They have been standing their ground at their workplace for weeks, mitigating the negative effects of the coronavirus. Doctors, nurses, ambulance crew, patient care crew, cleaners, IT experts, couriers, drivers, truck drivers, teachers, social workers, pharmacists, shopping assistant, dustman: all making heroic efforts to carry out their work to the best of their knowledge. Our heroine, B+N Referencia Zrt. employee Mrs Piroska Bordás Antal was interviewed by Fanny magazine.
“Hurry, disinfection required!!”
Mrs Piroska Bordás Antal cleans a hospital in Budapest 5 days a week. Sometimes at weekends too or if there is an emergency or if one of her colleagues can’t take up work. She gets up at half past 3 to get in her workplace and start her 6-o’clock shift. She lives in the countryside, she has been working as a cleaner for 22 years, and she is an employee of B+N Referencia Zrt.
‘Back in the day a friend of mine convinced me to start cleaning saying it was not a bad job. I did so, tried it and have been here ever since’, said Piroska. ‘Before going in my work area, I change clothes, pick up the tools and then the mop. The department where I have been so far has 42 beds but I was also responsible for the doctor’s offices, the dressing rooms, the elevator and its hall and the corridor. The daily routine of thorough cleaning and disinfection was occasionally interrupted by an accident in one of the sick-wards. After a surgery, with bedridden patients compelled to use a urinal vessel… The most difficult part is when it happens at the end of my shift when I am more tired, but they call me over in a hurry to disinfect a patient’s surroundings. I have been a widow for more than 10 years, I live alone. My children have accepted that I am going to work and although they are worried about me, they are proud of me for helping others. I am not ashamed to be a cleaner, it gives me strength when they praise my work. Last time a country patient told me: the room is as clean as in a countryside guesthouse. If somebody looks down on me, and it happens sometimes, it hurts a lot. Many people think cleaning is not a real job, something they do at home too. But here you have to do it on the clock, on a large scale and yet professionally, I cannot watch my favourite series on TV while mopping the floor. In addition, I have to touch things that would make others feel disgusted. But the truth is anyone can get into a vulnerable situation… By the end of the day my legs get tired from a whole day’s standing, but I try to be available. Maybe as a consequence of the coronavirus more people will notice us and more people will appreciate the work we do.
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