An experienced carer in Lincoln, who is self-isolating with what she believes to be coronavirus symptoms, has said she is terrified by what she has seen working with high risk residents.
The 41-year-old woman from Washingborough, who wished to remain anonymous, covers central Lincoln and the surrounding areas in her work.
She is at home self-isolating after suffering a “pounding headache, aching limbs, infected sinuses, a cough and a shortness of breath”, but is due to return to work in the near future.
She said an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment is a big cause for concern that she feels isn’t being addressed by the government.
The focus for distribution is on the NHS, but the Lincoln carer thinks domiciliary (home care) workers will be causing the most damage through inadequate PPE.
She told The Lincolnite that the current situation is leaving her in tears on a daily basis. She said: “I regularly see multiple people several times a day who live in warden council accommodation with other high risk residents.
“Our area manager has been advised as per government guidelines that we only need to worry about masks if clients are already showing symptoms, but it is already too late by then.
“The crisis facing the vulnerable will be catastrophic in the next few weeks and I’m on the verge of tears every day.
“Don’t just think about the NHS, think about those risking theirs and multiple others’ lives every day.
“My message is if you are able to look after your loved ones that are at most risk please do because things are going to get so much worse.
“I start back at work very soon. I catch a minimum of four buses a day and at my peak I will be catching around seven to provide care with only gloves that have been provided as PPE already to those clients needing personal care before the crisis.”
She also claimed that she saw a disconcerting message on a private social media platform from a senior member of staff who was considering going against government guidelines and working with suspected COVID-19.
The pressure is being felt by another high risk relative, who works for a different care company.
She added that she feels the family member is “being punished for having to self-isolate by working regular shifts that span over 15 hour days, six days a week, and attending to several vulnerable clients.”