Keisha Gourdet has labored as a licensed caregiver for Royal Care, a house care company, for six years. “Not everybody can do that,” she mentioned. “Lots of people have give up and resigned for the reason that virus began.”
However because the pandemic threatens the town with a second wave and the mayor is advising at-risk New Yorkers to restrict actions exterior the house, Ms. Gourdet stays dedicated. “My sufferers want my assist. I’d really feel I’m neglecting them if I didn’t present up.”
Ms. Gourdet, 44, lives in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, on the highest flooring of a two-family home together with her husband, Handal, 45, an M.T.A. bus operator, and two of their three kids; Treasured, 17, and Simara, 16. Her son, Kadeem, 20, is within the Navy in California. Ms. Gourdet’s work routine is very grueling on Sundays.
HEALTH FIRST I’ve a tough begin; I’m up at 4 a.m. I bathe, costume and ensure to have a wholesome breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, orange juice and every day dietary supplements. I desire a sturdy immune system. I depart the home carrying two masks and gloves, with a P.P.E. go well with, additional gloves, protect masks and might of Lysol in my bag.
COMMUTE I catch the 5:45 bus and take that to my affected person’s dwelling. The bus makes me nervous as a result of it’s so soiled. I spray myself and the seat as a result of it’s actually essential I don’t choose up something.
NO HUGS My affected person lives in Brooklyn, and I’m there by 6:30. I placed on new gloves, spray myself and get into my uniform earlier than strolling in. I’ve been coming right here a number of days every week for 3 years. He’s very nice with humorousness. He’s 53 and a diabetic. 5 years in the past he fell, and a automobile hit him. It gave him stability points, and now he walks with a cane. He’s one in every of three sufferers I handle. I used to hug him hiya, which I can’t do anymore as a result of that’s harmful. We each really feel badly, like one thing has been taken away.
MORNING TASKS At 7 I arrange his breakfast, then get him prepared for his bathe. I assist him brush his tooth, dress and prepared for the day. Then he has cereal, eggs, bread and fruit. At 7:45 he watches the information. He’s within the bed room and I’m by the eating room in order that we’re social distancing. At 8:30 we take a brief 15-minute stroll so he can get some air and train.
COOK, CLEAN For the following few hours I cook dinner for him; greens, rice, peas and beans. I do his grocery purchasing on Saturday. All the pieces is simply a block away in order that’s good. Then I clear the entire residence. I don’t need him to get sick so I make certain every little thing is sanitized. All the pieces proper now feels actually careworn.
A GOOD PLACE Through the years he has turn into like household. To start with it was rocky. He didn’t need anybody telling him what to do. Now we’re at place. Since we will’t contact, we high-five with gloved fingers. Then I say, ‘Don’t be a stranger; if something occurs name me.’ I don’t need him to really feel left alone as a result of I do know he will get depressed after I depart.
SHOWER AND SANDWICH 11 a.m. is the tip of my shift. Within the hallway I spray myself, get out of the uniform and put it in a plastic bag. I throw out the masks and gloves and placed on a brand new set. I get again on the bus and spray every little thing. I race dwelling; I solely have 45 minutes, so I take off my clothes by the entrance door, run upstairs, bathe utilizing Dettol, an antibacterial liquid cleaning soap, and dress. My husband has already left for work. My daughters are dwelling. I say a fast hiya and inform them I like them. I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drink a glass of milk after which I depart.
IN TRANSIT, AGAIN At 12:30 I catch one other bus, which I take to Church Road. Then it’s two subways to my subsequent job, which is at a nursing dwelling in Queens. I search for empty vehicles and get within the one with the least individuals. There’s a lot backwards and forwards. I don’t have a relaxation interval, it’s overwhelming.
THE AFTERNOON GIG I’m on the Halfway Nursing Residence by 2:20ish. All the pieces is sanitized once more. I take my temperature to verify I don’t have a fever. I check in and am given new masks, gloves and protecting gear. There are seven flooring. One is for individuals who have the virus. One is for individuals getting over it. The others are for rehab, long-term stays or my flooring, which is for the aged who’ve dementia.
MULTIPLE PATIENTS I’ve 10 sufferers, and I say hello to every one. Some are pleased to see me; some are in dangerous moods. For the following a number of hours I run round attending to everybody. I do check-ins, discover out who wants a bathe, who’s getting what for dinner and ensure everybody will get dressed for mattress. The employees on my flooring are very nice. Everyone seems to be there to assist. It’s the one approach to operate properly.
BEDTIME At 9 everybody will get a snack: Jell-O, banana, yogurt or ice cream. Bedtime is at 9:30. After I put everybody to mattress, I do laptop work for the following 90 minutes and log in who bought a bathe and who ate what.
EXHAUSTED At 11 I clock out, take off my P.P.E. go well with and face protect. I throw out the gloves and masks and put new ones on and stroll to the prepare. Only some are working, so it may be a 20-minute wait, which is horrible as a result of I’m so drained. It’s one of many worst elements as a result of I simply wish to go dwelling and see my husband. I watch for the second prepare, then the bus. All the pieces is sprayed. I’m exhausted.
TEA I get dwelling at 1:15 a.m. and bathe once more. I’ve a sizzling cup of lemon zinger tea and go to mattress. My husband is already asleep. It’s laborious to not see him. We’ve each picked up additional shifts for the reason that virus began. It’s been very robust, however we’re going to get via this.