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On January 21st we had the first community transition outbreak. I was working through Covid until May, as I lost my job.
Covid 19 affected many individuals from all ages, genders and basically all walks of life. Nobody was safe from losing their job or their house. This had a big impact on everyone’s overall wellbeing.
I have a diagnosis of anxiety and depression – ongoing for many years, so with all these restrictions, I found that catching public transport to work and trying to organize community outings with the clients I support in the disability community services field, took its own toll. The main responsibility that has caused me great anxiety was taking the clients out in the community. All the clients at this organisation were wheelchair-bound with serious illness. If they got flu, especially Covid 19, they would have a high chance of not recovering. Having that in the back of my mind was a huge responsibility. My role there was community access staff, that books and organizes events including holidays, outings and taking them out in the community, as well as attending doctors and specialists’ appointments for advocacy.
During Feb-May period, when I was working in this organisation, we were constantly washing our hands before we entered the lift, leave the lift, enter the room, leave the room. Any personal care is done with caution always, but even more with Covid 19 spreading quite rapidly around Queensland.
I found that the clients felt more isolated and lonelier than usual due to Covid 19. Due to visitor restrictions a lot of the client’s family, friends and even specialists’ appointments, unfortunately, had to cease for everyone’s safety. So many months in the above period I had to be on the ball and think of a variety of ways to continue to engage with the clients. So that would be wheelchair yoga, laughter therapy, meditation and cards. As you would find out that this got a bit repetitive for the clients. It was especially hard as we all enjoy planning the events with the clients. Being bound to their room had a significant impact on the clients, the support workers and even the organization. As a result, some support workers were not coping, which impacted the clients. Being a high care specialist support worker can be draining at the best of times. Covid 19 made it harder and with my ongoing anxiety and self-doubt. I questioned if I was going to get reduced hours or if I would even have a job. Those thoughts were on my mind and were only increasing as the numbers started climbing with the cases of Covid 19.