I always talk to the residents because they need people to talk to
“I did a lot of protests in high school and elementary school, like supporting teacher and LGBTQ rights.
The funniest one was to change hotdog buns from whole wheat back to white. That was in grade three.
So, I’ve always been very active in making sure that everyone has their rights. That’s what drew me to union activism, and becoming co-chair of my local.
I’ve worked in the hospital and the attached seniors’ home for over five years. I was a Cook, but for just over two years now, I’ve been a Housekeeper.
My job has changed with COVID-19 with extra cleaning procedures, wearing masks, and making sure we’re keeping our distance from residents and co-workers.
At first, I was going through some anxiety because I’m a very social butterfly. It was kind of hard trying to keep the distance, and not being able to socialize with my family or friends in person.
When I had to go grocery shopping, I was nervous about bringing COVID back to my residents. That scares me the most is bringing it back to my residents.
To help cope, I did a lot of meditation, and online socializing with my friends.
At work when I’m cleaning, I always talk to the residents because they need people to talk to, from a distance, of course.
There were no visitors for a long time. The one thing I really loved to see was families going out to the windows, and then waving with a sign saying the resident’s name. And then, we would bring the resident to the window. That melts my heart so much. The residents are so happy to see that their family is still thinking of them.
Also, there were iPads donated so that the residents were able to video-chat with their families, and they were super excited about that. Since they started doing that, the residents are more happy, more talkative, more engaged in doing different things, like reading.
HEU members are all very important in different ways. If one of us isn’t there, the whole entire health care system falls apart.”
- Tyrel, Housekeeper, part of the health care team