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Am I being foolish

(99 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?

welbeck Wed 02-Sep-20 15:42:31

don't do it.
if you were my relative or friend i would urge you not to take such a risk, which is quite unnecessary.
other younger people can run that tea bar.
if they get the virus, they have a better chance of surviving or not being severely disabled by it.
many on here are making a false dichotomy; you are not limited to either doing this task or staying isolated inactive at home.
there are many ways to be involved, be of use.
this is an unjustified risk. don't do it to your loved ones.
maybe she called you a fool because she doesn't want to lose you; she cares about you, else she would have just murmured, that sounds nice.

utterbliss Wed 02-Sep-20 15:56:24

Bluecat. I agree with you. People should read the Long Covid-19 effects on the lives of the of those who survive COVID -19

Cymres1 Wed 02-Sep-20 16:09:02

I think it's lovely of you to go back, and effective safety measures are in place. We can't bundle ourselves away from life ad infinitum and what you can do is making a difference to others who maybe don't see a soul apart from necessary hospital appointments. Very big hearted. Well done you.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 02-Sep-20 16:10:48

But will you be handling money? If so, wear disposable gloves and change them frequently.

Here most people are paying using either their visa or paypal.

I am younger than you, but have gone back to my voluntary work too. It is nice to get out of the house.

Enjoy your work.

And tell your friend you appreciate her concern, but that it is not nice of her to call you a fool.

KathrynP Wed 02-Sep-20 16:15:37

I have been attending twice weekly hospital appointments for the last two months and my husband has to drive me. It is great for my husband who cannot accompany me to the ward to be able to get a cup of coffee at the charity run café at reception. As we are often early for appointments to make sure we avoid traffic jams I also have a coffee there. The volunteers are often happy to have people to chat with and say that they live alone and after all this lockdown it helps their mental health. It also put some much-needed funds back in the cancer charity it supports.

Jaxjacky Wed 02-Sep-20 16:15:40

I agree with most, go and enjoy, the benefits to you will, imho, outweigh the tiny risk.
Lucca to answer your question specifically, gloves are unnecessary, regular hand washing, antibac gel and not touching face are far more important and effective.

BlueBelle Wed 02-Sep-20 16:17:27

Well done, living is about living not sitting in the house worrying. I went back to my voluntary job in a shop nearly two months ago and don’t regret a minute, we don’t have to wear masks and none of the staff do wear them, but people coming into us to browse or buy do wear them (99%) yes we handle money and we handle lots and lots of second hand goods that have been quarantined for 48 hours as per gov rules We have all the correct disinfectant and gels and constant hot water we don’t use towels but throw away paper towels
If we handle bags of donations before they ve been in the quarantine cupboard then we wear disposable gloves
I feel perfectly safe and happy as Larry ( whoever Larry is)
Your state of mind and enjoyment of life is very very important
Enjoy your day’s working ExD

MRGUDER Wed 02-Sep-20 16:34:16

ExD - I totally admire you. Giving to the community at 81. You set a wonderful example to young and old. As long as you take the necessary precautions I think it will be wonderful for your mind set. Please let us know how you are doing.

KaEllen Wed 02-Sep-20 16:36:57

Life is for living. If you want to do it, do it. The risk can be minimised. I don't think you are a fool!

Daftbag1 Wed 02-Sep-20 16:50:19

It seems to me that if you were going to be at the hospital and there were any concerns for your safety, they would suggest that it wasn't wise. If the powers that be are happy for you to go in, and you want to, and providing you take sensible precautions you should go for it!

Rowsie Wed 02-Sep-20 16:59:34

I think we all have to get back to some normality whilst being careful. If this is what you want to do, you should do it.

queenofsaanich69 Wed 02-Sep-20 17:14:09

What do your family think ?

garnet25 Wed 02-Sep-20 17:38:39

My Son is a Nurse who had to shelter From April-August as he has to take immunosuppressants to keep Crohn's Disease under control. The hospital where he works is Covid Free and he has been happy with all the precautions taken and he feels safe at work. Go and see what it's like if you are not happy don't
go again.

Madmaggie Wed 02-Sep-20 18:51:30

I say, do what makes you happy and contented. Serving in the coffee shop makes you feel useful, you are helping other people with a smile, a cheery hello and a hot drink and some of those folk are in their darkest hour. Don't touch your face, wash your hands often and I'm sure you will be fine. I intend resuming my volunteer job as soon as I get the go ahead from my 'boss'. My hubby thinks its fine because every precaution is being taken but my SIL thinks I'm crazy and doesn't hesitate in telling me so - frequently! I have always done various volunteer roles nearly all my adult life and I accept it as normal. (I'm 10 years younger than yourself) and I will continue to do so as long as I am able. So put that boiler on ExD there's brews to be made :-)

Juicylucy Wed 02-Sep-20 20:51:29

I think it’s a risk you shouldn’t be taking. Very thoughtful and kind but I do feel it’s unnecessary.

Patsy70 Wed 02-Sep-20 21:35:15

Sorry, I haven't read all the responses, but to be honest ExD, I don't think you are being at all selfish. Just be careful by wearing a mask, maybe gloves and a protective apron, and washing your hands frequently. I have done the same, by going back to working in the charity shop a few weeks ago. It is very well managed, with only 4 customers allowed inside at any one time. It is so good to feel that you are making a contribution, however small. I enjoy the sociable side too, and the interaction with people. It is good for our mental health. Very best wishes. flowers

Lulu16 Wed 02-Sep-20 22:46:51

It means so much to have a cup of tea in hospital. My Dad was in hospital before he went into a Dementia Unit and he loved going to the tea bar for a change of scenery.
Having had a best friend die of cancer during Lockdown, I think that time is precious. If it makes you feel good then do it.

Hithere Wed 02-Sep-20 23:33:20

Too much risk, to be honest. I know the live is for the living but we are in the middle of a pandemic, way different than normal life.

I would go back when there is a vaccine and it has shown it works (by covid patient numbers)

However, this question from your OP jumped up at me:
"I don't know why I'm going back either."
Do you want to go back? What do you want to do?

Chewbacca Wed 02-Sep-20 23:47:51

I agree with the majority on here; if you do want to go back, then do it. You won't be handling cash, you'll have PPE and screen protection and you can wash your hands and sanitize frequently. MawB summed it up perfectly.

Sarnia Thu 03-Sep-20 08:48:46

Only you can decide. It sounds as if there are good safety measures in place. However, just because a hospital doesn't have Covid-19 patients doesn't mean it is Covid-19 free. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Milo27 Thu 03-Sep-20 22:35:58

You obviously want to so suck it and see ! smile

Summerfly Fri 04-Sep-20 01:42:36

Go girl. xx

Joesoap Sat 05-Sep-20 12:19:33

The Hospital will have taken all the right measures, you will enjoy it as you will be giving others pleasure too. Enjoy yourself, we cant hang about waiting for the virus to disappear,its not going to away,we will have to live with it and do the best we can, and not let it be a terrorist in our lives.
Let us know how you get on.