I have been practicing nursing as my career since 2009 and have worked in almost all sorts of wards where I have seen births, witnessed deaths, but I have never been as emotional until our ward was converted into a COVID-19 positive ward filled with patients in just a matter of days.
It’s not that I have never had an encounter with an infectious patient; I have dealt several times with infectious patients and those with many more different diagnosis’, but this time it was different. To be honest I cried on my first shift on the COVID-19 positive patients ward. It was not that I was scared to face them, but my heart was full of mixed emotions as this time it was about a global issue, in which the whole world was talking about. People are scared and forced to stay at home, however we were amongst the chosen ones who have to brave this pandemic.
We breathe it in where it persists, move freely during sterilization hours, seeing no vehicle on the roads except mine and the police. Like all others, I came across this incident for the first time in my life. Even though we were provided with all of the required protection, it was a painful feeling. As stated earlier, I was not afraid but the whole scenario made me emotional. Thankfully my aunt in New York was chatting with me during my break time as I had called her earlier about my new duty roles. She kept on counselling me and boosting my shattered spirit by saying there are many who are sick with this virus, but few chosen ones to save them. Stay strong because you are there for reason as their saviour. Their relatives can’t see them, so you have to be their counselor as well, use appropriate precautions and have faith in God as he has chosen you for this.
We were dealing with patients so differently compared to our prior routine. It was not me alone who had similar feelings upon opening up to my other colleagues. They all went through the same emotional trauma. Our whole set up of working and dealing with patients entirely changed, we had to adopt all of the new strategies and protocols and within two days Iaccepted the fact and adjusted myself and started to go with the flow.
As soon as I would to drive back home from my shift, my thoughts would turn to my toddler at home. That is the time when fear invades me and I wonder if I am carrying any sort of infection at home, even though I take all of the necessary steps after my shift ends.
We have initiated an extra hygiene routine at home to minimize the risk of affecting my baby. Not only can I be a carrier unknowingly, my husband also works at the airport and nature of his work can affect the baby too, but thanks to Godalmighty who is continuously protecting us, I am equally as thankful to the UAE Government, the authorities and the citizens of the UAE and around the globe who are appreciating our efforts, which keeps us motivated and together we can win.
By Wirsa Anwar
Follow her on Instagram: @mommy.elroy