When lockdown happened, first of all I had feelings of anxiety and a lack of control – just as I had felt when I was still fighting for my refugee status. However, unlike others who are still fighting for their rights to remain in this country (and with whom I empathise), I was able to tuck into work and increase my hours. I started to cover many extra shifts which as many staff continued to call in sick.
Caring for all those who needed me meant I had to be strong and there for them. I felt a strong sense of responsibility. Caring for others was a way of giving back to my community. In the process, the attention on myself and my own health faded.
Photo by Knut Bry
During this time, I also volunteered, making calls to check in with asylum seekers who have particularly struggled through this process. Many have had to deal with their mental health. Sometimes, taking care of others is the best way to take care of oneself. That has been the most important lesson that I have learned through this trying time.
This blog is by a Care Worker from Zimbabwe who wishes to remain anonymous