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,非常不一樣的一年。

 

2019年12月的某一天,下班開車回家的路上,收音機裡播放著中國武漢出現一種病毒。身為醫護人員的我當時很不以為然,不就是一種病毒嗎?每年的感冒病毒都不少的。然而,這個我沒看上眼的病毒爆發了。到了一月中,而且嚴重到要封城了。身在海外的華人們紛紛開始搶購口罩寄回去了,曾經幾塊錢的口罩被瘋搶到幾十塊錢。

 

我是溫哥華中橋老人院的一名care staff,在大家搶口罩的時候,身在海外的我們,好像感覺病毒離我們很遙遠。不過很快,我就發現事實不是這樣的,原來病毒離我們很近,可能就在你身邊,跟隨著就是每天都在關注著政府發布的消息。

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。

很快,衛生局一系列措施出來了。我們被要求只能選擇一個工作場所,穿戴個人保護裝置,上班前量體溫等等……每天回去上班,戴著口罩,眼罩,帽子,拼命地洗手……能做的,我們都去執行,每天回去上班,膽戰心驚。下班回家,提心吊膽,每天都戰戰兢兢的,想著,萬一我的工作場所有確診個案,我怎麼辦?還能回家嗎?家裡沒有地方給自己隔離,家裡有老人有小孩。我工作的老人家又會怎樣?

 

工作人員嚴重不足,工作量大增,心理壓力大到無法睡覺,失眠,焦慮等問題緊跟著就來了⋯⋯不少親戚朋友都勸說不要去上班了,但是可以嗎?撇開經濟,我們是醫護人員,都有著最基本的職業訓練和道德觀念,我們沒有一個人當逃兵,雖然危險,壓力大,工作辛苦,但大家都團結起來,都互相幫忙,都想辦法解決個人保護裝置不足的問題。團結在一起的感覺很好,經歷了幾個月,現在好像慢慢習慣了這種日子了,雖然有壓力,但依然很感恩大家同事都很努力地做好防護措施,大家都很努力地工作著,保護著自己和守護著我們的老人家。

 

只希望這場疫情能快一點過去吧。