The Covid Support Diaries are designed to allow anyone, anywhere to speak personally of their covid experiences, in order to reach out and help others. We are all in this together.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all in many ways, placing incredible stresses on everyone throughout the world, not just from the threat of the virus, but the financial hardships, social constraints and the anxieties this places on interpersonal relations and personal well-being. Healthcare and key workers in particular have had to face monumental internal challenges, to not only care for their communities during this crisis, but consequentially put themselves and their own families at risk. Many of us are isolated in more ways than one.

The emotional toll is incalculable. One.Surgery recognises and applauds those people throughout the world facing these difficulties, and would like to support everyone through this difficult time. Sometimes all that is required is a way to talk, reach out, be heard and listened to. Below, we have created a support page, where anyone in the world can write out their feelings, anonymously (or not), to share with the community. We have also included a private option, should you just want to reach out privately to us for a listening ear. Our team will promise to read and hear all comments, to know we are here with you during these difficult times.

The form below simply allows you to speak and reach out in any way you want, knowing that we, the One.Surgery team, are with you always.

The diary submission process is very simple. Just below, on this page, you will find a web form with a series of simple questions, asking how you would like to provide your diary entry. By following the options, within a few clicks your diary entry will be submitted.

Firstly, you must decide if you wish to stay anonymous, identifiable or contactable. If you choose to be contactable, One.Surgery may reach out to you publicly (if you choose a public diary post) or privately, just to offer our support during this time.

After choosing to fill (or not fill) your contact details, you will be asked to either write or record a post. Recording an audio post is relatively simple, simply upload a .wav or .mp3 file, either on your desktop, laptop or indeed recorded straight from your phone. Your audio file will be available to playback, embedded within the diary.

If you are a logged in user, your posts will automatically be published, and you will have the opportunity to edit / delete / review all of your posts.

If you are not logged in, the One.Surgery team will need to approve your post before it is published, and you will not have the ability to edit / delete your post through your own means. However, you can contact us at should you need to make a change.

One.Surgery is also seeking to possibly publish some diary extracts in its magazine, Voices of One. Surgery. However, we will only do this if you have given us permission via the submission form.

One.Surgery takes its responsibility to it’s users very seriously. Although the covid-19 diaries is an open access platform, it has been set up to allow users to post completely anonymously, whether they are logged in or website visitors. Furthermore, users can choose to have their diary entries private or public. Private posts will be read  only by the One.Surgery team, but will not be made public. All ownership of posts, other than anonymous posts, will be retained by the original author of the post. If a One.Surgery user is logged in at the time of posting, the option to store, review, edit or delete their own posts will be available.

One.Surgery is also seeking to possibly publish some diary extracts in its free magazine, Voices of One. Surgery. However, we will only do this if you have given us permission via the submission form.

The One.Surgery Covid-19 diaries will always be free to access. One.Surgery will not distribute your personal data for any reason.

One.Surgery reserves the right to delete / modify any posts deemed offensive or abusing our terms and conditions. There is no appeals process. One.Surgery reserves the right to withdraw this diary service at any time.

By using the Covid-19 diaries, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Our full website privacy policy and terms and conditions can be found here.

Public Covid Diary Entries (18 entries)

#23. May 9, 2020 at 8:46 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Las Palmas (7)
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My mom is going through chemotherapy. I’m terrified for her. I’m scared she’ll get sick in the hospital. I’m scared my entire family is going to die since we are all immunocompromised. I want things to go back to normal.

Comments on this post:
#1. May 9, 2020 at 9:56 pm: Anonymous – Verified One.Surgery user

Be brave, we will get through this somehow!!

#2. May 12, 2020 at 11:32 am: Uchenna Emenogu – Verified One.Surgery user

Kind regards to you and your family.
We may not fully understand the hard times you’re facing but one thing we do know for sure is that if you remain strong and courageous as you’ve been this long, you’ll scale through these challenges.
You’ll be fine.

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#22. May 9, 2020 at 8:42 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – (8)
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Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, my life remains the same. For work (which is deemed essential so I’m still doing it) I drive out to remote areas hike several miles to check on monitoring stations and wells. My wife always worked from home. We have for a while used delivery services for groceries and food, so we rarely ventured out of the house except for work. On a good week I’ll have personal interactions with 5 other people beside my wife, but there are many weeks when that number will be closer to zero.
I feel awful when I see how Covid 19 has effected others

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#21. May 9, 2020 at 8:04 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Nashville (7)
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I work in a hospital and I regularly visit the covid floors. I see so many people struggling to live. The intubated patients aren’t so bad, though you can hear them gargle every once in a while even with suction it’s the conscious patients I pity you can hear the coughing from the nurses station even with all the doors closed. One coughed so hard he actually tore holes in his lungs, its hard to not cry thinking about these people they haven’t seen their families in weeks. Alone and scared drowned or suffocated by their own bodies. Its horrific to see people as young as 30 struggling to breathe.

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#1. May 9, 2020 at 8:18 pm: Saqib – Verified One.Surgery user

Although a doctor myself, I have not actually been on an ITU covid floor, but many of my friends, similar to your post describe very sad scenes indeed. The most heart-wrenching aspect for me seems to be that people are taking their last breaths on their own, with their loved ones not allowed near, in isolation or sick themselves. I am not sure how I could cope with that, in any of the positions – as the patient, as the primary carer in ITU, or a loved one who can’t get near.

I hope you are coping through this and you find moments away from the covid floor for much needed rest.

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#20. May 9, 2020 at 7:46 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013]Kara[if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Cleveland (7)
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In Late January my husband (35) left for work in Santa Cruz California. The kids and I stayed behind because of school. I was going to fly out and see him a couple of weeks later until I started hearing about COVID-19.

In mid February he called me to let me know he was quite sick with the flu. My uncle (57) who was hosting him was also quite ill. Both rarely get sick. The worst of it lasted a few days and started to get better. Probably the flu.

Here in Ohio one of my nieces became very sick when I went to help get her on the bus. She had a sore throat and fever and generally felt unwell. Her 3 sisters followed soon after. The oldest (10) went to the doctor and had a negative flu and strep test. She had some minor breathing discomfort but just stayed home and rested for about 9 days. A few days after her doctors apt their 3 cats all had to be vetted. They had pneumonia!
Next up my son (13) had a low fever and sore throat but it only lasted a few days and was mild so I didn’t take him to be seen.

My brother who lives with me (33) was sent home from work coughing so much and generally unwell. He went to stat care when he started coughing small amounts of blood and getting dizzy. He wasn’t tested but given antibiotics and told it was probably bronchitis. He is still mildly coughing to this day.

Next up my daughter, (14) starts to get a sore throat and developed a fever. Her eyes were red and sore. We went to stat care and they tested for flu and strep. Negative. She was sent home and told it was some other virus and to get plenty of liquids. The next day I was not feeling too well. My chest felt heavy but I did not cough much. My throat hurt and I had a headache. My temperature was elevated but not high. 99.8 degrees. That same night my daughter broke out into a rash that appeared to be hives and her lips were swelling. I took her to the ER. They did an X-ray and it showed she had atypical pneumonia. She was prescribed a zpak and prednisone and we were sent home. She developed more stomach issues and pain. She said her chest felt weird and painful. We figured it was the steroids and waited to see if it stopped after she was done. It did 2 days after her last dose.
I continued to feel awful for a few days, we never thought it could be corona at the time but a few days later corona was all over the news. I was worried we could spread if we had it so on March 10th I went to the grocery store. This is my last time being in public to this day. I wore a mask and went at 7 am when they opened and used the self checkout. This is the day Ohio would start testing people for corona. It was confirmed in my county.
Back in California my husband was doing work for a couple who was friends of my uncle he was staying with. They recently travelled abroad ( Europe) and then to Las Vegas before returning home to Santa Cruz. The wife was sick but nothing too major. My uncle fell ill 6 days later. He couldn’t get out of bed for 3 days. On the forth day he felt a little better and said his goodbyes to my husband as he headed home. I was worried he may catch corona and bring it home either from The couple, my uncle, or driving cross country. I also worried maybe we had it and could give it to him. I cleaned and sanitized my bedroom, threw some snacks, drinks, and his Xbox in the bedroom where we would isolate from each other for 2 weeks after he arrived home.
He got here on March 19th and we had 0 contact. He used his own bathroom etc. on March 21st he spiked a fever and had stomach issues a headache and his body was sore. He had sinus pressure the whole 9. We had an online medical appointment. He was never tested but presumed positive. Luckily his illness was only really severe for 3 days before he started to feel better.
My daughter and I still get somewhat sick feeling to this day. My son has a small cough in the mornings mostly. My husband is doing ok as well. None of us were able to get tested. We will be getting the antibody test soon to see if this is what any of us had.

Comments on this post:
#1. May 9, 2020 at 8:07 pm: Saqib Noor – Verified One.Surgery user

Dear Kara, I am so sorry – I can’t imagine the stresses you must have been through, especially with your husband unwell on the other side of the country. It is strange isn’t it, the number of people describing severe covid like illnesses even prior to the official media hit the panic buttons and lockdown began. And we all will never know who had it and who didn’t, until a robust and sensitive antibody test comes up that can confirm even mild exposure. Who knows whether such a test will tell us all we need to know.

Ultimately, however, reading your story, I am glad it seems everyone has made or is making recoveries. I hope you and your close family can now consider yourselves as one family unit again, gosh we have all been in quarantine so long,I feel we all our just one family unit!

Keep getting better Kara!

#2. May 12, 2020 at 11:56 pm: Uchenna Emenogu – Verified One.Surgery user

Dear Kara,
You’ve really been strong and very resilient, I must say, in wading through all of these storms unscathed.
I salute your courage and strength. 💪
Rest assured, in all of these, we stand by you and yours and hope things get back to normal soon

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#19. May 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Warwickshire (5)
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I work within a small team, at a well known retail park.
Since Covid 19 hit our country my job role has changed dramatically, only two of our 20+
retail outlets are open.
Crime has all become a distant memory here.
I come to work to hit electric tags to show I’m patrolling an empty park.
I felt confident that within our little team we can weather this pandemic, however the prospect of opening stores worries me.
As our company is going off government guidelines that face masks are not needed and that they wouldn’t be supplying them!!!!
when the government opens the floodgates and 1000’s of people swam to our popular park keeping social distancing is going to become a problem.
I’m worried

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#1. May 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm: Saqib Noor – Verified One.Surgery user

Hi, thanks for reaching out. It’s definitely a strange feeling for a lot of us.. things have gotten quieter, and in some ways easier, more manageable. It must be odd to feel that whilst in the midst of the pandemic, all is calm… yet I think for a lot of professions and jobs, this is ironically the calm before the storm.. because when thing open up again, and there’s a mad baying crowd, other disasters maybe waiting! And not even potentially covid related.

Lets hope your retail park opens slowly, with crowd management and social distancing keeps everyone safe. We will find a way through this, although I’m sure there will be come hiccups along the way!

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#18. May 7, 2020 at 7:36 am: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – (8)
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I gave myself some time for reflection today and decided to write some thoughts down. I hope it’s ok to share them here.

Here I am working alone
A NHS nurse shielded at home.
I feel guilty for my colleagues on the frontline,
I miss my team, my structure, my distinct home / work lines.

My children are desperate for social interaction
I feel guilty when they become a distraction
And guilty because mummy
Should play, bake and be funny.

My mum is alone and i hear in her voice
An enforced isolation made without choice.
Her birthday on a day the nation is celebrating
A victory, that came with a cost
A price again we are sadly facing.

I speak to parents in who’s voices I hear
Anxiety, desperation and fear.
I help them with all the resources I have
And hope by the end I may hear them laugh.

I am a NHS nurse in our 200th year
Who would of thought we would find ourselves here?

I am a Health Visitor striving to give families support
Find solutions to problems
And remotely give a shoulder
And time.. to pause

I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter
A wearer of so many different hats
Sometimes it’s hard to balance all that

I am a NHS nurse and I’ll give all I’ve got
I am a NHS nurse our strength never stops
I am a NHS nurse and in that I take pride
I am a NHS nurse and I CAN take this in my stride.

Keep going everyone, we can get through this x

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#17. May 5, 2020 at 5:39 am: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013]Saqib Noor[if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Verified One.Surgery user (5)
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It’s really heartening to see the numbers slowly fall throughout the world. I used to check in on the world graphs and charts a few times a day but over the last week I have stopped paying as much attention. The figures certainly are declining, which means I think we are getting through the worst of it. But like a tornado that riots through a town, I wonder what destruction remains at the end? What pieces will be left to pick up and what can never be rebuilt?

I miss football far more than I thought I would…

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#16. May 1, 2020 at 9:40 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013]Maryam Ali Khan[if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – Verified One.Surgery user (9)
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I stare at the screen. The numbers keep rising. But I feel numb.
Inside my home, I am waking, eating, drinking like every other day with the same work and deadlines as before.
I feel disconnected to the reality of what lives outside but I still can’t stop myself from checking the news every few minutes. Anxiously checking up on social media to see how my extended family and friends are doing. Praying that all my friends in healthcare remain safe as they battle this disease day and night putting their lives on the line without knowing when and how this will end. Knowing that this can hit closer to home any day, I fear for those around me.
But this is just one aspect. I haven’t stepped out of my house in over 40 days. But I know I am lucky. Lucky to be healthy and with my family. If I need something, I have the luxury to order it online and have it delivered to my doorstep. I am privileged. I can afford to work from home and have the luxury of savings that can last me a few months. I am grateful for what I have but I also feel guilty. Guilty because I know some people have nothing. No means to put food on the table or no safe home to stay inside. And this daily struggle of gratitude and guilt takes its toll. I feel helpless knowing that I cannot reach everyone, that I cannot make things better.
So what can I do with all these unresolved feelings?! I don’t know. But writing this has made me realize something. This disease has blatantly uncovered the ever-present yet ignored cracks in our societal structure and today more than ever we need to come together.
We need to stand as One, push our apparent differences of aside, and reach the human within. We connect not because of our race or stature, but our humanity. And this disease has made us all face the One thing we always choose to ignore, that above all we are One race – the human race. Nothing else matters.

Comments on this post:
#1. May 2, 2020 at 9:24 am: Saqib Noor – Verified One.Surgery user

Dear Maryam,

That strange feeling, balancing between dedicating all your time to ensure you and your loved ones are safe, and the enormous guilt of knowing those with less resources are at tremendous risk, is increasingly familiar. I wonder how those below the poverty line are coping, in so many parts of the world, including Pakistan. I feel disconnected from their plight yet simultaneously pre-occupied with just the immediate challenges of coping myself.

I am glad you and your family are safe, and I hope there will be brighter days outside soon for you. We will all be together again 🙂

#2. May 3, 2020 at 5:26 am: Uchenna Emenogu – Verified One.Surgery user

It’s beautiful going through your diary, Maryam

Many times, we complain about the limitations imposed on us by this pandemic and life in general without considering the bigger and deeper pains faced by others.

Reading your diary has heightened my consciousness that despite the fears, pains and limitations I face, I am lucky and should always be grateful for that.

Kind regards!

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#15. May 1, 2020 at 5:50 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013][if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – (11)
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On a Thursday at 8pm the clapping carries on. I have to admit I struggle to feel inspired, or emotional, or anything other than numb to it now. I’ve been redeployed to work on a ward, in a hospital, that I’d never have chosen to, and for an indefinite period of time. I left my last job on a psychiatric ward as I was just so burned out from it all, and I don’t think I had time to get past that before this all started. As much as I want to do my bit to help, this isn’t an act of charity, it’s just my life, and every aspect of it has been changed beyond my control. At first, I’ll admit, I felt angry at the lack of regard for my own needs – despite objectively knowing that I was the ideal candidate due to lack of other commitments. Now I feel anxious but resigned, as I see I’ve been rostered in for shifts every weekend for the foreseeable future. Living alone, the Saturday night group Zoom chats were the last meaningful remnant of my old social life, and they too have now been taken away. I’m so guilty and conscious that these are ‘first world problems’ I’d never repeat it to my colleagues working so hard on the ward. However, as much as we care and do the very best we can, the truth is that none of us are really motivated to be there each long, draining and quite frankly, often boring shift by our burning desire to help others. While we’re treating Covid positive patients, I’m not there saving their lives, comforting their families, watching them leave grateful for my help. The patients want me there as much as I want to be there. We aren’t putting our lives on the line in some heroic act of bravery – I’m sure it’d feel better if we’d chosen to. We’re going to work every day because what’s the other option? I think if offered furlough on 80% wages I’d jump at the chance. But really, if I refuse to go to work, what will happen to me? Will I lose my job, my professional registration, any future prospects? Would life be worth living then? Sometimes I think ending it might be the only way out. We’ve been offered psychological support in abundance, however, being an RMN I’m now realising how very little it means. If they really want to help, I think, they’ll take my place on the ward and I can sit listening to people like me moan from the comfort of my sofa. Every offer of support, every “check-in” from managers feels like empty words – almost aggressive; they’ll listen, but the bottom line is that their job is just priming me to do what I’m told. I’m sorry that this sounds so self-absorbed and self-pitying, and I promise that in practice or any other professional capacity I am the picture of optimism. But I thought I’d use the anonymous platform share the darker, hidden, selfish feelings I’m sure I’m not the only healthcare practitioner going into work with day after day. I’m putting my life on the line not because I’m some angel, but because I have no other choice.

Comments on this post:
#1. May 1, 2020 at 7:11 pm: Saqib Noor – Verified One.Surgery user

Thank you for reaching out with such meaningful and heartfelt words, a lot of what you wrote truly resonated with me. I suspect, many hundreds and thousands of people all over the world, are somewhat under the same cloud of despairing feelings.

I entirely agree with you regarding the clapping and the cheering on a Thursday at 8pm. It seems futile in the grand scale of the pandemic that such a national gesture will continuously raise our spirits. It is quite numbing now, I wonder if it may even be having the opposite effect on some of us and it feels empty when the end of the pandemic isn’t clearly visible to any one yet. However, I say this without any doubt or irony, that with the personal sacrifice you described in your post, and the external and internal struggles you are fighting, and the outward show of optimism you are displaying on a daily basis, you truly are deserving of every clap.

You certainly deserve a rest, on the sofa, away from the ward and those daily shifts that is grinding you and I am hopeful, with the psychological support you are receiving at work, this should be arranged. You deserve a weekend away from duty, back to Zoom and connected with those you love.

Please do not feel guilty, these are not first world problems. We all need connections, we are all human and we all belong here, with each other. Indeed, it was the team at One.Surgery, from every corner of the world, that really wanted to offer an outreach or support to anyone struggling with covid, to know that we are here, all striving together. I am so glad you took the time to write and reach out and they too will be reading your words in solidarity with you.

Please do reach out to the support at work, I know they will understand. We have also created a mental health resources link in the tabs above. And we are always here should you want to contact us. We will get through this together with lots of love, please continue to write if it helps, we are always listening.

#2. May 2, 2020 at 11:02 am: Theophilus Barasa, Medical student ) – Nairobi Verified One.Surgery user

Every time I wake up, I found myself in the realty that this thing is here and it has been for a while and it is to stay for a little longer. Every morning I mumble a curse as to why it has not been just one long nightmare. It is true what you say and I understand how you feel because every health care worker anywhere in this world is feeling the same. Its weird how most people outside the profession think we are supper humans and that by clapping, they hope to fuel us into doing more. Know that we understand how you feel, and sometimes, sometimes I wish there was a way out of it. that a miracle will just happen so that everything will go back to normalcy and we can be ourselves again. But for one thing, i know it will get better, we just have to hang on a little longer.

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#14. May 1, 2020 at 5:49 pm: [if 1013 equals=”Anonymous”]Anonymous[/if 1013]Ankit Raj[if 1025], [1025][/if 1025] – New Delhi Verified One.Surgery user (6)
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What has the world come to? It’s quite unimaginable how “normal” the life was just until a few weeks back. But now we don’t even know what is a “normal”? Is it being locked up in a house for weeks on end? Or commuting every day on an empty road? Are we even sure that we will be back to The “normal” like it was before?
I am sure when I say it out loud that many of us had a laid out set of plans or things that we had planned on doing in the months just gone by. All of it seem to combust spontaneously into the air. Just reiterating our position as a speck in the vast infinitely endless universe. Maybe it will help us realise that what we thought was normal was not actually normal and nothing ever is.

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