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#4 - Frontline Nurse

As much as I am worried about catching COVID19 as an asthmatic unpaid student nurse on the frontline; the satisfaction of kitting up in PPE and making a difference to people’s lives is rewarding.

But I’m kind of torn, I have to complete my hospital placements for uni and I need to work to make money. My paid work involves caring for vulnerable people in our society, and even though I’m really strict with my hand wash, wearing masks etc there is a lot of anxiety around unknowingly transmitting the virus in my care work.

There is this lovely 92 year old couple down the road who this week celebrated their 70 year wedding anniversary.

He is pretty fit for his age, driving places and cooking for his wife, despite Parkinson’s related tremors. He is loving how much kinder everyone is being to him. And a bit bemused as people keep giving him rolls of toilet paper.

She has Alzheimers, not too badly, but enough that it confines her mostly to her house. Which places things in perspective as we have these absurd conversations where she wants to know what’s going on ‘out there.’ I do have worries though.

I worry about my family in South Africa. I worry about the international students stuck in Australia without any support. Who have been paying full fee tuition, perhaps still working in a shitty cafe being underpaid and now left in the lurch by the government.

I worry that with our current success in Australia that we will be blasé leading to a much worse second wave.

I also worry about the international supply chain of pharmaceuticals. My doctor prescribed a progesterone only pill. I went to numerous pharmacies. None had it. A wonderful pharmacist named Amy really helped me.

She called everywhere. There has been some disruption in the supply chain, Pfizer the company that makes this pill has a country-wide shortage. �Looks like#coronababies are going to become more likely….


Hope Mathumbu is a student nurse, a writer and a contributor to the radio show Women On The Line. Thank you Hope for taking the time to share your experience.

Below is the link to her radio show:


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