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About Miffymog

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  1. Well, my covid life at the hospital is settling down now. Normal procedure for non-infected rooms. Go into the room, change the bins and come out. Go back in and wipe all the ceramic surfaces, check the loo roll and then come out again. Go back in and mop the floors. Done. Enhanced procedure for a room when someone has the flu. Put on a surgical mask, plastic apron and new gloves before entry. Take everything into the room in one go. Do the above the tasks. Just before you leave the room, take off the gloves, mask and apron and put them in the bin bag you’re taking out. Done. In a ward of 5 single rooms and 5 bays with 8 beds in, if someone has the flu, they go into a side room. If all 5 single rooms are taken up then the infected patient has to stay in a bay. If more than one bay has infected patients in then the whole ward gets closed. Local journalists will misinterpret a closed ward as being an empty one. Nope, it just means the ward is not accepting any visitors or taking in any new patients, everything inside just carries on as usual. If enough wards are closed, then the whole hospital gets closed, which hits the local news and sometimes the national news as well. This happened last year with the norovirus. Unsurprisingly, life in a hospital with the norovirus is very similar to that with coronavirus. And that is where I am now. Some of my anxieties about it have all died down as many of my questions have been answered. Will I be kept on my normal ward? Yes. Will it be a covid positive one? Yes. What will it be like there? The patients I clean around are pretty mild cases, so not too bad. So for me, things have settled down and are kind of back to normal – ish.
  2. Well, it’s happened, the ward that I clean has now become a Covid ward. I’d heard that it was changing from elderly to covid last week, but I didn’t think they’d keep me on it as I’ve not been cleaning all that long. But possibly because it’s my normal ward, along with the fact that a number of the other cleaners are a bit older, they’ve kept me on it. Firstly, the whole ward is cleaner than I’ve ever seen it. When they took all the beds out they’ve given it a good clean so the floors are looking better than ever. Secondly, they’ve bolted the windows shut and just put in little ventilation holes. This is a shame as it can get really hot in the wards, and when it does all the windows are opened to create a nice breeze, but not any more. Understandable though as it is an airborne virus. When we get flu infections in a ward, there are fairly straight forward procedures in regards to enhanced cleaning and PPE. I’ve often cleaned infectious rooms and never caught anything by doing it, so I’m fairly confident in them working. But the main change is that we now have to put on scrubs before we enter the ward which are then left in the hospital afterwards so we don’t risk taking home contaminated clothes. This would seem prudent, but the organisation around this has been poor, as no one was clear exactly where we had to get changed, and there were worries about there not being enough kit. But it did feel just like a teething problem rather than anything serious. The ward is in some ways quite nice to work in now. Previously it had 5 bays with 8 beds each and 5 side rooms for individual patients, but they’ve reduced the number of beds in each bay to 4, which gives us much more space. There are also no visitors allowed. Now I know that it’s really good for the patients to have them, but there can be so many at times it does make it easier not to have them around while working. The ward was very empty of patients at the beginning of the shift, but there was a slow stream being wheeled in. These were actually just from them being transferred from other wards as the re-arranging is still going on. Being an elderly ward before, all of the patients then seemed really quite comfortable being there, and they were often more concerned about their right to have a cup of tea than what was actually wrong with them. This is different, there were still some elderly patients there, but half of them were also in their 30’s and 40’s. These younger people looked like they couldn’t quite believe what has happened to them. The ‘nice’ thing about the ward is that it’s not intensive care, it’s just people who are experiencing strong flu symptoms but nothing visible was really wrong with them. They might be sleeping or awake lying with a mildly bemused look on them, but they were not suffering or in distress. From a selfish point of view this makes the job easier, because as a cleaner you don’t always get to relate to other members of staff in a natural way, so when you see something upsetting, you kind of have to bottle it up a bit at times. So as the patients seem to be doing ok-ish at the moment, that wasn’t necessary this time. I’ve never been any good a finishing essays – so this is where this one stops ...
  3. Update from the hospital cleaning cupboard After the initial anxiety about what was coming, it’s now very much the quiet before the storm. The UK government policies on things such as social isolation are very much aimed at what’s happening in London, but to effectively enforce them they are being applied nationwide, which is understandable. However, I live in one of the most far behind regions of the country in terms of the contagion. What this means is that the hospital has readied itself for filling up with Covid-19 patients by stopping all non-urgent treatment, but with out having many people infected yet. The result is that many wards have been combined and closed down resulting in a very eerily empty hospital indeed. What we hear is that actually much of the specialist equipment is being sent to where it’s currently needed, ie London. Good news on the PPE front. The cleaners have gone from surgical mask, gloves and aprons to things that look more like Hazmat suites, with full face mask with tubes coming out the side to a ventilation system held around the lower back. As for when / if we are going to start filling up, who knows. We have just spent the last couple of days cleaning two wards that had been cleared out of patients this week (previously stroke) and were told that they would start to fill this week again, but we don’t yet know with what kind of patients. Brief existential threat to our jobs – the NHS have recruited over 500,000 volunteers to help in various ways, a consequence of lots of people having nothing to do / wanting to do something to help. Rumours were that they were going to give them cleaning jobs on the cheap – in part due to the shortage a cleaners as, with most professions currently, there seem to be around 20% of employees self-isolating. But instead, and to the relief of the unions, they hospital has turned to the job market, which has suddenly been flooded with people looking for work to fill the gaps. It used to be the case that most cleaners here seemed to have been employed for 10 years, but we’ve now got an influx of cleaners who have only been around for 2 to 3 weeks. So it’s all dauntingly quiet at the moment. I’m relatively new to the profession and have a degree of emotional sensitivity, so I’m not high up on the list to be sent to the currently 3 Covid Wards, which is quite fine by me. Will we eventually fill up with more patients … ? Will I find myself helping out there or is there more than enough other areas in the hospital that need to be cleaned without my going there? Don’t know. I do know that if I had a choice I think I would choose to have it now if I could. And the anxiety is more what I’d see in the wards than my actually catching it. But, like everyone out there in their own way, facing the uncertainty is not great. So until next week for the next update … (as I currently only work on the wards at the weekends) …
  4. Covid positive side effects

    Normally I walk around town then sit down at a library to read or use the computers. Now they are shut, my walks are twice as long and I'm already feeling better for it.
  5. The location of 10 new field hospitals are being considered. 10s of thousands of ventilators are on track to be produced. The lock down is allowing for the preparation for when the virus spreads.
  6. Finally got round to it ... using the most inaccurate maths there is by assuming an exponential growth to infections continuing unabated as shown in the graph here https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html it will take about 60 days for the UK to reach 50,000,000 infections, roughly 80% of population the errors here are vast, but it finally gives me some hold on to a possible trajectory of the virus ...
  7. Full services are returning to the London Undergound in order to improve spacing between people – better than just banning people from using it. Johnson may have been pushed towards a full lock down sooner than he really wanted. But if this does have a positive reduction in infection rates, it might be no bad thing as it will allow the numerous responses that are slowly kicking in to take hold. Factories being re-tooled to produce ventilators. Field hospitals put up (as Ride has mentioned) More testing kits to be produced More production of hand sanitiser Better distribution of facemasks and safety kits. Loads of nurses and Dr coming back in to service. Even more student nurses and student Dr being stream line in to work. There does feel to be a genuinely successful response which is now being put into motion – which each country has had to do in their own way.
  8. Covid positive side effects

    I'm not a fan of large crowds - there are now no large crowds anywhere. My daily walk around the town is now much more relaxed, despite being slightly eerie. #Lookingforthepositives !!!
  9. (OFF TOPIC - the kids were all sedated for the hours long underwater journey with two divers transporting them ... all survived ... incredible)
  10. Right - currently in the uk there are 5000 cases with 250 deaths. The growth rate is exponential, so I'm finally going get round to doing a little bit of maths to see how long it will take to get to 50,000,000 cases - a degree of herd immunity in the uk This will come to a fatality rate of 2,500,000 - GULP!!! utterly crazy figures The only mitigating factor here is the amount of those who have it but do not get tested .... if there is a factor of 10 here ... Then you reduce the fatalities to the 'standard' (!!!) 250,000 hmmmm
  11. Well - things are worse in the UK than the stats currently portray. Last week all Covid-19 patients were being sent off to another hospital from the one I work at. This week that hospital is now full. Last week we had one ward as a temporary stay in area before they were sent off to that other hospital. This week we are now up to three wards and in one of them one of the Dr's there caught it and is now on a ventilator himself. Slowly all the wards are being transformed to Covid-19 ones, wing by wing ...
  12. Looking at the current case rates in other European countries, ( https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html ) I actually feel the government is taking the right steps at about the right time. London is way ahead of the rest of the country and so it's slightly frustrating that the whole country is being treated like London, but I guess regional instructions just would not be as effect / easy to manage. Keep us informed how it goes - and if so can you guess where you got it from? Maybe - but what luck have you got with the drunk girl on the dance floor if she's sitting at home watching TV???
  13. Kicking off in the UK. NOW - all pubs, clubs and restaurants must close. All those unable to work due to this - will get their salary paid for by the government. First hospital in London having to turn away patients from critical care units. No complete lock down of towns and cities yet. Domino effect of hospitals failing to cope on the way ... No much talk yet of field hospitals and extra capacity being made / freed up so far