Friday, the 26th of March 2020 heralded the commencement of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown. Subsequent to our Presidents announcement, the Home Care Sisters were spurred into action to prepare themselves for 21 days of being on duty 24/7! Cars were stocked to the hilt with sufficient provisions to ensure patient care could and would continue unimpeded. On reflection, with 10 days to go, little has changed in the quality of care and service delivered by the home care team to our patients. From a Home Care Sisters perspective, the COVID-19 ‘mirror’ has enlightened us to the importance and the emotional toll that our ‘normal’ interaction with patients has on us. No more a hasty visit in answer to a distressed call – roadblocks! PPE, although vital, means a smile or comforting look is masked. Social distancing prohibits a comforting touch in response to pain, loneliness and vulnerability experienced by many we care for. Standing by, witnessing a family mourn the loss of a loved one, but unable to be physically present with each other to grieve together and console one another. Meeting weekly as a clinical team to share knowledge and debrief, is now being facilitated via a What’s App group. This too shall pass, but our TEAM has not been cowed by this virus and has proven the adage Together Everyone Achieves More!
Sr Sherry Dwyer with 90 year-old Mrs Zelda Steytler