Author Archives: Chloe Rose

Forgotten heroes near “breaking point”

Care workers up and down the country are calling for people to be more understanding of their position, after prime minister Boris Johnson labelled them as key workers in his lockdown guidelines.

NHS staff, social care workers, childcare and teaching staff, as well as those working  in supermarkets and other similar positions are only a fraction of those whose careers are considered essential for society to continue running.

However, many have complained that measures that are being taken to protect the vulnerable are not being extended to the right people.

KEY WORKER

©Chloe Rose

Many supermarkets in the UK have implemented designated hours in the day to NHS staff, as well as those over 70 to shop alone for their own protection. But a lot of care workers believe no consideration has gone in to their situations, with many of them having the responsibility to shop for elderly or vulnerable clients, as well as a duty of care to practice strict social distancing measures for the sake of their clients.

One care worker complained how it was “atrocious” that supermarkets were letting NHS workers skip queues while “not letting carers for vulnerable people do the same”. She stated that she knew “at least one elderly man who might not get his shopping now because a carer with a one hour time limit was not let in to stores in time”. 

The same carer commented that while “designated hours are good, not everyone can be there at the times they’ve been put in place, they’re early in the morning which is when most carers are in the community helping those most vulnerable with showering, medication and other essential daily duties and by the time we get the opportunity to get to shops we’re turned away because we’re not NHS”.

 

Care workers across the nation are also complaining of services being “near breaking point” due to shortages of Personal Protective Equipment.

Unison, a trade union representing all in the public sector, have recently called on the prime minister to do more to end severe shortages of PPE before the situation in the care industry becomes dire.

A care worker in a Tyne and Wear convalescent care home complained that PPE arriving at her workplace was being distributed to the wrong people or used irresponsibly. Leaving those who have constant contact with the vulnerable with only gloves and limited numbers of aprons to protect them and their clients against the potentially deadly virus.

“We’re being treated like second rate citizens just because we don’t have an NHS badge hanging around our necks. We’re putting our own lives and our family’s lives at risk working in this sector but we’re still not considered equal to NHS workers.”

Not only are care workers being denied basic protection for the sake of themselves and those around them, many are seeing their workload increase as they are expected to take on the jobs of others in order to meet the high demand and fast turnover that COVID-19 is creating.

Short term care homes including convalescent and rehabilitation centres are seeing their turnover go from three to four weeks to just five days to keep up with hospital’s need to free up beds for patients suffering with novel coronavirus.

Sunderland care worker, Carol, also expressed concerns about the government’s lack of concern surrounding testing in the UK.

“People coming to us aren’t being tested before they leave hospital. They’re coming to us for convalescent care, but we don’t know what these people are bringing into our home. The cross infection risk is putting people in danger but again, because we’re not NHS it’s like we don’t exist.” 

With those working on the front line still not being considered for necessary testing, the risk of working with the vulnerable is far from over. But these unsung heroes of the care sector will carry on, knowing how vital their work is to the running of society.

For now, carers not working in the National Health Service can only hope their positions will begin to be held in the same regard as those working for the NHS, before they reach a point of no return.

CORONAVIRUS INFO

©Chloe Rose

 

Chloe Rose

 

 

Everything you need to know about Covid-19

As the UK declares a lockdown in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic, here is everything you need to know about the virus and how to stay safe in these unprecedented times.

What is a coronavirus? 

According to the World Health Organisation, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which have the ability to cause illness in both animals and humans. In humans it has been known to cause mild illnesses such as colds. However, coronaviruses have also been responsible for causing a number of dangerous respiratory conditions including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the most recently discovered Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

What makes COVID-19 different? 

The new strain of coronavirus is highly infectious and can be dangerous. Though it manifests itself in similar ways to MERS and SARS, the fact that this strain of the virus has never been seen before makes it a complicated one to treat. According to scientists in China, COVID-19 has developed into two separate strains, making developing a vaccine more complicated.

What are the symptoms?

Major symptoms of coronavirus disease include a fever, a dry cough and extreme fatigue. Other patients have reported feeling aches and pains, nasal congestion and a sore throat, however these symptoms are less common. Symptoms of coronavirus usually begin mild and develop gradually.

It is important to note, however, that it is entirely possible to become infected with this disease without showing symptoms or feeling unwell.

Image result for coronavirus symptoms

 

How can I prevent myself from catching or spreading it?

WHO now recommends that extensive measures are taken in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

These include:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if hand washing facilities are not available.
  • Maintain at least 2-metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people. This is now known as social distancing.
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Making sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene.
  • Staying at home unless absolutely necessary. The UK government have now ordered citizens to stay indoors unless they are labelled as key workers who need to work, leaving the house to exercise, or to shop for essentials for yourself or someone you are caring for.

Image result for how to prevent coronavirus

How did it start?

Though it is not yet confirmed how the virus broke out, the animal source of the virus has been linked to bats. Evidence also points to a “wet market” in Wuhan, China being the source of the outbreak. It is thought that the poor hygiene standards and the process of live animals being kept and butchered on site contributed to the risk of viruses transmitting to other animals. The busy nature of these markets also made it easier for the virus to be transmitted to a human.

#StayHome campaign

 

The amount of time the pandemic will continue for, and how much worse it will get is currently unknown. Officials recommend keeping an eye on the World Health Organisation and Public Health England, as well as reliable news sources for regular updates on how to protect yourself and those around you.

The most important message right now is follow the government rules and stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

Chloe Rose

Theatre capital of the world goes dark

The Society of London Theatre this week made the extremely difficult decision to close all West End theatres, effective immediately for the foreseeable future. 

The news came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tighter regulations on social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Johnson stated that members of the public should now avoid public places unless essential, the advice specifically stating theatres are to be avoided.

Theatre fans, as well as those working within the theatre industry, are understandably devastated by the news of their livelihoods being temporarily taken away. But the news resembled that of a ticking time bomb, with many people expecting it to happen. After the West End’s cousins on Broadway went dark only four days prior, it was simply a waiting game for London’s theatres to follow suit.

Society of London Theatre – 16/03/2020

A closure of this magnitude has already put droves of performers and other theatre professionals out of work for at least the next month, with no concrete date in place as to when theatres will be allowed to reopen. While businesses affiliated with theatre, including box offices, are likely to require longer to recover from financial blows resulting from a loss of ticket sales.

Despite the closures however, the theatre community have banded together in an attempt to show solidarity for those losing their jobs. With a number of theatre organisations currently in talks to introduce subscription paid live streams where actors can perform and fans can tune in to watch.

Others are taking to social media to ask for followers to give support to Acting for Others, a charity that works to provide financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need. As well as encouraging fans to increase their support for the West End as and when shows resume.

As industries across the country are being struck down as a result of the virus. Many working in theatre have been faced with the realisation that the prospect of what many refer to as “muggle jobs” are probably not an option. This harsh reality has left a number of theatre professionals with little to do but wait until their beloved shows return to the West End.

In the meantime however, many have taken to social media to offer their services to the community in whatever way they can. Offers of help with audition reps, singing, acting and social media dance classes have become increasingly popular over the past few days. While others are offering one to one chats over Skype in an attempt to keep up the morale of fellow performers.

Ambassador Theatre Group

Though many performers are likely to be worried about the weeks ahead with no guarantee of when they can return to their careers, it’s clear the solidarity of the community is not going anywhere in a hurry.

Chloe Rose