Claire Goodwin-Fee Audio Transcript

So, it’s very full on, and I remember several, I think there’s probably three cases that will always be upper in my mind about this whole thing.  One is the person that worked in the care home, that around about 60 per cent of the people that were in the care home died.  They were elderly, these were people that, they would wash their face, feed them their lunch, they would tell them their stories, they had close relationships with, tuck them into bed at night, stroke their face and say, I’ll see you in the morning.  That person had to wash all of those bodies and dress them for the undertaker, and then go home and have their dinner.  I don’t know how you’re supposed to manage that without any support, and even with support how you’re supposed to manage that.

The doctor that, I think, in one shift, in the space of perhaps, I don’t know, six or seven hours, lost around 20 people, and put his head on the desk and sobbed, because he didn’t know how to tell another person that their loved one had died. 

The nurse, at my local hospital, that had to phone up all the local undertakers, ‘cause they’d lost 60 people in one night, to COVID, and they’d run out of refrigeration space, and they were phoning up all the local undertakers, to see if they had any space to put these people, because at that point, they didn’t have any refrigerated, I don’t know what the word is, like boxes, or whatever, to put outside the back of the hospitals, units is the word, not boxes.

You know, it’s never-ending, the paramedic that had had PTSD from a shooting, from a particular place in the country, but went into the pandemic, and then was verbally abused in the queue to go and get some lunch after working a 19 hour shift, who was incredibly distressed, who’d, you know, cancelled their leave and had worked it. 

The policeman that hadn’t had a break for months, that was driving an ambulance with a paramedic and somebody, COVID caused an internal bleed, and they bled to death in the back of the ambulance.  They had to manage that. 

How do the government think that people are going to manage this, not only right now, but going forward?  And what I struggle with is, the thing that keeps me awake at night is, what if there’s people that we miss?  What if I can’t help everybody that needs the help?  And what happens when, I’ve had my first vaccination, and I will end up with the second one at some point, we’ll have all had it who want it, and we go back to some kind of normality, and we go to the cinema, and we go out to eat, and we see our friends, and we hug again, wow, what happens to those people that have been through this?

This is this generation’s shell-shock.  This is this generation’s Vietnam War, which sounds incredibly dramatic, but that’s how I feel about it.  It is an assault on every single sense of a person, from physically being hot, to the amount of people, the noise, the need of the people that are very sick, the fear of the people that are very sick, that are actually, you know, when I went into intensive care with my dad and I sat with him, I sat and read a book, and I’d read the book to him and stroke his hand and talk to him.  He was asleep, he doesn’t remember any of that.  These people that are in intensive care, that are struggling for breath, and have got internal breathing and are really struggling, they’re awake, and they’re saying to the nurses and doctors, am I going to die?  How do you manage that without any training?

 

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