“Lock-down Diaries” is a series featuring different members of The Citizen newsroom as they go about their day while under the shelter-in-place directive.
Published May 26, 2020
Vallejo and Oakland, Calif.
April 28, 2020
I am getting ready to start my day as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA); I grab my scrubs from the closet and lay them across my bed preparing myself for the long 12 hours ahead of me. I meditate for fifteen minutes before I shower and handle all of my mandatory hygiene needs.
I put my laptop in my bag, along with my phone chargers. I grab a few snacks from my fridge and add them to my lunch bag before fixing myself a bagel. I usually eat very lightly in the morning: sometimes I’m not hungry until lunchtime so I don’t really eat much.
It’s time for me to head to work: my first client of the week is John. I haven’t been taking BART much because I’m concerned about the germs and scared about catching Covid-19, so my fiance drives me to and from work on my workdays. We like to leave a little before 6:00 a.m. in case we may need to stop for gas or if there’s traffic.
We didn’t need any gas, so we headed straight to Oakland from Vallejo. The roads were pretty clear due to this shelter-in-place. I sleep the whole ride there listening to the 106.1 KMEL morning show.
My fiancée wakes me up, letting me know I’ve arrived at the facility I am assigned to work at. We say our goodbyes, and I head into the building. Before entering the building it reads a big red sign that says, “PLEASE SANITIZE HANDS WHEN YOU ENTER,” so I do just that before signing the sign-in sheet.
I am waiting in a line of caregivers to get my temperature taken and to be asked a line of screening questions like, “Have you traveled outside of the U.S.?” and “Do you have any of the following symptoms?” After, I put on full PPE which is so uncomfortable but also for my own safety.
I head to the fifth floor to clock into my shift and relieve the previous caregiver. After I clock into my 7 a.m.-7 p.m. shift, I take a seat while my client is still resting and pull out my laptop. Truthfully, I am extremely tired. But I have to keep myself busy so I won’t fall asleep.
My client is now awake — he’s already dressed for the day, but since the facility is in quarantine, there is no breakfast being served in the dining room. The facility kitchen staff delivers meals to the resident’s rooms. John likes scrambled eggs drenched in ketchup.
I’m feeding John his breakfast and talking to him about his favorite sports. He likes basketball and football, and I’ve learned that talking to clients about things that are comforting keeps them calm, especially when dealing with elderly people with disabilities. When John is finished with his meal, he likes to watch THE TALK on TV and when he is tired he falls asleep.
My client awakes from his nap, but no one can go outside. I open the windows and turn his chair towards the window so he can enjoy the breeze and his city view.
It’s lunchtime for John and I: we both decide to enjoy our lunch outside where the breeze resides.
We watch highlights and clips of NFL games from over two years ago on YouTube: his favorite football team is the 49ers.
I clock out from a very long day of working with John. I head home to relax and, of course, do homework.