THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a three-month-long duty amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this 50-year-old staff nurse at the Thycaud Women and Child Hospital finally got the chance to take a short break and be with her family. Being a nursing assistant at the hospital for the past six years, Christabel Edward never imagined the pandemic and the associated lockdown would prompt her to don a new role.
With hotels and restaurants shut following the lockdown, it was a huge challenge for the hospital authorities to serve food for the staff who have been working day and night in shifts dealing with cases referred from taluk hospitals and SAT Hospital. Though the idea of setting up a temporary kitchen for the staff on the lines of the community kitchen came up, none wasready to take up the responsibility to run the kitchen while discharging other official responsibilities.This is when Christabel stepped in and turned to be a saviour for around 200 staff members including doctors and surgeons by serving them homely meals throughout the day. She had to juggle between her work and the mess duty but rising to the occasion was all that mattered.
“Somebody had to take up the responsibility and I took charge of the mess. We all had a hard time keeping it together during the crisis and everybody was overburdened. Initially, I had to solely focus on the mess but after a week I had to go back to my work shifts because there was a huge influx of patients,” says Christabel. “Making food for around 200 people was a challenge. We had to set up a temporary wood stove. It was a challenging experience in my entire life. But I was overwhelmed by the response,” says Christabel. who has around 11 years of experience as a nurse. “Even amid all this crisis, I was able to do something special for everyone,” she says.
Hailing from Kadavur in Kollam, Christabel couldn’t take leave and visit her family. “My children are grown up and my family is very supportive. I decided to stay back at the hospital. We wound up the mess on June 10 and I took leave from June 14,” says Christabel, who will be resuming duty next week.“When I get back, I’ll be deployed for Covid-19 duty. Human resources are the need of the hour,” she adds.