18 MarLife in Lockdown
As the isolation lockdown continues in the Butterfly Home and Butterfly Wing because of the Coronavirus outbreak, things have been very different in the last two months. Here, we share more of our nurses diaries about what life is like in lockdown:
18th / Feb / 2020. Nurse: Jasmine
“Yesterday, an ayi said to me: “Yang Yang, I have not been out of the house for more than 2 days. I miss my family and friends. I said, “Ayi, the orphanage complex is relatively safe now. If you are really bored, you can wear a mask to the basketball court in the complex where you have a good rest, and bask in the sun. When you return, remember to change your clothes and wash your hands. Disinfection – this is the buzz word at the moment around the home. Handwashing and cleaning are happening nearly every minute of every day. The housekeeper ayis regularly disinfect and ventilate the home, with the goal being providing a comfortable and safe place for our butterflies and staff.
The radio plays light music to ease everyone’s mood during the day. Today, I saw Aunt Liao, standing in the hallway, looking out the window while listening to the music and humming, it was so cute.Aunt Liu was in the lounge calling her baby at home to tell her how much she was missing, and told them to wash their hands frequently and not to go out.Aunt Feng continues to ask me every day if there are any new “infection points” in the latest news about the epidemic.Indeed, the number of newly diagnosed cases is slowly decreasing in recent days, and many provinces have had zero confirmed cases. However, this does not mean that the danger has been lifted. A diagnosis of zero does not represent zero infection. For the ultimate victory, we still need to persist and work hard.”
20th / Feb / 2020. Nurse: Lily
“Today, the second phase of isolation lock down is coming to an end. Some of us are lucky enough to leave and I will return to my family, and another group of ayis and nurses will continue to watch the Butterfly Home. Not all of the staff will change at this time and some will continue their fight for the butterflies.
There seems to be no end of the epidemic. Ten days, another ten days, another ten days. No one knows how long the third phase of isolation will last. I was silently worried that the ayis in the home would not adapt and find it difficult to accept such arrangements; if there were a shortage of staff, would these ayis who were not about to end their duty be able to continue. But what surprised me the most was the ayis willingness and wanting to help. The ayis in the home called and wrote applications, hoping to continue to stay at the Butterfly Home, to reduce the risk of infection to the children during the staff rotation process. Incredible, these ayis who had been there already for two isolation phases, were willing to stay again for the safety of the children.”
27th / Feb / 2020. Nurse: Anny
“When I distributed the supplies to the nurseries a few days ago, I found that milk, paper towels, and nappies supplies were running low. Some could only last for less than ten days, and quickly I contacted the administrative staff outside, hoping that the orphanage would be able to see the urgency needed with getting support from outside. Fortunately, after a few days of organising and coordination, we have successfully obtained some emergency supplies today. However, I know that there are very few businesses still operating in the market, and express logistics will also be delayed for a long time. The welfare institution (orphanage) requires that only one time period per week be available for deliveries to reduce routes of infection. It will take a lot of effort to find these materials and send them in safely. The teamwork and cooperation from the staff in the home, the administrative staff in their own homes and the orphanage staff is remarkable. Together we are working in unison, to achieve our special mission of building the strongest protection walls for our little butterflies though we are in isolation, we are not forgotten. Even in such difficult times, our daily care and rehabilitation exercises for the butterflies have remained. When the sun is out, the children and sit on the balcony and bask in the sun. For the children, not much has changed, they are still enjoying themselves in their little protected world.”
28th / Feb / 2020. Nurse: Jasmine
“Today we had a special birthday party. In the past, it was the responsibility of the administrative staff to prepare the birthday party for the children. But in this isolation period when the administrative staff cannot enter the Butterfly House, and we cannot go out to buy beautiful birthday cakes, we had to improvise. We still wanted to celebrate our children and send them well wishes. The ayis got creative today. A unique birthday cake was made, similar to a pancake, using eggs instead of butter and berries instead of candles! Everyone also carefully arranged the venue (reusing old colourful banners from previous events) and sang a birthday song for Jonah. The song went something like this… Happy birthday to you… I hope Jonah will be healthy and happy and everything goes smoothly, and I hope everyone, Wuhan and China will be healthy and happy.”
1st / March / 2020. Nurse: Jasmine
“The third phase of the closure period has lasted for ten days and will continue. Due to the repeated epidemic situation, the welfare institution has formulated a “only out and not enter” system for all staff, which also means that our 17 staff will stay with the children until the epidemic is over.
Recalling the conversation between the director and me one day before the start of closed management “during the epidemic, we must manage the closure of the home and arrange for the remaining staff …” “Don’t say anything I thought, I can do this.” “In a blink of an eye, more than a month passed and I did it. I’m just an ordinary nurse lady, and I can say to myself at the moment “You can, you did it, you survived this.”
All the butterflies remain healthy and strong, they are eating well and growing up. It is such a privilege to watch. It is them who give me strength to continue and make me do it all. I am honoured to be a part of this team.
Come on butterflies, come on everyone! No matter what you encounter, you must believe that spring blossoms, as long as you stick to it, everything will be fine!
The lockdown continues and our story continues to go on…”
We are inspired and privileged to see this positivity, strength and courage shown by our team working in the home. We hope this lockdown will not continue for much longer as we are looking forward to being able to resume ‘normal’ activities. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. As this COVID-19 virus continues to spread, we hope you and your loved ones remain well.