Day 36 – Where is your PPE?

Update: I gave in and asked Aaliyah for some tart, she agreed since we were watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and no more drama needed to be added to the atmosphere.
Political Update: From today and for the foreseeable future, the whole of Bangladesh is now in lockdown meaning shops are only open between 7-10am and we are not allowed out. Furthermore, our university is convinced there is still a flight to Heathrow on the 8th even though all our sources deny any existance of flights until at least the 14th. Yet we will allow them to buy us onto this unrealistic flight.
Personal update: In the time it has taken me to write those sentences I must have gotten a world record for dead mozzies which are lying around me on the sofa and floor. Fantastic. Going for me is one thing, going for my face? That’s just rude.
Things continue to be quiet around here and I’m missing the banter in the office that I used to pretend I understood. The staff that are in still talk and laugh but it’s rarely not corona related and I’m finding myself too busy to socialise quite like I did before with my meanderings and questions.
My most commonly asked question towards me is ‘Imo, where is your PPE?’ Personal Protective Equiptment. At the moment this consists of gloves, a mask, a hat and a full overcoat/apron. I agreed to wear the gloves and have done for the past two weeks or so even though they are highly inconvenient and I doubt their effectiveness when we use the same pair all morning until they’re tinged yellow; for what reason, I do not want to know. Wearing the gloves is also making me more lax in hand washing which is a big problem, obviously. A friend once told me to imagine your hands have been through somewhere like the London Underground and therefore need to be washed immediately and often, but when you’re wearing gloves already, I have to remind myself to wash before and after every patient. At the very least.
The masks have been an interesting point, some, I can see their purpose and it has a psychological effect for most people but also the knowledge of their inefficiency and as I’ve already mentioned, some are just made out of the same material as a tshirt. The apron, I was beginning to understand, and I even put one on this morning though I complained of it’s lack of pockets for my pen and notes and sanitiser and I also realised I could not wash my arms after having the patient’s feet on them so not sure how to get round this one. And finally, the head cover. I mean, I can’t fathom what that is supposed to do, and I’m almost getting the impression that some of the other physios are doing it just to complete the look.
So, who is it for? ‘Personal’ in the name suggests it’s protection for ourselves which means it is our choice whether to wear it or not at our own risk. But if it’s for the patient’s safety, then we have an obligation to wear it; however, for the points I’ve just noted, I find it difficult to see how it does protect the patients and especially since Aaliyah and I are not allowed out of campus, we are safer than most. So when I am asked, ‘Where is your PPE?’ What should be my answer and what should be my reason? Admittedly, I could just bite my tongue and play the game and I am probably being slightly annoying about it but it’s just not practical for the physicalities of physiotherapy practise and due to our confinement, we are unlikely to contract the virus (due to constant handwashing) or pass on the virus (due to isolation and minimal outside contact). There are also few, if any, respiratory cases here.
On a change of subject, Aaliyah and I had got far too used to having a maid and housekeeper and the washing up got a little out of hand. As my friends who live with me back home well know, leaving washing up, especially without soaking anything first, rarely happened. What strange times we live in.

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