COVID-19 Stories

What we are hearing from the front lines…

We asked NSGEU members to relay their stories about what they are seeing on the ground.

Here is what you told us.

“I have been a registered nurse for three years and I am already the charge nurse.

I am 26 years old.

This is a very stressful job. Now there is a pandemic and the stress is beyond what I can handle.

The nurses on my unit are terrified. There is nothing I can do to help them.

I show up to every shift and I don’t know anything.

Management and nursing educators don’t know anything.

My nurses, myself included, are burning out from the stress.

Our already short-staffed nurses are going to struggle even more. The inpatients on my unit are very sick and we can’t afford to lose any nurses.”


“As you likely know, yesterday NSHA advised staff to don masks & to wear them throughout the day. However, hand sanitizer is not being replenished in the area where 100 interdisciplinary front line staff work in close proximity and share office space, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and a key pad entry.

Distributing masks without sanitizer completely undermines the stated goal of protecting staff. Not only is this putting staff at a high risk of undue harm, it is setting the stage for staff to get sick as once one staff member contracts it, it will spread like wildfire when the space is contaminated and the tools required to protect ourselves have been withheld.”


I am a home support worker in a rural area. It started with very little communication from the office staff to CCA’s, took about a week for them to give us any information. Then anyone that did not have a supply of PPE’s(masks, gowns, goggles/visor) it took about a week to receive them.

Then union sent out a point of contact assessment tool, I had to explain to the supervisor that we were not able to follow it due to lack of supplied PPE’s. Explaining we had several clients with chronic conditions causing them to couch a lot and we would be exposed to droplets when closer then 6 ft and if we used our proper PPE’S some of us would be out in a day or two. Then clients were contacted by supervisors and we are now having the clients “wear the mask we provide to them, to prevent us from the droplets because we don’t have the amount of PPE’s required. Then April 2 on a conference call with the supervisor I explained that do to traveling by personal car from client to client that our cars are also our work environment and if they could provide cleaning supplies to help stop the spread of covid19, and that our cars are also our lunch/break room.

We were told that wipes or supplies couldn’t be given because they had none and the stores didn’t either. We were advised to take our personal wash clothes, wet with soap in ziplock bags to wash our hands, and wash clothes could also be used to wipe our cars down between clients, or we could purchase cleaning/disinfectant supplies ourselves.

Now keep in mind we could have 10-15 visits per day. No other employees anywhere have to find and supply the products to keep their work environment clean during this time, as if we don’t have even to do. I later sent an email to supervisor saying I just didn’t think this was right and could they provide some cleaner I’m a spray bottle or something, she responded to say she would have to ask the infection control committee.

That was 4 days ago and no response.

Then today at the time our office closes we were left a voice mail saying we now need to check our temperature twice a day, and if we are having any symptoms of Covid-19 to call the number for health care workers then to notify the supervisor.

Many of us, myself included do not have a thermometer to check our temperature, we weren’t given any additional information, just to do it. I made calls to Walmart, superstore, Sobeys and they had none in stock. The drug stores are closed in the evening so not able to check with them. I sent a msg to my supervisor asking if I can go to work without checking my temperature, she checks and then says yes as long as we have no symptoms.

I’ll be doing the right thing by going to work tomorrow without checking my temperature. I understand all the office staff has been completely overwhelmed and they are doing there best, but we are scared and we all feel like we home care workers are considered the bottom feeders to the government and health authority.

There is just no way to explain the frustration and concerns I have for myself, my family, and clients as I honestly don’t feel that we are being taken care of properly.”


Crying seems to be the new daily routine in my life on a working day as I kiss my sleeping children goodbye in the mornings and go off to feel unprotected, unsafe, and fearful.  I cry on my way to work, break down through my workday ….


The Premier and Dr. Strang, are telling people to stay home, if you don’t live there, don’t go there. I am finding that client after client, have family visiting or dropping by unnecessarily and we have no idea where they have been or who they have been in contact with, and our screening should include, have you had anyone in your home who does not live here. Everyone should be following the rules.



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