Nurse warns: "Do not allow ignorance to become your ruin"
22.04.2020 07:00 by Lucília Galha
Carla Pinto, 36, who works in Intensive Care at Braga Hospital, Portugal, with Covid-19 patients, says the pandemic shows the best, but also the worst of people. And that, if each one does not fulfill their part, it will not be possible to overcome this problem. "I am aware that I am a potential carrier, so I am always attentive and take precautions. So, before I get out of the car, I clean my hands, put on a mask and put on gloves. I am protected and, mainly, I am protecting others. surgical mask protects from the inside out - the idea is not to spread, not to contaminate.
The other day, I went to Leroy Merlin, in Matosinhos, to buy some goggles. I went to the cashiers to pay and waited two meters away from the people in front: two gentlemen of the construction, who were side by side, close together. They paid and were received without any problem. But when I approached the box, and the boy saw me in a mask and gloves, he hesitated and referred me to a colleague. When the girl looked at me, she also didn't want to answer me and wanted to send me back to the first colleague. I had to be upset: ‘But what is this?’ She had no mask, no glasses, nothing. Did you see two people completely exposed and is it me who has a barrier to protect others that discriminates against me? I said to him: 'I am more at risk than the lady who is talking to me without a mask here.' It is unfortunate that people are not informed about this public health problem and that they have these discriminatory attitudes. How is it possible? I still said to him: 'You do not allow your ignorance to become your ruin. Because your ruin is our ruin. " There are people who look at us, health professionals, with thanks, others with fear and others even with a certain ... yes, I have been looked at by some people with a look of disgust. I don't understand people's ignorance. I work in Intensive Care with Covid patients, I am more exposed, but because I wanted to. Because in Intensive Care Units, not only are fans needed, there is also a need for people who know how to work in these services. Not all doctors know how to do this. I volunteered because I knew there weren't enough people. And I have experience. When I finished the course, in 2005, I went to work for the Hospital de Santa Cruz, for the Cardiac and Multipurpose Intensive Care Unit. I worked two years in that service. Now, since 2010 that I am in the operating room, I am an anesthesia nurse in the operating room of Hospital de Braga. Risk awareness According to our experience, the health professionals who are most infected are not from Intensive Care, interestingly. They are from other services. There are several infected colleagues in my service. But what we have realized is that we, health professionals, deal with risk, but we are aware of it. The problem is not with health professionals, the problem is with people thinking they are protected, but they are not. I give an example: I have been to Mercadona, in Braga, to shop. They have a security guard at the entrance to control the number of people entering the store, who is also distributing gloves to customers. One day, when I entered, I told him that it was not right for him to give the gloves, but for people to clean their hands first and then receive the gloves. Because we can't guarantee that people have clean hands when they get there. In addition to that those gloves are extra thin and tear easily - even those in the block, which are highly resistant, do tear. But when people wear gloves, they feel that they are protected. However, if the hands are not clean, and the gloves are torn, they contaminate what they touch. I told them: ‘Do not create false feelings of security.’ It is no wonder that Graça Freitas has often told people not to wear gloves. Because when people put them on, they feel protected and they do everything with them: they put their hands to their mouths, they take the ATM card, they scratch their faces ... People don't have a sense of what is dirty, clean and sterile. Unlike health professionals. In a critical period, like the one we are experiencing, it is not possible to shape the heads of ordinary people. That is why it is said that they wash their hands often, correctly and at least for 20 seconds. Last Friday I went to the same store and realized that they are still doing the same thing. I went back to warn them. I cannot be conniving with this, because who does not know is like who does not see, but who knows has the obligation and the responsibility to speak. Leaving the house for me was complicated - I went out to protect my two-year-old daughter and my husband, who is asthmatic. I had to decide what was most important and the scales showed me that their security weighs more.
A game of patience and resilience Right now, I'm not living in Braga, but in Porto. I lived three minutes from the hospital, now I do 120km a day. But that was my option. I'm living with a colleague of mine, a nurse too. At the moment, we are all making a huge effort, beyond what is reasonable, but it must be so. People don't know why they don't see. Just as this virus appeared, it will disappear, it is just a matter of time and being resistant and resilient. We have to have some physical capacity, because those facts are horrible and, after two hours, we have dripped, perspired, even the underwear is wet! And we walk there with that mask breathing the very CO2 that we inhale. After two hours, our thinking is somewhat compromised and slowed down. This is a game of strategy, patience and resilience. We will do everything in our power to help people, but it is important that they realize that we do not work miracles. It is important for people to realize that they have to comply with the basic rules. One day, when I was shopping at Mercadona, a lady crossed in front of me in the queue to pay. I asked him for permission to pass. I identified myself and showed him the Order of Nurses card. She took a step back, walked away, almost as if I were a venomous creature, looked me up and down and said: 'You can pass.' It was very unpleasant. This situation has happened to me a few times, so I gave up talking to people. I go directly to the cashier. People look at me in a corner, but right now they have more time available than I do - aside from all the hours I work, I still have 50 minutes to go and another 50 back home. For some, this is being terrible, for others, it is being a holiday parody and there are also those who are taking advantage. It is important to say this: all these situations that happened to me, if the people concerned come to have my hand, I want to tell them that I will take care of them as I take care of anyone else. Because what they did to me doesn't change who I am. I do what I have to do. It is very easy to be a hero in times of peace, in times of crisis and conflict is that the worst and the best of people comes to the surface and that's where people are discovered. I have never seen such an effort of solidarity and cooperation. In the same way that I report these sad and regrettable situations, there are also people who send meals to the Intensive Care for the whole team. It's a lot of people! The important thing is that each one does his part and that was what I wanted to transmit, the other day, in a store in the Granary, to a man who entered the mask shop but took it out to talk. 'It is important that you understand this: we all have a role to play. We can only reach a good port if we all do our part and, at the moment, you are not doing your part. ’ We all have a share of responsibility. If people, ordinary citizens, do not do their part, they cannot expect us health professionals to work miracles. " Source: Sábado Magazine https://www.sabado.pt/vida/detalhe/enfermeira-alerta-nao-permitam-que-a-ignorancia-se-transforme-na-vossa-ruina Grupo Cofina Media S.A.