Working at SHOW during the Pandemic

Written by Cathie Stewart Savage

I work at Supportive Housing of Waterloo, an ‘essential service’, part time. We care for very vulnerable people who cannot be left alone without some support.

Small agencies like ours were not on the priority lists for early consultation and support so we have had little support outside of our workplace. We finally received proper gloves and masks on Wednesday of the second week of our lock down, along with a promise to bring more as available.

Each day as I head into work, I spend time at bus stops and on buses thinking and praying. I pray that I do not get sick, that I do not carry sickness home to my family or in to my coworkers and the tenants, and that I do not spread it in the community. I hold my breath each time I pass someone. I try not to touch any bare surfaces. I pray that there is still some sanitizer, some gloves and masks at our workplace and I carry my own much-used mask until I reach my work.

I remember what it is like to lose a sister, a brother, a mother, an unborn child, and others much too early in their lives, and I remember what it is like to lose a father, uncle and grandparents in their senior years, and I pray for all those families that will be going through something similar or even worse, before this virus has run its course.

I envy those who get to stay home, and yet when I am home, I worry about those at work. I am grateful that my income is not affected, but I worry about my family, whose jobs and prospects for work in the future are at risk.

When the day is over, I come home on those same buses, praying my concern for those tenants who are ill, my thanks for the coworkers who are so committed to our tenants, my thanks for the continued health of the tenants, and my thanks for the family that will welcome me home!

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