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Pregnant in times of corona virus – an interview with Diane

On May 5, 2020

An interview with Diane – a nurse from California, USA – pregnant and mum of 1 

 

I work in a federal hospital and the new parameters of protection are not really meant to protect you, at least not scientifically speaking. Lack of protective gear means that the requirements were downsized. I am wearing one mask for a 12 hour shift for all patients. If I did this before the coronavirus, I would have been fired. 

Every time I go to work, I feel anxious.

I have to go to work, I can’t afford to take time off. I need to keep my holiday days for maternity leave. I’m grateful I am not required to interact with the covid patients directly, but I still work elbow to elbow with many of my colleagues who are interacting with them, and they’re not properly protected either. We all fight together.

 

The more I read about it, the more anxious I get.

The N95 masks that we use can protect against viruses of 0.3 microns, whereas this covid virus  is 0:125 microns. It’s not the ultimate protection, but I still feel more secure when I wear a mask.

 

The management is behind a desk and they don’t see the reality of what we’re doing. A doctor sees a patient for 2 minutes but a nurse will go check on that patient 20 times by the time the day is over, and now they’re required to do the lab tests as well because they’re trying to limit the personnel contact. It bothers me people don’t see how the nurses are actually the ones who are spending most time with the patient. 

 

It’s anxiety all over. You pray you’re safe for the next 12 hours. 

 

I’m worried about the impact that the virus could have on me, my family and the coming baby.

There’s not much science available at the moment. My immunity as a pregnant woman is not the best. I also work night shifts and I don’t get enough rest. 

 

I wish we had the protective equipment they have in China. Now in New York they’re wearing garbage bags instead of gowns. This is a war with an invisible enemy and they’re sending us in without guns and expecting us to win the war. There’s a lack of understanding and compassion for what we’re doing and so many people get sick everyday. 

 

I wish for all that to pass.

When I have a few days off I feel blessed. We don’t have yet strict confinement rules, so I’m taking my daughter to the forest. There’s other people there too, but we just walk away from each other. You go crazy without fresh air. 

 

The social distancing doesn’t affect me that much, I’m so busy anyway. But I wonder how it affects my daughter. She can’t have playdates anymore. I can’t take her to the park. No playing with other kids whatsoever.


 

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