The workload of healthcare workers has doubled.
Chief nursing officer at Right Health Group clinics Khaya Msimango, who manages over 125 nurses, has not seen her family and friends for months now.
“Being in the healthcare sector, I interact with Covid-19 positive cases or suspected cases on a daily basis. This has led to a stigma or fear people have that meeting me can make them sick. They may not say it, but I can feel it with the interactions I’ve had with them. Therefore, I avoid meeting anyone. The only family I have now are the nurses I work with.”
Since Khaya spends most part of her day at the clinic, she has to wear a mask all the time and also undergo Covid tests regularly. “It is not easy to stay wrapped in PPE, mostly mask, throughout the day. And with the number of cases going up, it seems all my nurses and I will have to remain masked for the longest time. I hope people take heed of the government warnings and precautionary measures and not let our sacrifices go to waste.”
She said the workload of healthcare workers has doubled. “Many nurses also contracted Covid along the way and they and their loved ones suffered physically and mentally. All we need is just some more discipline in terms of following precautions. Covid is not over yet, so do not let your guard down.”
Urging people to take precautions, the 36-year-old South African expat said: “Wearing a mask is a sign of respect not only for yourself but also for those around you.”
‘I do not want to live in fear’
Deenadayalan Sekar, who handles the patient records section at Prime Healthcare Group, was in charge of a Covid facility that the hospital was managing outside its premises. He contracted Covid while on duty.
“I have never felt so low, lonely and helpless as I had to stay away from my family for a number of days during the quarantine period. The sad part is that even my two daughters – both under 8 – also contracted the disease but were mostly asymptomatic. Luckily, my wife didn’t get it but we were all emotionally broken during that time and I do not want anyone to go through it.”
The 39-year-old said the disease incapacitated him for almost a month. “I had fever and cough due to which I was admitted in the very hospital I worked and stayed there for eight days, after which I was sent back home and quarantined for two weeks. More than the physical illness, it is the emotional setback and turmoil that one goes through as I was torn away from my family and all I would do during the quarantine time was worry about my wife and young girls.”
Urging the public to behave responsibly and respect the sacrifices the frontliners have made, Sekar said: “It is not so difficult to follow a few precautionary measures for the larger good of society. Just wear your mask, maintain hand hygiene and social distancing so we can stop the spread of this disease.
“I do not want to experience that fear ever again. I pray no one experiences that feeling of uncertainty this disease brings with it. Therefore, please follow precautions and help not only yourself but think about others who are putting their lives and livelihood on the line as they fight this deadly virus.”
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