Next in our series of lockdown stories is Lucy Cain, who is a Public Health and Wellbeing student at the University of Bradford, but also a care assistant in a residential care home and a health care assistant within the East Lancashire Teaching hospital, so she has first-hand experience at the frontline of the pandemic…
So university asked me to reflect on the pandemic and until I began to write about it I didn’t realise the effect it has had on me, so here goes…
When COVID-19 began in China I had heard brief speculations and bits of information, but the moment I will never forget is sitting with my dad waiting for Boris Johnson to come on televison, and when the lockdown of the nation was announced I knew my life was about to change forever.
Everything that I knew changed; my parents were no longer at work and my siblings were not at school. Then there was my great grandma to think about who I have seen everyday of my life since I was born, but now I can only facetime her every day and drop her shopping off on the door step so I know she is ok.
When I got the phone call from work I knew I was going to be more than needed, and since this has been announced I have been working a lot of hours to care for people when their loved ones simply can’t. My friends have lost parents due to the pandemic and lives have been taken and this is why we have to keep our loved ones at home to stay safe. We had to start wearing PPE which I found the most difficult because patients/residents can’t even see you smile but you have to remember better days are coming. My friends have had the illness themselves but luckily have recovered and are back supporting our care industries.
Mentally it does not quite feel real and sleeping is hard because my mind is constantly racing but then eventually I’ll doze off to sleep. My theory is still the same every single day though: “if I can make one person smile today then today is a good day”.
When I am not in work I am lucky enough to live at home spending time with my family or facetiming friends from afar, forever speaking of when we reunite. The clap for carers at 8pm every Thursday happens when I am usually on my way to a night shift and just seeing the support from the nation is keeping us all going. The thank-yous we receive from their families are above and beyond as well, as my own family saying how proud of me they are.
Then on Good Friday our little lockdown family event happened – my cousin which we have waited five years for through the hands of IVF entered the world, spreading happiness through my family at this sad time. One of my best friends also announced her pregnancy – these are the things that keep us going. The pandemic and the world being in a mess has for sure made people become kinder people, we are checking in on our neighbours, supporting our local businesses and more importantly each other.
COVID-19 has changed lives but working in care I have seen how scary this field is and everyone who is keeping on going, we stand united keep going. Before COVID-19 the nation would say “oh but you’re just a carer?”, but that’s not the case anymore – I am a super carer and everyone from the NHS to key workers is doing an amazing job right now. I am just proud to be a part of it. Lets save the world then we can all meet again some sunny day, the world will change when this is all over but so will we. #staysafe #stayhome.
Thanks very much Lucy.