I’m a nurse who works in the plastics department in a general busy London hospital, but outside of work, my life has also changed quite dramatically. I live in a house in London with two other girls, but one has moved back to New Zealand to be with her parents, and the other has gone to live with her family in London.
I’ve been self isolating for the past seven days, because I was showing mild symptoms last week. Since then, I’ve been by myself. I haven’t seen anybody. It’s been quite hard. It’s been very lonely, because I can’t go and see my family. It can be upsetting at times. It was also my birthday last weekend, so that was quite difficult to spend that by myself, especially because I’m a twin. It’s been tough to transition from being a very sociable person, hanging out with my friends and my flatmates all the time, to having no social interaction whatsoever. Whatsapp and zoom calls have been great, but it's not the same as physically having a face-to-face conversation with someone. You think seven days isn’t a very long time, and in a sense, it’s not, but when you’re by yourself and you don’t have anybody to talk to, seven days feel like a year.
I went outside for the first time in a week, today. I went for a run. It was nice— it’s a beautiful spring day in London. It felt great to finally get outside and clear my head a bit, and just do something other than indoor workouts and exercise. I’m going back to work tomorrow, and I know it’s going to be quite challenging, but I look forward to being around people again.
I want people to know that healthcare services all over the world didn’t just crop up because of this pandemic. These healthcare services and the people that work for them have been working for years and years and years. Unfortunately, it’s taken a crisis like this for those people to be recognized and to have the admiration of the public that they should have had much sooner. I hope that after all of this is over, people don’t take health care services for granted anymore, and that they start to realize that we do a lot more than people think we do.
On the other hand, I am also very proud of how people have tried to support each other during this time. I think that in 2020, technology is much better than it was even ten years ago. If this had happened back then, without the technology we have now to be so connected with people, I imagine that it would have had a very different outcome. I hope that even after the pandemic, people don’t forget to connect and interact and support each other.
Written by: Natasha Leong