A Melbourne nurse has slammed fellow ‘dumb and selfish’ Victorians who continue to flout the state’s strict lockdown rules in an angry Facebook post that has gone viral online.
Jemma Hilliard posted the harrowing plea as Victoria struggles to control a second outbreak of new infections, with 459 new cases and 10 more deaths recorded on Sunday.
The state’s second wave has forced the the government to make masks mandatory across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, punishable by $200 fines.
Ms Hilliard, who wears a mask for 10 hours a day at work had a blunt message for those who refuse to comly.
Melbourne nurse Jemma Hilliard (pictured) says Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus infections is worse than the first outbreak
‘COVID isn’t polite enough to step back and not infect you because you want to speak to someone in person or on the phone and you ‘simply can’t deal with simultaneously wearing a mask’. Man The F*** Up,’ she wrote.
‘This is not about COVID-19 the virus, this is about COVID-19 the pandemic. It’s you, the dumb, selfish Victorians who are actually killing us.’
Ms Hilliard started the furious 1,460 word rant by lashing out Victorians who refuse to comply with orders to self-isolate.
She described the current crisis ‘actually worse’ than when the pandemic first hit Australia’s shores six months ago.
‘Do you want to know what you’re doing? Other than being the main cause for a spike in infectious cases that we see on the news every day?,’ Ms Hilliard wrote.
‘You are screwing up health care, the economy and physically, psychologically and emotionally depleting the sick, the vulnerable and everyone who works in a hospital.
‘Come and step into my shoes for the second time. But let’s do it with a bit more oomph – because it clearly didn’t work before. And this time it’s longer for a reason.’
Jemma (pictured) posted a harrowing public plea to fellow ‘dumb and selfish’ Victorians
The rant is followed by a detailed and heartbreaking description of a hectic day in her shoes, which starts at 6.45am when her alarm goes off, where her resting heart rate is already at an alarmingly high 120.
By the time Ms Hilliard arrives at the hospital at 8am, her phone is already ringing with patient referrals, including a dying elderly woman who can only have two family members at her bedside due to lockdown restrictions.
Ms Hilliard then checks on her next young patient among ‘multiple children lying on mattresses on the floor’ and later finds out two of them died, not from COVID.
Ms Hilliard’s morning continues pleading with a middle-aged terminally-ill cancer patient who needs hospital treatment but demands to be discharged so they can be with their family.
She says the patient will likely die as a paraplegic from the cancer crushing against their spine.
Jemma Hilliard has to wear a face mask up up to 10 hours day and had a blunt message for anyone who refuses to wear one to ‘Man the f**k up’
Her next patient is a critically-sick patient who arrived in Australia before the borders closed.
‘They have cancer- but they don’t really know that because they doesn’t speak a word of English and it’s a miracle if we can get an interpreter,’ Ms Hilliard wrote.
The hospital where she works has stopped visiting hours due to the pandemic as Ms Hilliard deals with distressing relatives pleading for her to make an exemption,
By mid afternoon, Ms Hilliard is certifying the identity of a deceased man while supporting his distraught wife during a FaceTime call.
‘I can’t see her because everything has fogged up- and she can clearly see that. And all I am to her was the voice that held up the screen for her to say goodbye.
At 5pm, Ms Hilliard has just gone to the toilet for the first time that day as she returns to her office to type notes and email patients’ families.
‘It’s beyond what is meant to be home time,’ the exhausted nurse wrote.
By the time she gets home, her mask is soaked with tears as she describes the personal toll her job has had on her outside of work.
Jemma Hilliard said working in healthcare during the pandemic has taken a personal toll
‘I shower. I’m too drained to cook which is probably why I have also lost weight. It’s dark and cold and I’m alone,’ Ms Hilliard posted.
‘My anger and stress levels have been hauled at the people I love for half the year now. Friends and family who don’t work in the system also don’t understand the sheer f*****y this is, how can they? I curl up in bed, turn the light off and all I want is for someone to tell me this nightmare is over.’
‘This is not the job I am used to doing. This is not the care we are wanting to provide.’
The pandemic has also had a heartbreaking toll on her family, who have been waiting almost a year to put Ms Hilliard’s father into a nursing home.
He was finally given a place earlier this year but couldn’t be admitted after the facility had a virus outbreak.
Her father remains at home on the waiting list.
‘He falls almost every day. Sometimes he hits his head- and I just hope that it’s never going to cause a bleed, because then he will die alone too,’ she wrote.
Face masks are now mandatory for metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. Pictured is a Melburnian doing the right thing while cycling in St Kilda on Saturday
She ends her furious rant slamming naive Victorians who believe lockdown restrictions will soon and refuse to take the pandemic seriously.
I don’t care if you believe this is Mother Nature or a biochemical weapon- at the end of the day us, the ‘Victorian soldiers’ are that stupid, we’re turning our swords on ourselves rather than fighting the main enemy,’ Ms Hilliard wrote.
‘I also absolutely do not care if you feel that this is an ‘invisible’ disease, apparently made up by the government in order to gain control and feel that you need to delete me off social media.’
‘Aren’t you a lucky bunch who live in a naive world where you can think it’s fake. I can assure you, it’s not.’
The Facebook post has received 9,800 shares in recent days.