2020 – the year of sunflowers...
I‘ve had direct association with Covid-19 working as a Biomedical
Scientist in the General Hospital specialising in Microbiology. To say
I’m a front-line worker though would not be entirely true, although
laboratory work has always been there to support healthcare, quietly
behind the scenes. However, this does not mean we care any less
about our patients. This was witnessed first-hand when the intensity
picked up in my department to accommodate for the rigorous testing
regime introduced in Jersey. My colleagues worked around the clock to
meet the demands of the general public and helped keep Jersey safe
during the height of the pandemic.
At the onset of COVID-19 in the Island, it was about picking up extra
shifts, preparing for this unknown threat, trying to learn as much as
possible about it’s nature, its infectivity and virulence. I tried to keep
a level head and have a scientific approach, but I would revert to
experiencing moments of sheer panic reading the statistics and the
horror stories happening in Wuhan followed by Italy and Spain. Behind
every scientific professional there is an element of fear, the ‘What
Ifs.’ racing around our minds. It’s these thoughts, whether rational or
irrational, these emotions, that make us human.
Thankfully in Jersey, the virus has been controlled and I’ve not experienced
loss caused by Covid-19, like many across the world. Loss and hurt has
come in other ways this year from the indirect effects of the virus. I’ve seen
loved ones lose their jobs, depression and isolation from family, including
my own. The hardest moment was the sudden loss of a dear friend in
the most tragic of circumstances. We must continue to take necessary
precautions to live with Covid-19, but we can’t continue to isolate people
from social interaction. Finding the balance between being cautious and
integrating back into normal life is now integral, otherwise desperation
and loneliness will leave a more desolating impact on our society.
Although 2020 has been turbulent, facing some extreme lows, the
year has brought me one incredible high. I became engaged to my
best friend which was celebrated entirely by my family, friends and
my netball team who turned up to my house armed with prosecco
and pizza! I realised how fortunate I am to be surrounded by people
that love me, and who want to celebrate life’s highs with me. I have
hope that this will come to an end and I can plan a wedding to be
enjoyed by all.
If 2020 has taught me anything, it is to hold on to hope. It has taught
me to keep going through the weeds. Keep going and eventually you’ll
find the sunflowers.