Each of these ‘little boxes’ in the locked down Melbourne towers holds a story.
Someone who matters.
We are listening and we care.
The past two days I have had the privilege of being one of a team of nurses from Knox Private Hospital providing COVID swabbing for the residents of the towers.
This pandemic brings out the best in some and the worst in others.
These past two days I’ve been lucky to see countless examples of the BEST!
Day 1 at Flemington Towers
The co-ordinator expected a team of 14 nurses, he had a hundred or more instead, and a plethora of Paramedics as well.
None of us knew what to expect going in. Media reports certainly have done nothing to allay anxiety.
There was a lot of time waiting for final permission to proceed whilst safety concerns and logistical issues were ironed out. As we waited we could see faces at various windows watching our preparations. We waved and blew kisses which were returned with joy.
Each team that went in had members of our wonderful Victoria Police as escorts for protection which thankfully wasn’t an issue as there was no threat directed towards us at any time.
Our team used every door knock as an opportunity to do a welfare check.
We asked the question R U OK.
My heart (and my eyes, truth be told) is overflowing from the reactions, the love, the gratitude shown by these beautiful people we have met.
Yes, they are frightened and some are angry, honestly who isn’t?
But the vast majority were fully understanding and accepting of why they have been placed in such tight lockdown.
Reports that they have no food/supplies are totally unfounded. In the words of one lovely young man, “my fridge has never been this full before”.
We listened, we cared, I hope we made a difference.
Almost every resident was eager to be swabbed (some had already been swabbed in the last few days).
They are worried about their jobs and how long this will go on. Unfortunately, those are questions we couldn’t answer for them.
There is a veritable army of wonderful support people working tirelessly to make sure these people are receiving everything they need both physically and emotionally.
We had Interpreters, Social and Mental Health Workers all available to assist.
Requests for medications or specific dietary needs were relayed and being met.
Again and again, we were met at the door by thankful, wonderful people who were as much worried for our safety and well being as their own.
Our hearts were melted by sweet cheeky little ones peering round Mumma’s legs at these funny looking nurses in PPE.
We shared a bit of our lives with each other and connected in those moments.
It’s funny how little details stand out in the midst of crazy times.
At the end of the day yesterday as we packed up our trolley of supplies I saw the tissue boxes on other trolleys were exactly like mine.
Each one had hastily scribbled ‘requests’ inscribed.
Such as No.X-eggs and bread, No.Y-Colgate Toothpaste & Pads, No.Z-onions & tomatoes.
Rest assured we passed on those requests and kudos to the male police officer who went back to hand deliver the sanitary pads that one of the Social Workers happened to have with her when we went back down stairs.
Feel free to share. Positive vibes are well worth spreading. Xx
Image source: supplied by Fiona Williams.