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Am I being foolish

(98 Posts)
ExD Wed 02-Sep-20 09:01:56

I am 81 and, apart from arthritis, in good health although not very robust.
I have decided to go back to my voluntary job in a hospital Tea Bar next month.
The hospital does not take covid patients now and is catering mostly for outpatients, although there are a few wards still open (we do not go into these).
There is a screen, the public are the other side of this screen and can no longer access the merchandise (which is wrapped) and have to ask for everything. We work in pairs, but only one person is behind the counter serving. We will wear masks.
My friend thinks I'm a fool. She asks why, after all these months of being super careful, am I risking my life so that people can have a cup of coffee when they could easily bring a flask from home.
I don't know why I'm going back either.
Am I really being a fool?

yorkie20 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:06:12

No you are not being a fool. If you are taking as much care as you can then why not do something you feel you need to do. We cannot keep waiting until the virus has gone/is controlled to get back to 'normal' as that could take months or longer.
If YOU have chosen to go back to your voluntary job then its your choice.

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:06:39

I stopped doing some voluntary work when I actually dreaded going in.
So if you really want to go, then go, only you can decide if the risks are worth it.
Try it for a week or so and then decide if you want to do it in the Winter with the extra risks involved, because even with precautions you are still at risk.

MawB2 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:08:23

I think you are being very kind and unselfish. Patients going to Outpatients appointments are likely to have enough on their minds and a friendly face along with a cuppa may be just what they need to see them through an anxious time.
You clearly enjoy the company and bringing comfort to others, so as long as all the right safety measures are in place and you want to do it, go for it! 🏆

Charleygirl5 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:10:05

My only concern is you have to handle money.

Charleygirl5 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:12:16

I was writing this when it whizzed away. I doubt if a debit card will be used for paying so you will be handling money.

Hetty58 Wed 02-Sep-20 09:15:26

Use gloves maybe? Still, I think it's entirely up to you whether you want to take the risk.

Esspee Wed 02-Sep-20 09:21:10

I expect the benefit to you of being useful again outweighs the slight risk of catching the virus. Only you can judge.

BlueSky Wed 02-Sep-20 09:25:09

You clearly enjoy the company and bringing comfort to others, so as long as all the right safety measures are in place and you want to do it, go for it!
Exactly Maw!

Sunnyoutlook Wed 02-Sep-20 09:36:31

Totally agree with MawB Go for it with all the precautions that the hospital will have in place anyway💐

jaylucy Wed 02-Sep-20 10:00:23

I would assume that , as it is in a hospital, that all precautions will have been taken and it sounds as if they have from your description.
Quite honestly, you can only give it a try and if you don't feel happy or feel uncomfortable while you are there , stop going!
I would also assume that gloves and sanitiser will also be provided.

newnanny Wed 02-Sep-20 10:00:27

Fine at the moment but you may need to reconsider if we get bad spike over cold winter months. Wear gloves to handle money.

DaisyL Wed 02-Sep-20 10:03:55

Go for it - your mental health is important too and as we get older being wanted and needed gives us a very important boost to our morale. You will come home feeling happy that you have helped people and that is worth a lot. Good for you.

razzmatazz Wed 02-Sep-20 10:04:45

I think it is an unnecessary risk imo.

Barb22 Wed 02-Sep-20 10:04:46

No I don’t think you’re being a fool at all. You do what feels right for you I’m certain you will take all precautions to stay safe as will those in charge where you volunteer.

Pippa22 Wed 02-Sep-20 10:09:03

Several have mentioned wearing gloves but experts repeatedly throughout this pandemic have stated that wearing gloves is a negative. They say, and know far, far more than most if not all of us here that wearing gloves is a definite no no. Frequent washing of hands preferably with bar soap is much safer.

millymouge Wed 02-Sep-20 10:09:45

Not in the least personally I think you are very sensible getting out and doing something safely and you will feel better for it. Mental health, in my opinion, is extremely important. We can care for our physical health using common sense and guideline advice, but our mental health is sometimes overlooked. You will get a real mental boost from helping people, you will be in an environment that, hopefully, will be carefully controlled. I believe we must be sensible but cannot spend the rest of our lives shut away. I am sure you will enjoy it and possibly bring some comfort to those who may be worried about hospital appointments and feel a whole lot better for doing it. Take care and keep safe.

Taliya Wed 02-Sep-20 10:14:53

If you feel happier getting out and helping at the tea/coffee shop in the hospital and socialising a bit, then do it. It's probably better for your immune system to do something you enjoy doing. Being anxious all the time about Covid doesn't do anyone any good. As you say, there is a low risk now and it's better to get out and enjoy your life than stay at home worried.

polnan Wed 02-Sep-20 10:17:20

my first thought was.. well she is entitled to her opinion!

I agree with DaisyL"Go for it - your mental health is important too and as we get older being wanted and needed gives us a very important boost to our morale. You will come home feeling happy that you have helped people and that is worth a lot. Good for you."

that is my problem, from being "needed" all my life, suddenly I am feeling "needy" and I hate that feeling.

I quite envy you. In the nicest possible way, of course!

Urmstongran Wed 02-Sep-20 10:17:35


My only concern is you have to handle money.

That’s true. But as long as once handled you don’t suck your fingers, pick your nose or rub your eyes you’d be fine.

Hand washing with soap and hot water kills the virus, luckily.

Wendy Wed 02-Sep-20 10:18:36

Although a bit younger than you, I have started going back to my voluntary job in a hospital shop. We have the same as you with screens and masks. We only take credit cards, although if the client has nothing else we will take cash and I sanitise after these. We have to sanitise the shop every hour, wiping down all surfaces and screens, I feel very safe but you have to decide how you yourself feel about it. I want to get back to my old life as carefully as I can.

aggie Wed 02-Sep-20 10:18:49

I concur with most people , go back and see how it is
No gloves , hand gel often and wash hands when you get a chance

Rosina Wed 02-Sep-20 10:20:34

This sounds like a good idea - and I would do a pleasant job like this too. We are all having to think about what we feel we can do, and if you want to do this it is your decision entirely. At some point we have to square our shoulders, step out there and get going with life. The alternative does not bear contemplation. Good luck to you - the patients will doubtlessly be pleased to see your face again!

MerylStreep Wed 02-Sep-20 10:23:12

Have you asked yourself how long you want to live like this.?

Bumpsy Wed 02-Sep-20 10:27:25

I think it will be a long time until we are free of this virus. I have needed to pop into two different hospitals during all this and I felt safe there. If you want to go back then do, isolation is not good for mental health and it's good to see people again. I've noticed most places are cashless so you might not be handling money. Enjoy.