Covid Diaries March

Clifton March 18th

Feeling very weird this week: jumpy, twitchy, unable to find joy in the world. Doesn’t normally last for a whole week but this time it has.

Been Covid testing the kids for 2 days and did 3 days last week. 7 bays created by portable ‘no nonsense’ screens. Inside each bay a table with a bottle of hand sanitizer and detergent spray and a huge roll of tissue. Behind each bay are the testing stations with lots of timers and vials which contain the samples. It takes 25-30 mins to test each sample.

They arrive in their year groups, most of them apprehensive, some really anxious but showing it in different ways. They try and rush it or some just laugh when they’re trying to open their mouths or as they put the swab in. Two girls from year 11 have Tourette’s. One bobs her head and repeats ‘wow!’ in a high pitched voice over and over again. The other does a strange crouching motion. Again repeated – I guess – as a result of heightened anxiety.

My job was to reassure and allay fears repeating the same thing over and over again ‘Hi, are you OK? If you could blow your nose for me. That’s it. And now sanitise your hands and once you’ve done that take your barcode to miss and grab a swab and then come back here. Ok you know what to do? 3 times on each tonsil, then gently up one nostril until you meet some resistance and then turn it 4 times. Well done..etc’ I don’t know if it helps much especially as I look like an alien…

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