Harlow’s key workers are trying to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Neonatal Nursery Nurse ready for her shift at PAH

AS OF April 13, Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Harlow reported that 118 people had died with coronavirus, the youngest being 19 and the oldest being 95.

Neonatal Nursery Nurse at PAH Tara Newell said; “There is a new visiting schedule which means only one parent can visit their child at one time for only a time slot of two hours which is a massive change from 24-hour visiting which was available to all families before the pandemic.

“The staff in Neonatal have to wear PPE which includes gloves, goggles, aprons and face masks to make sure everyone is safe. Babies are kept in incubators at all times. If a baby is in isolation, then there are extra measures in place, and we have to wear more PPE.”

The staff working in Neonatal usually help look after premature and ill babies, they also help with supporting parents at each step.

Tara said,“Mums who want to breast feed are massively effected by the pandemic as it is hard to support them with the measures in place. It is hard for parents to be boding with their children with the tight restrictions.”

On March 23, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown of the United Kingdom due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Since then only key workers have been able to go to work, and people can only leave their homes for essential items including food and medicine or for exercise.

Harlow’s Pemberley Academy’s year one teacher Max Steele explained, how the pandemic has changed the schools dynamic: “We have social distancing measures in place at Pemberley but it is hard as the children want to sit and talk to their friends, they want to show off their work and as a lot of children look up to the teachers as role models they sometimes just want some attention, which is hard when social distancing.”

Only children of key workers or vulnerable children with education, health and care plans (EHCP’s) can go to school in these times. This had to be arranged at the beginning of the lockdown.

He continued; “The pandemic will have a massive impact on all students but mostly year 6. They would have missed half of their final year which means they will be starting a brand-new school half a year behind. With the massive change in school this will have a big negative effect on their academic ability, social skills and will also have a negative effect on their mental health.”

“The staff at Pemberley Academy are working hard to make sure students have work available to them online.”

Since the start of the global pandemic, a lot of people had been panic buying, causing shortages of certain household goods. This caused outrage through communities and left a lot of people without their needs such as certain foods and toilet roll.

Saffron Walden Tesco manager James Grace said, “Since lockdown, stock throughout the store has risen and we now have good stock levels for all customers and staff. It has become a lot easier to fill the shops overnight rather than in the daytime. If the shelves need stocking through the day barriers cover the aisle allowing staff to restock while another member will get whatever the customers need from that aisle.

“We allow up to 70 customers maximum in our store to make sure we can keep everyone safe. Tesco has introduced a one-way system where customers queue outside the shop and we have procedures for when it rains. We have introduced cleaning stations and staff now have screens for all checkouts as well as PPE which includes masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. The staff that do not feel safe working have been offered different roles in the store or have been offered a lifestyle break depending on each individuals’ circumstances.”

Photo: Neonatal Nursery Nurse Tara Newell ready for her shift at PAH

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Leah Grace

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