We were happy to see the residents who were doing okay, but then it was so hard to see empty rooms
“It was a very personally challenging time for me. We saw someone pass away every day. We were happy to see the residents who were doing okay, but then it was so hard to see empty rooms.
We had a significant outbreak at our long-term care facility, and I worked on the COVID floor as a Care Aide.
I was actually on a different floor at the start of the outbreak, but when so many co-workers tested positive and had to stay home, I found myself on the COVID floor.
I was anxious about giving COVID to my husband. We had a serious conversation about it, and decided I needed to work there. I haven’t met up with friends or family for a hug, and I really try to limit my contact with other people.
During those early days of the outbreak, it was different and challenging. You would go in for one shift, and seniors would be eating well. And then the next shift, there was no contact anymore. It was so sad to witness.
Part of my experience during this pandemic was to educate myself on how to protect myself at work. When we have other situations in the future, like the seasonal flu or a norovirus outbreak, we will be able to use that education.
What I’ve learned during this pandemic will protect me and also the residents.
I’m very careful now, and I take the government’s message about wearing a mask and social distancing very seriously. I think it’s better to protect myself, and to think of other people in this.
A month or two later, it’s better now at our facility. The residents are smiling and laughing. I do feel relieved.
We worked really cooperatively together as a team during the pandemic. It’s something that I don’t want to see happen again. But as a result, we worked together really well.
I’m very grateful for all of the cheering that happens every night. But at the same time, I want people to understand how difficult it was for us working through this, and also for everyone to work to protect our interests as health care workers.”
- Tomoko, Care Aide, part of the health care team