My asthma makes it more difficult for me to be a nurse during COVID


"I am a nurse based in Mumbai. In the given conditions, I am quite scared of going to work because I am an asthma patient myself. Some days I worry what if I get infected? With a pre-existing physical condition, would I be able to survive? I still want to see the world, own a house of my own...there are so many dreams I have. How will I fulfill those?” said Shaila Thakur. 

Many frontline workers are struggling with the fear and pressure of their pre-existing health conditions. Irrespective of that, they have been deputed on COVID duty where they are not just vulnerable to the virus but also trying to prevent their health from getting worse because of the virus.

As Shaila continued saying, "I have particle allergy. So far because of cleanliness I had been able to serve all these months, but now in the evenings when our hospital is sprayed with disinfectants, the strong smell makes me want to run away from the hospital for the next two hours. Most of the time I am taking inhalers to stop an asthma attack from happening. It's only because of the masks and PPE that I am able to work even under stressful conditions at the hospital."

When asked about how she's dealing with the pandemic scare and controlling her asthma while working around the patients, Shaila said, "I am still taking my controller medication and all the precautions. If I don't, I might be in one of these beds either because of an asthmatic attack or by contracting the virus. 

It is really tiring to portray that I am alright. I can't stress my parents, colleagues, doctors by saying that I am uncomfortable working at the COVID ward. The staff is low and I have to be here which is why I have to always fake a smile and stay put at my job without scaring anyone around me. But honestly, I am scared on the inside. So much that sometimes I think that I'd faint because of suppressing all this fear, stress and tension inside me. I just want things to go back to normal soon or at least to be released from this non-stop running around with infection looming around everywhere."

(Pic credit: macrovector/freepik)