My mother is risking her life on the NHS frontline for you. If you do one thing today, please stay at home
PUBLISHED: 18:05 30 March 2020
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“Mothers are a source of inspiration for so many of us because of their selflessness, kindness and limitless love.
“We see them as superwomen defying the odds, emanating bravery and never ceasing to support and cherish their loved ones.
“I never appreciated my mother enough when I was younger. But now, she’s my hero.
“Even after spending long days studying or on placement, we would come home to a warm house, freshly cooked meals and a 24/7 homework helpline.
“While she worked night shifts, I wanted bedtime stories or someone to gossip to about my day at school.
“As a young adult, I realise now it was a sacrifice she was making as well, so that she could pursue the career of her dreams that encompassed every ounce of that motherly love and compassion.
“Nursing is not for the faint-hearted, quite literally because she’s lost count of the amount of times she’s been vomited on or how many catheters she’s had to put into the older generation.
“Through all of the abuse from patients’ relatives, the criticism over a lack of beds, the tears and the countless, unpaid overtime, her smile has never escaped her face, because at the core of my superhero mother is her desire to help others.
“She relishes her job, it’s her place of tranquillity despite the ceaseless pressure.
“Looming over the horizon is a new storm that grows stronger with each trip to the supermarket or quick visit to see a friend. It clouds every source of light and hope in my mother’s heart – she is terrified of what is coming.
“The lessons from Italy, Spain and China are clear. This virus is no joke.
“It takes no prisoners and does not discriminate when it comes to age, gender or ethnicity. Thousands of people are critically ill across the globe and the eye of the storm is now locked onto our ill-equipped National Health Service.
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“My mother knows that when the peak hits it will be a strain on our health service like we’ve never seen before.
“That in itself was frightening enough, but last week she received even more gut-wrenching news.
“From today, she’s moving to a new COVID assessment unit and will be testing, treating and coming into direct contact with those suffering from this virus – without adequate PPE.
“She, like thousands of other healthcare professionals, are about to charge into this crisis with little more than a face mask, which offers as much protection as a chocolate fireguard.
“In my mind, this is effectively a death sentence. She could come out of this completely unaffected, she may have already had the virus or she could only suffer minor symptoms.
“Or, considering she will have daily contact with the virus over the course of twelve hour shifts, she may not be so fortunate and could become one of the thousands that desperately need ventilators.
“Yet, we are still seeing reports of police breaking up karaoke parties in Derbyshire, people playing Pokémon Go in Stevenage or mass groups congregating in local parks.
“People are complaining about having to work from home with their children, or a missed birthday party or wedding.
“This morning, I waved goodbye to my mum from the front door as she walks headfirst into COVID-19’s firing line.
“She will readily sacrifice her own health and wellbeing to ensure those hit with the virus will be able to return to their families – even though that may not be an option for her.
“If the situation escalates further and she is deemed at risk of spreading it to us, my mum will be quarantined in a hotel, miles from home, between shifts.
“And although she will be terrified, she, like thousands of other NHS staff across the country, will do what must be done to keep us safe.
“As our NHS workers kiss loved ones goodbye while they still can, we all need to do our bit while they are on the frontline.
“I’ve read a lot in the media and seen posts shared on Facebook and Twitter, commending the bravery of our NHS. And rightly so.
“But your words of support are empty and shallow if you refuse to play your part in helping to prevent the spread of this virus.
So, if there’s one thing you do today, please stay at home.”
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