With the COVID-19 outbreak, many countries took necessary precautions that did not sit well with the majority of the population. The whole “flatten the curve” movement is here to slow down the infectious rate and protect the population as much as possible. Surely, #stayhome disturbs your comfort, but your comfort is sure as hell not more important than someone else’s life.

We want to do nothing unless doing nothing is mandatory.

Many people in my country took the whole 2 weeks safety quarantine as a 2 weeks holiday. Of course, all of the memes are fun to look at, and the whole coronavacation is fun in concept. But when the WHO declares a pandemic you just don’t take your kids skiing. I know they are most likely going to shake off the virus in a couple of days, but their grandparents might not bounce back that easily.

I bet it’s so reassuring for many that only old and disabled people are most likely to die from the coronavirus.

But it’s not like they can’t hear you!

Imagine the whole world plainly ignoring the importance of precautions because you’re the one who’s gonna pay for it and not them.

So since so many people took the quarantine as a vacation, the government had to step up.

I’m Slovak but I live and work in the Czech Republic and I’m actually stuck here. Not that I was planning on going back any time soon but it still feels odd not to have an option to leave anymore. But it’s for the greater good and I’m ok with that.

Hundreds are infected, thousands are in quarantine and thousands of good ones are in volunteer quarantine to protect those less fortunate.

The borders are closed, all sport and cultural events canceled, cinemas, gym as well so everyone is super bored and feels like the victim here. All shops are closed expect grocery stores, drug stores, post office, and my own workplace- pharmacy.

Thankfully, yesterday we got some face masks, protective gloves, and glasses for ourselves. It’s super uncomfortable to work like this but safety first.

I see so many people bitch about having to switch to the home office.

Let me tell you that every single medical worker right now would gladly switch places with you.

Sadly we don’t have that option.

The general panic caused everyone to bulk buying and our pharmacy is no different. And this is not the issue of the last week, this has been going on for around a month now.

I’m a pharmacist assistant- the one that gives you over the counter drugs that’s gonna ease the symptoms of this virus as that’s is the only option available. No vaccine yet. Unless you developed serious conditions and require hospitalization or oxygen masks it’s very likely you’re gonna make it on home rest, cough drops and some paracetamol. As this is a well-known fact everyone is preparing for the case they do get infected and the number of patients in pharmacy increased proportionally to the general panic spreading all over the state.

I’ve been working in pharmacy for around 2 years now. Not much so naturally I’ve never worked during a pandemic.

Right now it’s a lifetime experience like no other.

Working in a big pharmacy in the center of Prague means I get in touch with a lot of foreigners. I love it cuz I get to speak English on daily basis but none of them seems to understand that the face masks, respirators, hand sanitizers, paracetamol, vitamin C or even thermometers are sold out.

I deal daily with around 200 sick patients per day with no respirator to protect myself from getting infected as the government forgot to protect the pharmacist even though we are also the first line. Sadly the situation is bad and not even the hospitals have enough respirators to protect their staff so we just have to be patient and wait our turn. I also believe the grocery store workers deserve to get some sort of protection as well even though they don’t deal with sick patients but they still deal with people and these days more than usual.

Quarantine brought out more people than ever.

So it’s me and my hand sanitizer against the angry, panicking patients.

Before you get upset at how could I have a hand sanitizer when it’s sold out- I’ve been carrying one in every handbag I own, so I just dig those out and I’m covered for few weeks. Also what kind of dick you have to be to envy someone’s hand sanitizer and let me tell you few real-life pharmacy stories to actually understand how the crisis brought out the worst in people.

I had this lady bitch about me because a prime minister said in the news that there would be a bunch of respirators arriving that day and she wanted to get one.

I get her panic and how people tend to not listen because of their fear.

The respirators arrived in hospitals for doctors and nurses who actually need them and it was perfectly explained in the news as well.

No offense but that lady was most likely supposed to be on her home office, with no contact with other people but she took the time, left her home to the highly infectious environment of pharmacy, and I’m not talking about just COVID-19, to yell at the pharmacist how unfair it is that all of the respirators go to the hospitals and she can’t buy one. She even had the nerve to yell at me that I should have written it on the door that we sold out all of the face masks. The sigh that we’re out of hand sanitizers and masks have been hanging on our door for weeks now, just as I have the same sign at the counter next to me. Even if I had it tattoed on my forehead people would still not read it.

I get her frustration, but everyone who yells at any worker for something being sold out is just a dick.

Yes, we are all equal but it’s 100% more important to protect the doctors and nurses.

The other day this guy wearing an actual respirator came into our pharmacy. How lucky you have to be to own a respirator these days so good for him. But as I was watching the guy he suddenly did the following.

He was checking out some OTC drugs when he reached out with his hand for his respirator and pulled it down to his chin. Shockingly, he then followed to wipe up a booger from his nose with his bare hand, coughed few times and put the respirator back on. I can’t stress enough that that’s not how it works.

There are people who actually need it and then there is this guy.

Výsledok vyhľadávania obrázkov pre dopyt people wearing face mask

I can’t count all of the times a patient wearing a face mask came in, and as soon as it was his turn took off his mask so he could breathe directly into my face.

People taking their face masks off so they could cough.

People sneezing/coughing into their hands as well as wiping their noses and then handing me money as nothing happened.

But the worst thing is the lack of awareness of the whole COVID-19 situation.

We all see the updates and recommendations but not many actually live it.

I’m astonished by the number of old people who still visit the pharmacy in a rush-hour just to talk. Everyone is begging you to stay home for your own sake and yet you come in complaining about the flavor of your magnesium.

I have this old guy coming in every other day just to complain about the prices of literally everything. Forget the pandemic, the price of the cream for his cracked heel is too expensive.

The other day a lady required me to get her some specific type of herb mouthwash. Thankfully she understood that her mouthwash is not a priority on anyone’s to-do list.

As I was walking home after my 11 hours shift, barely walking, I had real trouble to elbow my way through the groups of drunk students clearly enjoying their quarantine and catcalling me. Just fuck you that’s all I have to say.

Výsledok vyhľadávania obrázkov pre dopyt coronavirus people

I know facing the reality is scary.

You can save lives by simply staying at home. You’re not the one who’s gonna have to decide who lives and who dies when this escalates. Be kind, safe and responsible.

And another non-pharmacy related note.

As a blogger or sort of Instagram influencer, the amount of misinformation some social media people are spreading boils my blood. I unfollowed so many Instagrammers I was following for years because of disgusting comments about the virus they made.

I’m on a queue of blocking every single influencer who claims the whole situation is overexaggerated.

Of course, the panic in media is overwhelming and yet it did not make the half of you sit on your asses at home.

I’m reporting everyone who claims coronavirus is a bioweapon created by THEM to eliminate US and how no one important is gonna get infected. Spread awareness, not your conspiracy theories.

I’m blocking everyone who reshares that one guy in quarantine claiming that the situation in Italy is not that bad when the medical workers have to stockpile dead bodies.

Every influencer who creates a merch out of hand sanitizers or face masks is going straight to hell and you can’t convince me otherwise.

Every hoax about ibuprofen increasing corona death rate witch is just mind-blowingly dumb it makes me want to scream because I can already see the queues of people lining up in my pharmacy to ask me about it. Like why? What’s your gain here? Why would you spread that hoax? What has ibuprofen ever done to you that you hate it so much and why are you making my job so unnecessarily difficult?

Výsledok vyhľadávania obrázkov pre dopyt coronavirus recommendations new

Life shouldn’t stop because of this virus but some of us are gonna stop living unless we get our shit together.

So stay home.

Wash your hands.

Protect yourself and others.

Don’t be a dick.

16 Comments

  1. March 14, 2020 / 5:15 pm

    Wise, rational words. Thank you for sharing this perspective with us. Please stay as safe as you can.

  2. March 14, 2020 / 6:05 pm

    The best post you have ever written. (Among many excellent ones.) Take care of yourself amongst the idiots. All the best.

  3. March 14, 2020 / 8:18 pm

    Well said, we here in Scotland are starting to feel the pace taking hold. Mass panic buying but still people are saying it’s just the flu. People are still coming to A&E with non urgent problems I wish they would just stay at home and try and stay safe and then we may all have a chance. Take care x

  4. March 14, 2020 / 10:06 pm

    This would make a great magazine article. Well done.

  5. March 15, 2020 / 12:00 am

    Everything written here, 100%. This is not a drill!

    I had the misfortune of clicking on an article by The Sun (I believe…I don’t usually bother with that nonsense), and halfway down the article they had a photo of Asian people wearing masks and lugging suitcases past an Arrivals sign at Heathrow. The caption said, “Health experts say the coronavirus has now arrived in the UK.” Pathetically blatant racism. No wonder Asian people are getting assaulted in the street.

    (I wonder if I went to your pharmacy last summer when I was in Prague and needed contact lens solution…)

    Be safe, and thank you for taking care of your community!

  6. March 15, 2020 / 1:32 am

    Thank you for this explanation, and for your hard work during this time. Please take good care, and I’ll keep you and your coworkers in my prayers, with confidence.

  7. March 15, 2020 / 2:49 am

    I appreciate hearing from your perspective. I have chronic illness and also asthma, so I am concerned about exposure.

  8. March 15, 2020 / 3:44 am

    Thank you for burning to us what you are living. People still compare it to the regular flu, and it is important to know what is the reality. Please continue taking care of yourself and doing what you do. 🙏

  9. claudettekulkarni
    March 15, 2020 / 11:20 pm

    Thank you for everything you’re doing, and for writing this post. These are extraordinary times. Everyone should be taking this seriously. Take care and stay safe.

  10. March 15, 2020 / 11:54 pm

    Praying for hope and WISDOM to spread faster than disease! Be blessed and well, Natalia!

  11. March 20, 2020 / 11:10 pm

    We are reminded constantly in the US that wearing face masks (the non N95) have not been proven to help but I can’t imagine that is doesn’t help just a little?

  12. You-diocre
    April 19, 2020 / 3:18 am

    Great post but also very disgusted by the man with the respirator. Also I was wondering, has there been an increase in demand for hydroxychloroquine in your pharmacy considering the hype around it?

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      April 19, 2020 / 8:53 am

      Yes! Plaquenil is a prescription drug but mostly foreigners came and ask if we have it and if they could get it as OTC. We don’t have it anymore, as it’s sold out and state is even regulating its prescription. These days only a specialist like immunologists and some others can prescribe it and not GP. Shortly before the regulation started we were asked to provide 50 packages of plaquenil (the drug brand name that contains hydroxychloroquine) to some doctor or clinique but the fact that its unavailable right now is all over news so the hype is not that bad. 🙂 Also remdesivir seems to be working for covid-19 so i had couple of demands for that as well.

  13. June 5, 2020 / 9:00 am

    True! I hope that every healthworker out there takes care of themselves and with discipline and guidance we can all stop this emerging virus.

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