'I would do anything for a hug from my mom': UH doctor on isolation and working in COVID-19 outbreak
LONDON, ONT. -- She is one of the faces of the front line in the battle against COVID-19 and says that right now, "I would do anything for a hug from my mom.“
Speaking to CTV News via Zoom, Dr. Emily Jones opened up about what it’s like to be living alone and in isolation, and working at London’s University Hospital.
“I haven’t seen the bottom of somebody else’s face apart from over a screen, in about six weeks,” she revealed.
Jones practices in the Department of Medicine at the hospital. She says all of her patients - as many as 40 - have contracted COVID-19.
“It’s really traumatizing,” she admitted. “And I think it’s traumatizing for everyone. For the physicians, for the nurses and for the people who deliver their meals every day...because patients have been acquiring COVID while they’ve been in hospital, and some of them have died as a result of contracting COVID when they were just simply waiting to go home. And that’s, it's awful because it kind of goes against everything we try and do for patients while they’re in hospital. We try and make them better. We try and get them home.”
She said she gets support from both colleagues and hospital leadership, as well as from friends and family virtually. But Jones added that it’s tough to keep up morale in the workplace.
“There’s less laughter in the hallway. It’s an incredibly serious working environment right now.”
Jones said some health-care workers have feelings of guilt about the outbreak at University Hospital, even though everyone is doing the best they can in a trying situation. And that’s why hearing the words “thank you” from people goes a long way.
“They’re small words that make a massive difference. And so hearing thank you from people makes it that much worth it, and makes the sacrifice feel as though it’s acknowledged and appreciated.”
Jones said she will be finished her quarantine by Christmas Eve, just in time to spend Christmas with her closest family members, but she knows this year is going to be very different.
“The people who are usually there will not be going there. Christmas is going to be very, very different this year. Christmas is going to have screen time in a totally different way this year.”