My COVID-19 Story as a Medical Worker
by Zoe Liang
translated by Sherry Liu & Linda Huang
When driving back home on a normal day in December 2019, the radio was announcing that a virus has been discovered in Wuhan, China. As a medical staff, I did not pay too much attention to it and thought it might just be a normal type of flu. However, this virus soon broke out and got so bad that the city of Wuhan entered lockdown in the middle of January. Many Chinese overseas started buying and shipping masks back to their families, and the mask prices also skyrocketed.
I am a caring staff in the Vancouver S.U.C.C.E.S.S Nursing Home. Before COVID-19 broke out in Canada, we always felt like it was far away from us. But soon we realized that it is approaching us in a speedy manner. I started to follow the news about COVID-19 every single day.
On March 12th, the news reported that the Canadian Prime Minister's wife will remain in isolation after being tested positive for coronavirus. Followed closely was a series of emergency response plans being announced.
I started feeling the threat and urgency when the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver was attacked by the virus, followed by more and more senior care centers under risk. As a caring staff myself, I understand the significant impact of even one infected patient in any of our centers. We usually take on shifts at different facilities, which means that we might also be the source of risk if infected.
Soon enough, the Health Department published the official COVID-19 response plan. We are required to only work in one facility, wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and get measured by a thermometer daily before work.
Whatever we can do to help, we strive to execute. I am always anxious either at work or at home, worried about the center of being infected one day. What can I do then? Will I still be able to get home anymore? Having parents and my kids at the house, there would be no place for me to be isolated from them. And what about the seniors I take care of at the center?
The center started to become understaffed as the workload increased. I couldn’t fall asleep because of the mental pressure. Anxiety, insomnia, and other problems also started becoming a concern for me.
Many relatives and friends tried to persuade me to not go to work, but would that be a responsible move? Besides the then consequential economic pressures, we as medical staff know very well of our code of ethics. None of us would bail out during this time. Although our job at this time is dangerous, stressful, and exhausting, we are all working together and trying our best to solve any problems such as that of insufficient PPE.
I am so glad to be able to continue to fight against the virus together with my co-workers. I am slowly getting used to this type of lifestyle after a few months of working since the outbreak. I am thankful that all my co-workers have tried their best to take protective measures at work, and everyone is working diligently to protect themselves and help the elderly.
My only hope at this time is that this pandemic will be over sooner.
2020年3月12日，新聞報導說加拿大總理夫人感染新冠病毒，在家隔離；緊跟著就是一系列措施。到真正感覺到病毒就在身邊的是北溫Lynn valley care centre爆發了。緊跟隨著一家，兩家，三家。都是老人院爆發，我自己身為老人院的一名care staff，深深明白老人院爆發是意味著什麼。而且我們的工作模式是可以在多個facility工作的，那就意味著我們會是傳播者，後果不敢想像。