AS Zimbabwe continues to grapple with the effects of the Coivd-19 third-wave, there are some unsung heroes that are standing bravely at the vanguard of the battle against the invisible enemy.
Such is the story of Nancy Simon, an ambulance technician who is part of the Covid-19 response team stationed at City Sports Centre in Harare.
Scores of people are tested at the Centre everyday and it has become Nancy’s daily routine to meet people that are infected or affected by the pandemic.
Despite the risk of contracting the coronavirus and psychological effects of tackling the pandemic head-on, Nancy remains calm and collected.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail, she said their biggest mandate as the response team is to try to send people back into the world and assure them that everything will be okay, even when all hope seems lost.
With a smile that was discernable despite her face mask, Nancy said she meets different people everyday, including some who still link Covid-19 to myths.
“I make it easier for them to understand. In a situation where the diagnosis comes out positive, I have to make one feel at ease and comfortable. The uncertainty when you give someone his or her positive results may lead to stress and flight syndrome,” she said.
“What people need to know is that contracting Covid-19 is not the end of the world. How you respond to the results is important. You can be told that you have Covid-19 and your mind tells you that you are going to die. One needs to have a positive mindset at all times, including during self-isolation, which can be a difficult phase.”
Nancy said passion pushes her on, in the face of potential hazards.
“I just have to put myself in the shoes of patients and those who come to get tested and ask myself: How do these people want to be treated and is it the way I am treating them? Sometimes I get to switch off that button that reminds me how scary the disease is. I tell myself that there is no need to be afraid, everyone is equal, whether Covid-19 positive or negative.”
When at home, she advises her family and friends to protect themselves from the pandemic.
Nancy revealed that she was inspired to be an ambulance technician by her father who worked in the medical emergency services.
For her parting shot, she said: “Fellow Zimbabweans, we can get out of this pandemic together, all you need is to sanitise your hands, practice social distancing and wear face masks. If you feel you have Covid-19 seek medical attention. It’s also about saving your family, friends and your neighbours.”