re often the ones people don’t think about when they think of NHS staff but we’re there every day working away.
As I said above, my job now involves daily and constant contact with patients suffering from the virus and one thing I’ve learned is that I might be scared but the patients are absolutely terrified because many are still ignoring advice to stay home.
There are no people I’d rather face this virus with than the men and women I work with at the hospital, my colleagues and friends. I even said recently that I feel safer there than I do anywhere else. Every one of the domestics, porters, caterers, supervisors, nurses, doctors and others that I work with will probably tell you that I complain about absolutely everything but I’m not moaning about our response to the pandemic, I actually think we’re on the ball here.
There was a volunteer on the front doors the other day as I arrived making sure people that come in and out sanitise their hands, he’s not even being paid and he’s helping out right at the frontline in the fight against this pandemic. These are genuinely fantastic people putting their lives at risk to help others.
Yesterday I spoke to colleagues at all levels and roles and the one thing, the very noticeable thing, was that everyone is still smiling and joking. People were more concerned about daft wee things like annual leave, when the canteen shuts or when the last bus is much more than they’re concerned about Covid-19… because when all is said and done we’ve got this. It is our job but it’s being made harder than it has to be.
Implementing infection prevention and control measures are what we are all trained for and you know what, we’re all pretty good at it. I have worked for the National Health Service in various roles for 10 years, a third of my life, and I have never been prouder to be NHS staff.
I was travelling to and from work every day over the Easter weekend there and every day I noticed large groups hanging about down by the River Clyde or in parks as the bus went by. It’s not Covid-19 that scares me, it’s a virus like any other and hospitals are used to fighting them. People like those mentioned above are what scares me, selfish, mindless idiots putting a strain on the NHS, its resources and putting my colleagues and their patients at risk.
We’ve already lost NHS staff to this outbreak. Healthcare staff should not go to work wondering whether or not they’ll die because they put in a shift. I do not want to die because I’ve caught something that can easily be stopped if people do the right thing.
There will come a time when this outbreak has been defeated, do not doubt that. That time will come sooner and less lives will have been lost if people decide to just stay home.