‘I’ve seen my first body bag and . . . many more’

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

While she doesn’t think she’s a hero, all of Megan Robson’s friends in London think she is one.

Every day the Clinton-born former European tour guide dons her full personal protection equipment and enters the epicentre of Covid-19 treatment there to mop floors and clean up after the doctors, nurses and patients.

Former South Otago High School classmate Josh Button said she was a hero and contacted the Clutha Leader to tell us about her.

But Miss Robson said said was not a hero.

‘‘I’m honestly just emptying bins and mopping floors and have absolutely nothing to do with helping save lives,” she said.

“As of right now, I’m supposed to be on a boat in Capri, along the Amalfi coast, telling people all about Pompeii.

“It’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow when I’m really here at the Royal London Hospital mopping Covid-19 from the floors.

“But if I can’t be in Italy with all that’s happening in the world then I’m glad I can at the very least make the nurses’ lives here a little easier.’’

She said the hospital built two new floors in four weeks, so that the usual functioning wards could remain ‘‘clean’’ and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

“I was extremely lucky to get this job through an agency, as I’m not entitled to any government funding, nor could I receive any job-keeper funds from my usual employer Busabout.

“It’s been quite a surreal experience for so many different reasons.

“I survived my first ever overnight shift where we deep› cleaned the whole of floor 15, ridding it of all the fresh sawdust so that it would be ready for the first Covid-19 patients to be brought in the next day.

“I’ve wiped and scrubbed all kinds of bodily fluids from all kinds of surfaces and have mastered the art of holding my breath in my mask for long periods of time to avoid the smells.

“I’ve seen my first body bag and I’ve seen many more since.”

Miss Robson said she had chatted and laughed with the patients who were awake and been too scared to ask where they had gone the next morning.

“I’ve listened to prayers and concerts from children to their dads over Zoom and seen the frustrations of those with tubes in their throat that can’t say ‘I love you’ back to the ones crying over the phone.’’

For the past year she had been working as a tour guide spending every other night in a different city in Europe.

Miss Robson said she was missing her family, especially as her parents Sally and Bob

Robson were supposed to be visiting her in a week’s time in Rome before heading off on a cruise.

Mr Robson said he was proud of the work his daughter was doing.