Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Our hospital, our NHS: what it was like to photograph an ICU in the Covid-19 crisis

Jonny Weeks
Jóni Wīcs
Ǎr hospitl, ǎr NHS: ẃt it wz lîc t foṭgraf an ICY in ɖ Covid-19 crîsis

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 21 April 2020)

A wīc in a Covntri hospitl dokmntñ ɖ wrc v NHS staf bròt ɖ hymn dmnśnz v ɖs crîsis hom t m

Jóni Wīcs, Tyzde, 21 Epril 2020

A nurse who has been treating Covid-19 patients on one of the amber wards at University Hospital in Coventry. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
A nrs hu hz bn trītñ Covid-19 peśnts on wn v ɖ ambr wordz at Yṇvrṣti Hospitl in Covntri. Foṭgraf: Jóni Wīcs/Ɖ Gardịn

Lîc mni ppl arnd ɖ cuntri, I stand on mî frunt dorstep at 8pm evri Ʈrzde t clap fr cerrz jrñ ɖ Covid-19 pandemic. Yt ẃn I dd so fr ɖ frst tîm last munʈ, nt nwñ fr śr f mî nebrz wd jôn m, I riylîzd I ń litl v ɖ ppl fr hūm I wz clapñ.

Hu r ɖ nrsz, doctrz, clīnrz, clarcs, portrz, rsrćrz n cnsultnts on hūm so mni lîvz dpnd?

N ẃt r ɖer storiz?

I wz born at Wōlzgrev Hospitl in Covntri on 15 Ōġst 1982, so it flt aproprịt ɖt I śd vizit its modn cǎnṭpart, Yṇvrṣti Hospitl (YHCW), t dokmnt ɖ storiz v evride herǒizm wɖn.

Mî frst de on sait bgan wɖ a śev. I hd t b “fit-tstd” fr an FFP3 masc – a form v prsnl pṛtctiv iqipmnt yzd in criticl cer – bt birdz r stricli pṛhibtd bcz ɖe privnt a tît sìl. Tū bluntd rezrz lêtr, I dond mî masc n a nrs sqrtd a liqid intu mî fes. “Cn y test donuts?” ś asct. I cd’nt, ẃć mnt mî masc wz tît.

I flt gilti fr rsivñ preśs PPI, bt wz tld ɖt ɖ hospitl hd ampl rzorsz, ʈancs t dilijnt planñ n ɖt ɖ hlʈcer staf wontd ɖer storiz t b hŕd.

Az I wōct ʈru ɖ coṛdorz n intu ɖ les cntejs wordz, iniṣ́li wẹrñ onli a besic srjicl masc, ɖ hospitl wz so qayt ɖt it hardli flt lîc a pandemic at ol. I hd xpctd alarmbelz, doctrz in hazmat-sūts pññ fṛm bed t bed, n ɖ sǎnd v peśnts struġlñ t briɖ. Instd, I pást roz v emti bedz – intîr wordz on standbî – n nrsz in miniml PPI cāmli pṛsidñ wɖ ɖer rǎndz.

I glimst sm peśnts, ɖo mni wr tuct awe in prîṿt rūmz or dormz. Most lct xōstd. I asct wn man fr pmiśn t foṭgraf hiz legz ʈru a windo az h txtd luvd wnz. H agrìd. Az I pīrd ʈru ɖ lénz n intu hiz rūm, it wz no longr ɖ qaytnis ɖt struc m – it wz ɖ sns v îṣleśn. Lîc ol Covid-19 peśnts, ɖs man wz fizicli seṗretd fṛm hiz frendz n faṃli.

Ɖ folowñ de I met a rcuṿrñ Covid-19 peśnt hu wz sn t b dsćarjd. Hiz lebrd spīć n wìcnd bodi iḷstretd ɖ śir dstructivnis v ɖ vîṛs. It wz olso mî frst xpirịns v wẹrñ adiśnl PPI – letx gluvz, a vîzr n a flimzi epṛn. Bî ɖ tîm mî fîv-minit inṭvy wz dn, I wz swetñ pṛfysli n cd hardli consntret on ɖ mulṭpl rǎndz v handwośñ rqîrd bfr I cd līv ɖ rūm.

Jonny Weeks donning PPE before visiting a patient on an amber ward. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
Jóni Wīcs donñ PPI bfr viẓtñ a peśnt on an ambr word. Foṭgraf: Jóni Wīcs/Ɖ Gardịn

I lrnt mor abt ɖ hospitl, ɖ trītmnts peśnts wr rsivñ n ɖ simtmz most wr xpirịnsñ. Mor importntli, I lrnt abt indivijl membrz v staf, ɖer scilz, ɖer prsnl lîvz n ɖer sns v dyti.

On the front line: meet the NHS workers tackling coronavirus
On ɖ frunt lîn: mīt ɖ NHS wrcrz tac̣lñ c’roṇvîṛs

Rīd mor

Most wr wrcñ voḷntri oṿtîm, mni hd faṃli n ćildṛn at hom, sm wr scerd fr ɖer sefti. “I’v olwz bn a naćṛli cẹrñ prsn,” wn tld m. Ol 9,000 implôīz cd īẓli hv sd ɖ sem.

Wn inṭvy in ptiklr, wɖ bîosayntist Ranvir Siñ Ćavn, wz ptiklrli pôńnt. H spouc v hiz dzîr t hug hiz muɖr agn.

Ʈancf̣li, n smẃt s’prîzñli, ɖr wz plenti v lît rlif ʈrt ɖ hospitl. I spotd Stesi Gavin in ɖ medicl-dsiźnz ynit. Ś wz wẹrñ a “brîd-t-bi” saś, n struc a pǒz momntṛli az I trnd arnd wɖ mî camra. In tîmz v stres n dstres, it sīmz a smîl z wn v ɖ most vałbl ʈñz y cn brñ t a hospitl. It wz’nt untl mî last de at ɖ hospitl ɖt I wz tecn intu ɖ intnsiv-ʈeṛpi ynit, ẃr ɖ sicist peśnts r cept on lîf s’port. I ń mî xpirịns n pspśn v ɖ NHS wd b fr evr oltrd bî ẃt I wd witnis in IƮY. I olso ń I hd a dyti t foṭgraf it oṇstli n rspctf̣li.

A team of medics proning a patient in ITU. Photograph: Jonny Weeks/The Guardian
A tīm v medics pronñ a peśnt in IƮY. Foṭgraf: Jóni Wīcs/Ɖ Gardịn

Ɖ peśnts I sw wr olmst ol sdetd. Ɖe wr pṛfǎndli il, imoḅlîzd bî orgnfełr, n I ń sm wd nt svîv ɖ wīc. Wn wòr a briɖñ-aṗreṭs ẃć cuvrd hiz intîr hed. It wz a sît I wl nt fget. Yt ɖr wz a sns, īvn in IƮY, v cām n cntrol amñ ɖ medicl staf. Ɖe wr pṛvîdñ dytifl cer t evri peśnt in ɖer aur v nīd.

I lct arnd ɖ word wɖ a sns v adṃreśn. Mni v ɖ medics wr mî ej or yungr. I ʈt t mslf: hir ɖe r, ɖ subjicts v mî aplōz.

Jóni Wīcs z a fotojrṇlist n picćr-editr

Instroduction to Ñspel

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