i know why everyone seems to be on edge. i feel it too. this c19 epidemic has affected everyone in one way or another. one thing it does for sure is exacerbate already existing problems. ive been out of work since November and got a job offer back in early February. it would be perfect hours so i accepted but it took them more than a month to get me on board. finally i was to start on 3-12. in the meantime about 3 weeks ago DW (a critical care nurse) had a pt who later died. the patient had been transferred from the epicenter nursing home in Kirkland. he was initially negative for the c19 but then the post mortem sample was positive. she was not informed by the hospital and all the nurses from the unit who cared for this pt had to find all this out on facebook. the hospital said nothing and said they were all required to return to work unless symptoms were present even though they had no precautions issued when the pt was in their care. it took union intervention to get them tested. it was the nursing staff who had to take matters into their own hands to protect their patients. admin was trying to put them all at risk! it was pretty upsetting to realize even our public health officials didnt seem to get that this virus transmits so much because it is contagious BEFORE symptoms appear and that kind of screening doesn’t help much. DW was so mad it raiser her temp to 99 so she called in sick with a fever and we self quarantined her (DD and i taking care of errands and such). they finally got tested about ten days after exposure and DW is “clear” although i seriously question the reliability of these np swabs they were running…so that was stressful.
skip forward to 2 days ago i started my new job and the first day was really challenging. the clinic where i was hired is famous for cancer care but again they were only screening people based on symptoms and had the same policy as where DW works. the lab seemed chaotic. i was assigned to reading procedures and safety manuals. i dutifully dug through all the heap of material while i could hear people all around me complaining of feeling ill and some of them went home with fever. i also noticed how crowded it was in there and a serious lack of precautions. no one was wearing a mask, everyone tried to shake my hand (to which i offered the elbow bump) and they apparently have no policy of how to keep the terminals clean (some people wearing gloves, some people not and the entire time i was there i didnt see anyone wipe down any of the phones, keyboards or other places that get touched a lot). the supervisor instructed me to call IT and set up a new account and he handed me a dirty phone. careful not to complain on my first day i put it to my ear and called. afterwords i told him of my fear and he gave me some small alcohol wipe packets. i asked him for proper wipes and he told me they dont use those on the phones so after he left i found some and wiped down everything (including my ear). so the rest of the day went that way and also included eating my lunch in a crowded break room the lady across from me trying to hide and suppress her coughing. that evening DW and I spoke about it and she could tell my anxiety was really bad but reminded me that it might be hard to find another job if there is a recession so even after all that i returned on Friday.
Friday was the same and then they told me I had to do some online modules I asked about the previous day. they were completely unrelated to the job i was hired to do and seemed absurd so I had them double check. he indicated that i indeed had to do them. i thought they were fucking with me, or maybe already grooming me for something i have no interest in? this stuff was completely intolerable to me. i was trying to do them but they were very detailed academic papers about the history of the FDA and handling research animals and it was all way over my head and the quizzes at the end were hard. it gave me a deep feeling of dread i haven’t felt since i was in college. this job is a low paying processor job in a lab. “just show me what to do and give me some work and i can do a lot. i am a worker bee, not an academic and this is not grad shool” i said. the lead and supervisor seemed to think i was joking but they had their own fires to put out. it felt so absurd i was pouring over this academic stuff in the middle of a busy, noisy place people all intense and worried about getting sick and taking no precautions. i found a place to put my water where there were a bunch of other water bottles and someone said “i wouldnt put it there, someone just coughed all over them!” ‘holy shit’ i thought. y’all are gonna get everybody sick and then kill all your immunocompromised patients! anyway i made one more comment about the modules, looked at them again and all i could see was a mountain of BS. my anxiety was through the roof so i quit after 1.5 hours Friday. fucking crazy. people you think are smart and rely on for medical care are actively contributing to the epidemic as if they are interested in culling the weak! …and dont even get me started about the schools
so now i am out of work again. i just want to work. i wonder if anyone will let me do that without a mountain of BS. if not i will try to survive. maybe in the care of those i love or maybe homeless and screaming in an alcove somewhere. lost for sure but driving ever forward and not spending too much time looking back.