With over 126,000 cases of Covid-19 in Canada alone, the pandemic has taken a toll on many people’s lives including front line workers. The mental health of these front line workers has been challenged in the last six months.
Many nurses from Windsor-Essex who have been working overtime due to the increase of cases have been feeling the same way, including Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner, Cheryl Cascio.
At the beginning of March, Cascio who works in Livonia, Michigan at the St. Mary Mercy Hospital, was transferred to another hospital in Livonia because the need for nurses were so high.
"Working in Michigan and living in Windsor made it so difficult," said Cascio. "For one, at the time, when things started to get bad in Livonia, it was not as bad in Windsor, and I was scared thinking that I am bringing it home to my family and could potentially infect them with the virus."
Cascio, who finished her nurse practitioner degree three years ago, said she never expected to see the healthcare system take a hit like it has in 2020. "I think the most heart-wrenching thing of this whole pandemic is I saw people pass on, and all they wanted in their final moments was to say goodbye to their loved ones, but we weren't allowed to let any family in," said Cascio. "I know that if I was in that situation, all I would want is to see my family." Within the last few months, Cascio explained when she got home from her long day at work, she would change out of her scrubs from the hospital in her garage, run downstairs to shower and keep her distance from her husband and children.
"I was so paranoid that I could have it - or spread it to someone I cared about - that I didn't sleep in the same bed as my husband for over three months," explained Cascio. "It was so straining for myself and my husband to have to go through that distance."
Within this month, Windsor-Essex has moved into Stage 3 with most commercial, retail, and public spaces reopening.