AGONY OF A FRONTLINE WORKER
I enter my house through the backdoor, like a burglar. I immediately go to the bathroom take off my clothes, put them in the washing machine, and take my bath.
My family is already at the dinner table, having a conversation while eating. My husband looks at me, I can see the concern in his eyes. I long to be held but we both know that is impossible. My 4-year-old daughter’s face lights up, it breaks my heart I cannot pick her up and plant a kiss on her angelic face. ‘Mom look I lost my tooth’ my son opens his mouth to show me his missing tooth.
These are the people I love the most in the world, yet it’s like watching on an HD TV they are right there in front of me but I can’t touch them. Simple gestures like hugging my husband, kissing my daughter, or giving my son a high five are impossible. I have to be responsible I cannot expose my family to more danger than I already have.
I do not even have the small comfort of telling them about my day. Why relive the agony of seeing so many dies, of seeing people struggle to take a breath in. I am with my family but I am apart from them.
I lose my appetite but I have to eat I need my strength for the battle ahead. I pick up the disposable plates and cutlery kept in the kitchen for only me. Keeping socially distant from my loved ones, I can’t help but feel like an outcast.
Lillian, my sweet daughter, is about to be tucked into bed and I almost lose it, I miss tucking my baby into bed, I miss reading her bedtime stories. How long will this separation go on?
I go to the basement, to my little cot. As I lie down, tears fall unbidden. I don’t try to stop them. My nightmare is ongoing. I look at the clock; I have another 5 hours before I face people who will plead with me to let them live; I’ll lie to them that they will get through this knowing they probably won’t.
I’m too fatigued to think for long, sleep takes me away. Soon, I will be going to face the unseen enemy. Tomorrow, I might be infected. Tomorrow, I might not. Right now, I don’t know which is better.