From sample to sample: We took on the task of home sampling (taking samples from people who suspected of being sick with COVID-19). It's a challenging task. Lots of people went into quarantine in accordance with the Ministry of Health's guidelines. Some of those people develop symptoms and call the 101 hotlines, and we interview and question them. We decide whether to test them in consultation with the Ministry of Health, and then a medic is sent to their address. The exchange is conducted in the person's doorway. We enter the house. I take a specimen from the mouth with a long cotton swab. Then I pack the sample and transfer it to the refrigerators and from there to the lab. We safely remove the protective gear and dispose of them into designated bins. That's the procedure that we perform, call after call. We receive 7-5 calls per shift.

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Anat Gilgal, Magen David Adom paramedic (photo: Magen David Adom)

Around the clock: I arrive at work at 6:30 and return home at midnight, including weekends. We work around the clock; it's like one long day that never ends. It's very challenging.

There are always more patients: We need to send teams to do a lot of examinations simultaneously. And at the same time, our normal work continues. People still have chest pains and road accidents. We continue to provide services as we did before. There are always patients, people who need our service like they always have.

Selfie: Magen David Adom people are not easily stressed. Some of the patients are upset, and we do everything we can to calm them down. We talk to them and give them all the answers they need. Some people express laughter and humor, some even take a selfie with us. Everyone responds differently.

Invisible enemy: There is a fear of being exposed and infected. The whole situation is very stressful. I have family and children and parents. But I have full confidence in the protection that MDA provides. Above and beyond – that's our job. If not us, who will do it? It won't help anybody if I shut myself in at home. The best way to protect my family is to fight the infection curve, to flatten the curve in partnership with the Ministry of Health. I'm proud of what I'm doing. Like a soldier who fights on the front lines, and goes into battle at his peril. He goes because he is safeguarding guarding the general public. In our case, we are fighting an invisible enemy.

Take a deep breath: For me, all the actions the Ministry of Health is taking are essential. When there is a person who develops respiratory symptoms, even if he has not been in contact with a patient, do not wait, contact Magen David Adom for the COVID-19 hotline. Keep calm; panic will not help here. Everyone should take a deep breath.

Dark humor: I can't let you in on the dark humor of medical workers. But I'll say that we talk about sitting in a pub in a year and all drinking Corona beer together.

 

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Brought to press with the help of the International Relations Division of the Histadrut.