I became a robot. I worked and came home. I did that for five months.


"When COVID came so abruptly, there were many changes: staff changes, people leaving, people taking on other professions in clinical areas. Many housekeepers had left due to the fear of COVID. I told myself, ‘No one is going to do this, so I’m going to do it, and I have no fear.’
I’ve been the resident housekeeper in ICU for just under three years. I was new to my city and not a very social person, so I could protect myself and everyone else, and make sure that I kept all COVID contained. I took that on because I had to do my part, and I took it seriously.
But I became a robot. I worked, came home, and didn’t move so I could safely go back to work the next day. I did that for five months.
The stress almost became numbing. I didn’t have an outside life. I didn’t go anywhere. When I finally did, I looked around and didn’t like what I saw out in the real world. It was incredibly different. I couldn’t comprehend it because I had taught myself to learn what my life is in ICU.
It was almost like watching a 21st century movie of the Apocalypse, the outside world looked scary. I felt safe around people when I was at work in the hospital. In the outside world, there wasn’t any movement, no people, no cars, there weren’t any businesses open. There was so much fear. Everybody was locked down in their homes, worried and afraid of catching the virus.
Everything ‘as normal’ was no longer there. In a 24-hour period, everything changed.
I don’t think our normal will ever be the same. Humanity has changed. Our cleaning practices, the way we shop and socialize have changed. We’re never going to be the same.
I take a lot of pride in my job. I’ve received so much praise. I have met so many beautiful families that have wandered this journey and have survived or have failed. I feel like I am part of it. At the end of the day, I have warmed and cheered up everybody I have come across during my shift. And it puts a smile on my face."
- Alana, Housekeeper, part of the health care team