The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented action across the globe to try and control the health impact of the virus. Aside from diligent hand hygiene, physical distancing is increasingly becoming a priority in ‘flattening the curve’, that is slowing the spread of the virus to avoid our healthcare system becoming completely overwhelmed.
In Australia, we’re being told to keep 1.5m away from one another and to avoid large gatherings. The current advice is, with the exception of essential outings, to stay home. Physical distancing is in place not only to protect yourself and your loved ones, but also our dedicated healthcare workers who are on the front line of this pandemic.
We spoke with just a handful of these inspiring people at Monash Health about how they’re feeling and what the community can do to help them during this challenging time. Read on to see what they had to say.
“We have been spending a lot of time re-designing and re-configuring our hospitals to focus on caring for large numbers of patients with COVID-19.
The teamwork and collaboration between all healthcare workers contributing to our preparation is amazing. Every role in the hospital makes a difference from cleaners and logistics coordinators through to our medical and nursing professionals. We are all working together to ensure we can provide the best care possible, but there are limits to what we can achieve on our own.
I am worried that not enough people understand why health professionals are concerned about COVID-19. Our health system can function well if we slow the spread of the virus, but if we don’t all work together, we will be overwhelmed and people will die.
Following physical distancing and staying home slows the spread of the virus so that our hospitals have the chance to look after those who get really sick.”
– Adam, Emergency Department Doctor, Monash Medical Centre
“Seeing how COVID-19 has affected other countries and their healthcare workers is absolutely heartbreaking. I am really concerned about the virus overwhelming our healthcare system, this would place extreme pressure on healthcare workers.
Australia needs to take COVID-19 seriously. We only have one chance to do this right and save potentially thousands of lives. If we cannot slow the spread of this virus, we will see lives needlessly lost due to an overwhelmed healthcare system that can’t keep up with the demand of critically unwell patients.
There are so many things everyone can and should do to help healthcare workers during this time. The time to self-isolate is now! If you have the ability and privilege to stay home you will not only be protecting yourself but also your loved ones. Avoid public settings and remember physical distancing.
If everyone does their bit, we will get through this with as little lives lost as possible.”
– Cassie, Emergency Department Nurse, Monash Medical Centre
“It’s worrying to see other countries as medically advanced as Australia really struggle with the virus. It will be a very challenging time especially at the growing rate for Australia.
It’s always a thought when caring for COVID-19 positive patients that you might risk of becoming one yourself.
We have to treat this virus with extreme caution because we don’t know exactly how much of an impact it can have on life as we know it.
We aren’t asking for a lot, just stay home, stay safe and look after each other.”
– Brendan, Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Monash Medical Centre