When life returns to 'normal', we must NOT stop

Before becoming a Mum and stumbling into the world of work based learning and assessing I was a paediatric nurse working in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. I loved my job, my patients and my team. But being a nurse and a Mama was a constant juggle, so we packed up our London life and moved to Wales.

And then I found assessing.

As a nurse I had always had a strong appreciation of the health care assistants and the essential job they do day in, day out with little acknowledgement and low pay but seeing them at work in the adult care sector not only renewed my respect for them, it doubled it.

And then coronavirus came and oh my word, the respect I now have is beyond words.

At the beginning of the coronavirus, I, like thousands of others re-joined the nursing register as part of the emergency response. I have yet to be called upon and for that I am thankful as like many others, my household is shielding one of the ‘vulnerable’-my son. I feel incredibly selfish saying those words- I am thankful; As part of my job I work with health and social care workers across North Wales. Many of them have not been afforded that luxury of being able to shield their families from Covid19. Many of them have been forced to kiss their children goodbye and send them off to relatives houses so that Mummy and or Daddy can go off to work and look after families that are not their own.

Their other (and quite often only) option is to return from work to the home they share with their families after long shifts working in fear of the invisible killer- Coronovirus. The fear they must feel daily is truly unimaginable. Constant hand washing, 60 degree uniform washes, bruised ears from PPE and constant vigilance their only defence against bringing the virus into their home.

Whilst we all enjoy learning to reconnect with our families and homes during the restrictions of social distancing, they do not. Our bodies are resting and our minds slowing- but theirs are not.

So what happens when life returns to normal? When us home workers re-join the society that we have been hidden from? How can we help?

I don’t think the answer has yet been found, well not on a larger political scale anyway, but personally I know what I think should happen.

The appreciation and respect that we have all experienced MUST NOT STOP.

The outpourings of generosity in the form of shopping, hand creams and messages of love MUST NOT STOP.

The support given by large companies such as free parking and coffee deliveries MUST NOT STOP.

Throughout all this time they have not stopped and neither should we. They are in it for the long haul and they need us just like we need them. So if you haven’t already, reach out to a key worker and show them just how much they mean to you and DO NOT STOP, not ever.