This is Mike. He is a hospital security guard.
“In the last week of 2020, I contracted COVID-19. It was the most difficult news to hear, especially as a health care worker.
I instantly thought of my close family and how I may have infected them. My household and girlfriend were also exposed and felt symptoms within days.
Ever since then, I have been especially cautious to distance myself when speaking to others, even my loved ones. Being a person who suffers from asthma, the sickness was unbearable for two weeks. I would not wish it on anyone.
Losing a pet during this time was also hard. For people like myself, the animals in your household are a form of relief when you come home from a stressful environment.
I am grateful for my job. It has kept a certain sanity in my life. Everyone that has unfortunately lost their jobs are forced to stay home during the lockdown. I’m grateful that my routine has not changed and I continue going to work every day.
Moving forward, I think guidelines need to be more consistent. Either stay in lockdown or have places open so we have some routine in people’s lives. When I was quarantined in a room for 14 days, I started to understand what people have been going through for a whole year. Your psyche is being tested. Not being able to see loved ones or go out and do things to vent is costing a lot of people their lives.
I just hope people realize they are not alone, and if they need some help, they can call someone and ask.”
Author’s Note: The lived experiences of healthcare workers who were afflicted with COVID and remain on the front lines are unique and complex. It’s important that we listen to these stories and understand their experiences as well.