“I sent both my sons to live with my sister as soon as I found out that I was going to be on duty for COVID-19 patients. It had to be done– I couldn’t risk infecting them. When I said ‘bye’ to my husband as I left for hospital, I didn’t realise that it would be days until I even saw him. Apart from being scared of infecting our families, us nurses realised there were just so many patients, that it was best to stay at the hospital– it’s been 10 days since I last saw my husband.
I honestly don’t know how he’s managing; what he’s eating because I barely get any time to think about anything else.
It’s been tough. We’re dealing with so many patients everyday; which we do with a smile on our face, but sometimes we have to face disheartening situations. Just the other day, a patient who’s the head chef at a restaurant threw the food we served him and started screaming– ‘your cook doesn’t know how to cook, what have you served me? This is terrible!’
I didn’t know what to say– I know we’re not providing 5 star meals, but we’re doing our best. And there are people who are thankful for that– a few days ago, I was counselling an old man who had a headache. He was worried sick that he had the virus, even though he had tested negative. I sat with him, calmed him down until he realised that he had a headache because he was stressed! He thanked me profusely for just being there for him.
And all us nurses do this everyday–it’s been days since we’ve seen our families. We find solace in each other during our lunch breaks, but yesterday one nurse started crying because she missed feeding her baby. I miss my family too. Still, we must stay strong.
When I went home last, I was welcomed into my neighbourhood with cheers, but after that things have gotten worse. A colleague of mine wasn’t allowed to enter his society, because they feared he was infected– we all felt terrible; it felt like a thankless job at that point.
Still, that colleague was back to work with full vigor, ready to take care of more patients because that’s just what we do. We’re trying to keep morale high by talking about what we’ll do once this ends. Honestly, I just want to hug my children tight – I’ve only seen them sporadically on video call and I know they’re worried. But the only way I can do that is if you continue to stay at home– please… just stay at home.”
Story Courtesy: Humans of Bombay