An emergency room nurse has recorded an emotional video urging Victorians to do the simple things to help frontline workers facing the pandemic head-on.
Abbey, from Royal Melbourne Hospital, revealed the toll COVID-19 is taking on nurses and doctors who are working day and night to keep Victorians alive.
“This pandemic has taken the job I love and morphed it into this complicated, sometimes exhausting and constantly evolving daily battle,” she said in a video shared by Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday evening.
“I’ve watched my colleagues adapt, fight and care for really critically unwell patients while putting themselves on the frontline daily.
“The entire way we practice emergency medicine and nursing has changed entirely due to COVID-19.”
Abbey went on to say how incredibly proud she is of her colleagues and how each and every one of them has experienced the emotional and physical effects of the increase in demand.
“My colleagues are working overtime, covered head to toe in (protective equipment), which leaves us dehydrated, hot and covered in pressure sores from where it rubs into our face.”
She told Victorians that in return to the tireless work her and her colleagues had been doing to keep people safe, “the very least you, as a community, can do for us is stay home, wear a mask, wash your hands and follow the advice”.
In sharing the video, Mr Andrews wrote: “If you only watch one thing today, please make it this message from Abbey – a Clinical Nurse Specialist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital ED.”
Victoria recorded 403 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday and five new deaths including a man in his 50s and a man in his 70s.
Both cases were not linked to known outbreaks. A woman in her 70s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s also died at aged care facilities where the virus has taken hold.
The state’s death toll has now reached 49.
There are 3630 active cases in Victoria as of Thursday, of which more than 1100 were transmitted in the community.
“This will be a terribly challenging time for (families who lost loved ones),” Mr Andrews told reporters on Thursday. “They are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked on Thursday night if he was “cranky” at Victoria for allowing the virus to run rampant.
He told A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw: “Getting cranky doesn’t help. No one elected me to be cranky.”
He said outbreaks were always going to happen, and blaming Premiers wasn’t a priority.
“In a world as uncertain as this, it’s almost impossible to avoid (outbreaks),” the PM said.
“I’m not excusing what is happening in Victoria, that’s not my point, but we all have to learn fast. Learning fast and quick build our capacity to better manage this response.”