It is 12 months since the whole of the country entered the very first Lockdown due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a situation no-one had ever experienced before – and something we hope we will never see again.
In this series of real short stories, we hear from ordinary Wirral people about events that affected them this past year.
This is Kirsty, a nurse returning to work after maternity leave who was asked to fulfil a different role out in the community:
“I was really keen to come back and start work in my new role as a Community Health Nurse. But two weeks into the first national lockdown, it was clear my skills were needed elsewhere. I was redeployed to District Nursing - a role I’d not done before. I was given training, new uniform and a very large bag of tricks, then I was off to start my new job.
“The older people I met were inspirational in their resolve to stay upbeat despite clearly missing their families desperately. I visited a lot of housebound people and witnessed loneliness on a scale that had probably never existed before. The over 70s and vulnerable had been asked to shield and this was having an untold impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
“The most difficult was the people receiving palliative care and their families who knew they would miss saying their final goodbyes to one another. Caring responsibilities were piled onto single individuals who were burned out with the pressure of being the sole support bubble for a dying relative, while other family members had to look on from the outside unable to ease the load.”
A positive thing for Kirsty and her colleagues in the early days of the first lockdown was the weekly Clap for Carers event and the visible signs of support for the health and care that had popped up everywhere.
“It really felt like the first time the NHS had been appreciated on this scale. While out doing my rounds, it was heart-warming to see the children’s art in the windows, the many messages of thanks and of course, the rainbows.
“I look back on my time redeployed fondly. I worked with wonderful people, met many fascinating individuals and have many interesting stories to pass on to my children who hopefully will have very little recollection of actually living through this experience.”
More stories will be shared in the coming days.