Careers. Corona. Commitments.

Megan Thorn

Creeping ever closer to the front lines, aware of the invisible mugger that had left me breathless the weeks before. Hyper aware of the presence of others, accompanied by the eerie morning chorus off far into to the distance. Uniform by my side stacked with rations and equipment for the day ahead.

Punching in the door code before stinging my hands with sanitiser, I wonder what today will hold. The beeping of my key FOB brings me back to my senses just before I go off to don my uniform and start my 8-hour battle.

I dare not touch the keypad for the lift out of fear, instead using a paper towel. At the top I am met by my tired and yet cheerful colleagues. We exchange the days battle plans before we are handed control of today’s war. And so, it begins.

Outside of the office I am greeted by frail but determined faces still happy and healthy, protected by the flimsy masks we wear. Painfully aware of how fortunate they are protected by our quick actions from their side of the everchanging door codes while others aren’t so fortunate. There are no cases as of yet but that can change in an instant.

With every hour ticking past ever slower, horrid suspense music fills the ears of my mind while I plaster on a smile, faltering when I am left alone. Despite the fierce sense of comradery, it remains unspoken that we’re not all okay. This revelation leads me to crack open my second monster of the day, downing the sweet liquid caffeine, cringing as it burns my throat. Unwilling to let my thoughts bog me down for the sake of those that we are protecting I turn my attention to planning activities to keep us all entertained.

Card games. card games are always a good way to raise spirits. I replace my mask and return to ask each resident. No one comes.

Finishing my duties for the day I perch on the edge of an arm chair, head in my hands and simply sigh. I want to go home, I want to quit and never come back. Many of us do. But a fierce sense of loyalty to my position to help those in need keeps me from handing in that slip of paper to change everything. I refuse to take the cowards way out. Not this time.

I check and double check everything is done before bidding farewell to my tired colleagues who are set to stay for another 4 hours, vowing to myself to buy them a gift to say thank you and you’re not alone.

Back in my normal clothes and with the familiar beep of my key FOB, I bid farewell to our cheery receptionist before going back into the world outside albeit for 5 minutes. Trudging tiredly back home to lay down and sleep after my long day my thoughts stray to the week ahead and find nothing. Nothing, until the day a week from now, where I do this all again.