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Care home worker reveals 'huge responsibility' during Covid

Marcia Hughes is wellbeing coordinator at Thorp House, in Griston, near Watton.

She describes the maelstrom of emotions that has affected her since the nursing home became affected by Covid early in the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic I think I was just so shocked at the speed that the country was locked down and workers furloughed.

The images of the hospitals and people queuing for food was alarming and I felt really grateful that my husband and daughter were safe at home.

My nine-year-old daughter was ill first and then me later with a terrible cough that we just couldn’t shake, I don’t know if this was coronavirus but we were really ill.

We isolated immediately and then a week later I heard the awful news that it was in the home. I knew a resident had returned from hospital and I felt tortured that she may have given it to me and then me to my daughter or vice versa, me to the resident.

I blamed myself for ages. The not knowing was the worst and I worried that my co-workers would all hate me but when I returned to work, I realised others felt the same.

When I heard a resident had died, I vomited and cried – the guilt was staggering even though no one really knew how it had been brought into the home. Even now if I think too much it makes me feel low.

I really struggled to be at home knowing my work colleagues were working so hard without me, I have always emphasised the importance of team work to my team and I felt I had let them down at the most crucial time. It was all over the phone.

Coming back to work was challenging as I realized staff were also isolating or shielding.

PPE was hit and miss initially with some very random things appearing in the orders and gloves and aprons of all colours appearing.

I felt a huge responsibility that if the orders didn’t come in we would all be exposed to the virus so it was a huge relief to hear that PPE had been secured at head office.

The activities program I had worked so hard to build up just disappeared over night as the entertainers, play groups, were all cancelled. It was like time had stopped.

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Source: EDP

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