I urge everybody out there to be careful, and keep up the physical distancing

Members Stories

“There’s a certain kind of stress in the hospital these days. Maybe it’s more to do with not knowing what’s going on, or what’s going to happen, but it’s definitely there. So far, it hasn’t been too bad for me.
 
As a Cook, it’s been a bit slower during COVID. It gives us more time to catch up on other things because when we’re really hopping, it’s hard to get around to a lot of larger projects.
 
Most days, I prepare meals for patients. We have dietitians, who provide us with information about modified diets for patients.
 
We have texture modifications. We’ve got a standard meal, soft meal, minced meal, and a puree. The puree has to be smooth, no lumps or anything green, needs to be completely broken down. We also have clear and full-fluid meals. And we prepare different diets like diabetic, regular cardiac, low-fat cardiac, lacto-vegetarian and true vegetarian.
 
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Not too much has changed for me, unlike the Food Service Workers, who have to go out and deliver meals. They no longer go in patients’ rooms. Nurses bring the trays in and out of rooms. There’s been a lot of confusion over PPE and the lack of it.
 
When FSWs wash dishes right now, they wear PPE. Can you imagine?
 
People ask me when I am going to retire. I’ve been at this job for more than 30 years. When I first started working in the kitchen, a lot of food was made from scratch. But now, not so much. We went through a bad time in the early 2000s with the BC Liberals. We lost a lot of staff and had to change the way things were done. Now, many workers have four-hour shifts, and we get some of our food sent in already prepared.
 
With COVID, I guess we’re sitting on the edge right now. They’re opening places up again. I don’t necessarily trust that situation. I try not to be fatalistic, but I guess we’re going to have to wait and see how it pans out.
 
I urge everybody out there to be careful, and keep up the physical distancing and everything.”
 
- Len, Cook, part of the health care team