In a behind the scenes look at the first line of defense in our global battle against the recent pandemic, Muslim Girl hosted a takeover with Sheima, a UK-based nurse currently working on the frontlines of COVID-19 in the National Health Service (NHS).
Sheima works at one of the biggest trauma centers in the UK, and gave us an inside look at what goes into battling this deadly illness, and what she hopes we will learn from this insanity. Here are three vital takeaways from her Facebook Live.
1. Healthcare Workers Have Some Tough Decisions to Make.
In some countries, like Spain, doctors are having to turn off life support machines for older people to offer that equipment to people with better chances of survival. “We aren’t at that stage, but let’s hope we never get there,” stated Sheima.
“Even though they aren’t our family members, we do build relationships with patients and their families, and now that we aren’t able to allow family members to visit, it’s hard,” Sheima mentioned. At the hardest stage of a sick person’s life, not allowing the family to say goodbye is a tough call, and can take its toll emotionally. It’s heart-breaking to see family unable to support their sick.
2. It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better, so Settle In.
“It is going to get worse before it gets better, and it’s only been a couple of weeks, but it seems people are already fed up of being home,” Shiema observed. She went on to state that this is going to be tough on everyone, but it is important for us to listen to advice from healthcare workers, and to be truthful. There isn’t much support for nurses and other key workers in the NHS, and on top of being underpaid, the amount of work they do is intense. It seems that the least we can do is sit tight, and be truthful.
In one particularly harrowing revelation, Sheima revealed that someone close to her was affected by COVID-19 because a parent came in with their child and withheld information about a trip to Italy.
“We come home stressed and having to isolate from family and send kids away,” she laments. Since the UK hasn’t started testing healthcare workers for the virus yet, we owe our healthcare workers truthfulness.
3. Appreciate Everyone.
Finally, Sheima reflects on how bittersweet it is that we needed a pandemic to properly appreciate healthcare workers, cleaners, teachers, and other occupations that we typically take for granted.
Sheima leaves us with her hope; that eventually, when this virus comes to an end, people will start to appreciate those working in overlooked sectors, like cleaning.
“We don’t appreciate them enough…without our cleaners, things wouldn’t work.”