Covid-19 has weaselled its way in and become the protagonist of 2020. With many of us facing a cloud of uncertainty, fear and anxiety surrounding lockdown, we thought it was time to call a DR and put our minds at ease. We spoke to Dr Jasmin Kaur about her day to day life as a frontline worker for the NHS, the threatening risks she takes and hows she’s coping with it all.
In the comforts of our virtual spaces, we caught 24-year-old Dr Jasmin Kaur on a rare day that she actually could get home on time. Self-isolating in her room, away from her own family this young doctor was still flabbergasted by how things have taken such a turn in just two weeks.
Based in the Midlands, Dr Jasmin is a junior doctor who is now knee deep in Covid-19 patients. Her day starts at 8:30am and could be as long 12 hours, while her working week can be eight days in a row or even longer. Once she gets into hospital, she is introduced to a new team every day.
As Dr Jasmin opened up about what a ‘typical’ day looks like, she was well assured that this was by no means cemented and things could get even busier and even more chaotic. Following the morning ward meeting, the staff across different disciplines come together – from physiotherapists to pharmacist to social workers – and are given task loads for the day.
“There is always a ‘Dirty dr’ who is assigned to Covid-19 patients isolating in the ward, this just ensures that we keep things as contained as we possibly can”.
Healthcare professionals aren’t immune to self -isolation either she revealed “You never know who you’re going to be working with and who your team will be that day”. It is apparent that our healthcare heroes aren’t immune to the uncertainty that many of us feel.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is key for healthcare professionals during this time. “It takes so long to change our PPE for every new patient, but we have to make sure the safety of our patients is primary”. Dr Kaur was keen to share with the public the measures that healthcare staff are having to take just to navigate this pandemic which results in even bigger change in healthcare itself.
And it doesn’t stop at the hospital, our frontline health carers are also dealing with daily self- isolation in their own homes to protect their families and those around them. Dr Kaur contradicts those who say they didn’t sign up for this sacrifice “I believe that I did, I feel like I have a duty as a Dr to take what comes with the job which is why it’s so important for people to follow social distancing measures”.
And she’s right, it’s now more important than ever that we do our bit. Frontline workers are not only trying to keep up with the severity of the virus and treating people as effectively as they can, but they’re giving up time with their own families too and it can be mentally tolling. It may be starting to get to us at home but healthcare professionals were doing this before the public lockdown even happened.
With lockdown coming paired with negativity, Dr Kaur believes there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. “I hope that as the public help to contain the virus, we will reach our plateau and see a decrease in cases, but it is so important that people stay safe and indoors”.
In comparison to the confined four walls that Dr Jasmin has been greeted with after every hospital shift, the pressure she is dealing with and the daily risk to her life, the reality of the situation makes public social distancing seem like a contrasting luxury.
We’re all anxious, we’re all afraid of what may happen next and we all want it to be over but we’re all in this together and the sooner we follow the guidelines and do our part, the sooner we can wave Covid-19 goodbye.
Words by Perisha Kudhail