Both My Parents Are Doctors And Got Coronavirus. I've Never Been So Scared

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Dr.Scorpiowoman, May 7, 2020.

  1. Dr.Scorpiowoman

    Dr.Scorpiowoman Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    Some weeks ago my main worries were around my GCSEs. Now I hear every day about deaths from Covid-19


    Zoya Aziz (second from left) with her family. Her parents are doctors who got coronavirus

    It is the sixth week of lockdown, and for many people things are getting progressively more intense. Most families are physically distancing at home. People are only leaving the house for their weekly shop – and spending a lot of that time waiting in the queue – or to exercise once a day.

    In my family things are a bit different. Our driveway is usually empty during the day as my parents, who are doctors, go in to work. It is difficult to imagine how only some weeks ago my main worries were around my GCSEs. Now every day, I hear about deaths from coronavirus. I cannot help but feel a surge of fear for my parents as I watch these updates with my brother. I’m painfully aware of the many healthcare workers who have lost their lives.

    The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, has announced that the families of NHS and care workers who died from the coronavirus will get £60,000. I’m sure they would much rather have their loved ones with them. It is unthinkable to put a price on someone’s life. Maybe if this money had been spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) there would have been fewer deaths.

    My parents are carrying on with their work with as much semblance of normality as possible. They change before they leave work and again straight after coming home. They avoid all contact with us until they’ve had a shower and disinfected things thoroughly.

    At the start they discussed my dad moving into a hotel; there was more risk of infection as he works in a hospital. In spite of their best efforts to wash their hands repeatedly and set up a hygiene station in the hallway, they both caught coronavirus one after the other.

    I wasn’t surprised. PPE guidelines and supplies have been inadequate. Many hospitals have been running out of gowns and the guidelines surrounding what level of PPE should be used have been changing constantly. My mum’s surgery has had to supplement its own PPE. They have bought gowns, visors and safety goggles as well as masks.

    My dad caught the virus in the first week of lockdown. It was a Thursday and as everyone clapped for NHS workers outside, he just about climbed the stairs to his bed. He said it felt like he was trying to climb Everest. He remained isolated from the rest of us, suffering from fever, rigors and severe muscle pains. I often heard him scream in pain. My mum did her best to help, giving him regular paracetamol and nourishing soups that he would barely eat. She would don a mask and leave food outside his door.

    My parents weren’t able to get tested despite the government’s claim that NHS staff would be tested for Covid-19. We stayed isolated for 14 days, assuming that my dad had the virus. My mum worked from home, struggling with technology, delivering food to my dad and answering up to 50 phone calls a day.

    After multiple attempts to be tested my dad finally accessed a drive-through – on day 11 of his illness, when he had recovered. The swab was negative, presumably because he was tested too late.

    My mum was sick next. In the first week she lost her sense of smell and had a mild fever. But in the second week her health deteriorated. She became very breathless and could not stop coughing. On day 10 of her illness she was admitted to a coronavirus ward. I have never been more scared in my life. She thankfully got better and came home but I’m still worried about whether they might be able to catch the virus again.

    This experience has taught me the importance of time and how we can never predict what the future may hold. This week I would have been sitting my first GCSE exam, which now seems trivial compared with what people are going through.

    Before this pandemic I took for granted time spent with family and loved ones. But now I have learned to cherish all these priceless moments. While my parents were ill I questioned whether life would ever go back to normal, or even if I would be able to speak to them again.

    After everything, I am incredibly grateful for the Thursday clap for the amazing dedication of key workers – including those in healthcare, delivery drivers, supermarket staff, school and nursery teachers, and care workers.

    There has been so much death, heartache and disappointment in recent weeks for people around the world, many of whom are feeling very isolated. We are all thinking about how this virus has affected us in many ways, but there have also been things to celebrate too – such as how communities have come together to offer love, sympathy and camaraderie. I hope this can bring some light to those in darkness right now.


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