How Covid broke my heart

I grew up on a farm near a small town in the Freestate province in South Africa. Whilst on sabbatical in 2003, I started working as a manager of Kineton Manor Nursing Home in Warwickshire.

In January 2020 and before any official lockdown instructions, I decided to implement a lockdown at the nursing home as a preventative measure.

We increased our infection control measures and closed to visitors. Sadly, during this time my husband was also admitted to hospital.

Despite testing negative for Covid, he became very weak, unresponsive and it was touch and go whether he would survive.

At the same time five of my nurses also tested positive for Covid. Three other nurses and I had to look after 52 residents for 14 days, for both day and night.

Our residents also started to show symptoms, and heartbreakingly several of them died from the virus. Warwickshire County Council were very supportive to us with supplies of PPE and arranged Covid testing for all our staff and residents.

Then the healing process started! The staff who were struck down with the virus got better and returned to work and five of our residents who had been tested positive recovered and became symptom free.

My husband is slowly recovering and two of our staff who became very unwell with Covid are also recovering. All of our residents are symptom free and my staff are healthy.

We are slowly, slowly starting to admit new residents. I am so thankful for all nurses, carers and staff in care homes who were willing to put their lives in danger to protect our older generation to ensure they have the best care.