Monday – 30 March 2020 – 07:17am
I wake to the sound of cars sporadically driving past my flat and I feel a strange combination of fear and gratefulness. Fear because driving around has suddenly become an action associated with risk and illegality in my mind, whereas just 4 days ago, when life was still somewhat normal, I associated it with freedom. And gratefulness because those essential workers who are driving around are risking their health to ensure that the rest of us can survive this lockdown and on a greater scale, this pandemic.
Two days ago, I was chatting to someone who is an essential worker at a local hospital and working throughout this lockdown period. Their daily routines have changed so much and there are so many precautionary steps that they have to do before getting into their comfortable clothes and trying to relax.
But the situation for essential workers is anything but relaxing. It seems like they’re starting to feel increasingly fearful to leave their residences everyday and to treat patients during this time, when the number of COVID-19 cases are still rising and there is a dangerous surgical mask and glove shortage affecting all hospitals. Yes, we could all use them as a protective measure and it’s nice to have, but when coming into contact with bodily fluids is so regular that it’s an accepted hazard of your job, the risk of essential workers contracting viruses, bacteria and disease is so much higher than what most of us would encounter on a daily basis and they need these protective resources so much more than us non-essential workers.
While we are out here complaining about being bored at home or getting cabin fever, all they want to do is be able to lock themselves indoors, feel safe and escape the stress that comes with the uncertainty of the world out there – even for a little while. Their reality is that they could easily come into close contact with the virus at any given moment during their day, and not just become infected, but spread it unknowingly.
So how’s that safe-at-home, lockdown life looking to you now?