COVID Through the Eyes of Nurses

by Indi Clayton '20

            Living with great uncertainty has put the whole world on edge. This idea of not knowing when or if you’ll contract COVID-19  has caused humans worldwide to change their entire lifestyles. It started off as staying home from school and quickly escalated to where we are now. Quarantined. Most of our parents are off from work or working from home, but this is not everyone’s reality. As much as we all complain about how boring or depressing staying home is, sometimes we fail to realize that there are people working around the clock who wish they could be home. For a meal, to see their families, or to simply sleep. More specifically, I’m talking about our nurses and doctors in the medical fields. I have the utmost respect and appreciation to all of the healthcare workers and with a few relatively close to me, I decided to reach out to them and see how this pandemic has impacted them, their everyday lives, and their families. I spoke to my aunt Kelly Clayton and my cousin Taleah Jones. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Kelly Clayton: RN in Stockton, California

 

Indi: Talk to me a little bit about how COVID-19 has impacted your mental state.

 

Kelly: In all honesty, that’s a loaded question. When word first got out about COVID it had everyone on their toes. There was so much uncertainty and so many questions that nobody had the answers to and the public immediately turned to healthcare workers (as they should) for answers. I can speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say that it’s definitely taken a toll on our mental states as we 1. feel responsible for “fixing” this pandemic, and 2. Still want the best for ourselves health wise, but we know that our job is to put patients before ourselves. A lot of mixed emotions going on to say the least. 

 

Indi: Have you still been able to maintain a good relationship with your families?

 

Kelly: Well as you know, I have 3 kids and being a parent comes with its challenges without the pandemic even being a factor. I still have to go home, provide for them, and bring the utmost positivity into our household. The part that scares me the most I would say would have to be the fact that if I were to contract COVID-19 from my job, I’d ultimately be bringing it inside my home and could potentially give it to my children. So it’s been hard knowing that that’s always a possibility when it comes to my family.

 

Indi: If you could give a word of advice to the public about social distancing or just the virus alone what would you say?

 

Kelly: Stay home. Stay home. And stay home. If you want to get out of this sooner rather than later, which I know we all do, then please please please stay home. If not for you, then for someone else. A parent, friend, grandparent etc. 

 

Taleah Jones: LPN in Stockton, California

 

Indi: Talk to me a little bit about how COVID-19 has impacted your mental state.

 

Taleah: I will say that it's been hard to stay positive. The family kind of relies on me and Kell for answers 24/7 because we’re their only source of first hand information. But we’re the ones in the labs so we don’t have all of the knowledge that they’d like. In a sense you kind of feel like you’re letting people down. And in another sense you kind of wish people would understand. It’s like living a double life.

 

Indi: Have you still been able to maintain a good relationship with your families?

 

Taleah: Yes, definitely!! My siblings and parents are definitely my biggest support system through all of this and are still letting me in their homes to sleep or eat. It’s not the same for others on the job so it’s definitely a blessing when you really think about it.

 

Indi: If you could give a word of advice to the public about social distancing or just the virus alone what would you say?

 

Taleah: Wear a mask in public, wash your hands more than anything, and stay home!!