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COVID Doorman

Posted August 7th, 2020 at 09:11 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus
So I am back at work. My main jobs at the moment are letting people into the building to see the counselors who have offices in the basement and untangling the paperwork that has accumulated while we were closed.

I get to dress in full PPE to open the door. Mask, clear face shield, sterile gloves and gown. I meet them at the door and have to ask them health questions.

Do you have fever? A cough? Breathing difficulties? No? Then you can come in. No one has answered yes to any query yet. I suppose I’ll have to turn them away if they do.

Then they can come in to the hand sanitizer station where they lather up before using the elevator.

When they exit the elevator in the basement where they counselors’ offices are I call the elevator back and sanitize it. Spraying and polishing. That’s it. That’s my job.

This morning I had an elderly woman with dementia. Her husband dropped her off. She didn’t want to wear her mask. She was aggressive from the start. It was none of my business if she had a cough. I got her through the questions and to the sanitizer station. She couldn’t understand that she had to use the elevator. I pushed the buttons for her and sent her down.

Three minutes later the shouting started. I could hear here from the main floor. She was lost downstairs so she responded by screaming. I rushed to put my PPE back on again but by then she had come up the stairs.

“Where were you?” she demanded as I approached, in gear. “What’s your problem? What the hell do you think you’re doing? Where’s my therapist?”

“In the basement,” I said. “Would you like to talk to her?”

I pressed the elevator button and the door opened, startling her.

“Who did that?” she said.

“I did. Your therapist is in the basement.”

“I was just down there and no one was there,” she snarled. “What are you trying to do to me? I want to see my therapist!”

“She’s in the basement.”

“I’m not going down there again! You’re trying to trick me! I’ll scream!” she threatens.

I can tell that she wants to go out the doors to outside. I have experience with dementia sufferers so I also know that she doesn’t know where she is or where she should go.

“You go get my therapist and bring her to me,” she snaps.

“I will, but you must wait outside.”

This makes her very angry but really I have no choice. The building is closed to the public. The lights are off in most areas and it’s unsafe.

“What’s your problem?” she snaps again as she goes out the door.

The counselor arrives then, late, thank you very much. Not her fault though because the building next door is on fire and she stopped to report it. We go outside. There is smoke everywhere. We find the demented woman and the counselor tries to talk her in. Fire trucks arrive.

I go back inside to sanitize the elevator buttons, the door knobs and the hand rails. The next visitor is due soon.

This visitor is a person from China who doesn’t seem to speak any English. I try to mime do you have a fever but I think it must look like I’m having a seizure because I’m wearing all of my protective gear. Finally we reach an understanding and I get the visitor to the elevator.

Disinfecting time. The elevator is shiny metal and it’s even shinier when I’m done.

I am the front line of protection, which is a little scary. There’s a long list of people expected to arrive today. Anyone of them could be carrying the virus. I never thought a pandemic would be filled with so much waiting. I thought we’d all drop dead in the first few days, leaving the survivors to invent strange hybrid vehicles while dying their hair white.

The next visitors are a mother and little girl. The girl is probably 3 or 4 and she is taking all of this very seriously. I wonder what she sees- a lifetime ahead of her in a mask, only getting close to the few people in her house, never getting a hug from a friend.

I wipe away the thoughts as I disinfect again. The disinfectant is a strong concoction that hangs in the air and stays in your mouth. I taste it while eating my lunch.

Keeping everybody safe is good but the world is making everyone a little crazier I think and so I know I’m going to be busy next week and next month and however long, opening the door so that people can go to the basement to visit the counselors.
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Tornado's Avatar
Wow, that is intense. Keep fighting the good fight.
Best wishes.
Posted August 10th, 2020 at 12:47 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
 
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