Ten days after long term care worker Emily shared her fears of catching COVID-19 in a video, she tested positive, despite use of personal protective equipment on the job.
“Even with all the precautions I have taken I still came in contact with the virus,” said the 39 year-old Ontario mother of two young girls, aged five and nine.“Every day I watch my two young daughters for symptoms, praying that I didn’t infect them by giving them hugs and kisses.”
“I tested positive and unknowingly brought the virus home to my family. I’m living my worst nightmare,” said the Unifor Local 1106 member.
The fear of infection and the risks frontline health care workers are taking is something she spoke about in an earlier video message to fellow Unifor members.
“Walking into work, the anxiety that brings… I work around those that are most vulnerable fighting off fears that there is a real possibility that I could come in contact with COVID- 19 and the worst part of that fear is that I would being that home to my family,” said Emily in a video shared on April 6, 2020.
“Everyone will need to take a long hard look at what our governments could have done to protect health care workers and the community at large. It’s time for change in health care. Especially in long-term care,” said Emily in her updated video, shot in isolation in her bedroom on April 19, 2020.Her videos are part of a project to connect Unifor members during these unprecedented times. Members are encouraged to send their own short video messages to Communications@unifor.org. Experts advise that connecting with each other while in isolation is a healthy way to remind each other we are all in this together as union members.
COVID-19 has exposed how vulnerable our health care system is and why we need to act now. Front line health care members are now paying the price. Unifor is calling on all levels of government and employers alike to step up. Sign the petition at unifor.org/fairpay