President Macron of France has just announced we are going into our second lockdown of this year.
It’s been 4 long months since my last ‘Covid’ report in June of this year when I wrote about how I was looking forward to a week off work and my first socially-distanced coffee at a café terrace following the lifting of national lockdown measures.
As a reminder, I work in a multi-disciplinary team at a private French medical retirement home for 80+ elderly people with a range of pathologies.
But back to the coffee on the terrace in June, and dare I say ‘happier times’… this was the pic back then:
Infection, hospital admission and death rate figures were down in June, and the holiday season was beginning in earnest. And for me back then at work, no positive cases for the residents or staff. Indeed, throughout all of my pandemic posts to that point, I was both proud and relieved to report no cases where I work.
And then after June? The figures in France continued to drop, and the holiday season went into full swing in the heavily touristic region I live in. And still, no cases at work.
I’m sorry to report that since last week we now have 7 positive cases of Covid-19 among our current residents. No staff confirmed positive – we were tested the week prior and came back negative, but we still has to take a retest in light of the confirmation of cases.
I’m happy to report all staff again tested negative. To say I was anxious for myself and my colleagues is an understatement. Now I can only hope we stay virus free and offer the best for our residents who are sick, and keep the healthy ones healthy.
Two of the confirmed cases are residents on my unit. Working with these residents prior to their Covid state I was wearing my normal protective equipment of uniform, mask and gloves.
Since last week I have been working like this:
Forgive me my selfies. I’m not a ‘selfie person’ and these are only to illustrate what a typical health care worker might have to do to protect themselves and others in a clinical environment with Covid cases.
Question: if all staff were tested the week before the discovery of Covid cases, and then retested the same week – and both time frame results came back negative, then who brought the infection in? Visitors… for who visiting frequencies and times had been increased over the latter part of summer? Outside agencies such as doctors, drug deliveries, maintenance, oxygen, medical equipment and food deliveries? Meh. Who can say.
My nostrils were smarting for ages when the doctor took my tests. A nose swab is no fun. Then there is the soreness to face and ears from having to wear the upgraded masks issued recently. And the heat and discomfort of having to wear all that protective clothing. But you know, I’ll happily put up with all of that if it means no more residents are infected and no staff return positive. To be honest, it’s been somewhat a miracle we’ve gone all year without a case up to now – like angels were looking down on us; or Rhiannon the Celtic Goddess was our protector; or Superman, Wonder Woman, Judge Anderson and Sister Night each had our backs …
Let us go to a quick commercial break to see how your TVTA editor is doing during the pandemic…
TVTA editor current health status VS anticipated worst case scenario health status as seen in this handy flow picture chart!
CHART N°6I’m LOL-ing now, yes, but later? Better to have LOL-ed and lost than not LOL-ed at all?
The temperature right here right now:
- Last week – France extended its curfews as cases surged – 47 departments were under orders to stay at home between 9pm and 6am for six weeks because of rapid spreading of the virus across the country. These curfews affected 46 million people: two-thirds of the French population.
- Tonight, 20 heures, France – President Macron announces a national lockdown for the duration of one month.
- The second wave is not coming – it’s already here.
- And still my next-door neighbour is insisting the entire thing is a hoax and a nefarious plan by world governments to control the population.
- It’s a mad world…
- Yes, it’s a mad world and 2020 has been one heck of a long and ever-changing year.
- I hope all of you stay safe and healthy out there, and can navigate successfully through these extraordinary times we live in.
- A final word… and a new feature here at TVTA which Wooof is calling “TVTA Thinks”
Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given, and the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by the World Health Organization public advice pages
Skeleton images by Biodicac and Revealing Paws. Telephone images from Dawn of the Dead and Halloween.