Battle weary but intent on the good fight

By Keagan Mitchell Time of article published Aug 1, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The people working on the front line will forever be known as the ones who saved lives during a global pandemic.

Among them is specialist physician at Melomed Gatesville Zaraina Solomons, 38, a single mother of three children, under the age of 10, who takes care of Covid-19 patients.

Solomons, born and raised in Cape Town, said working on the front line has been an emotional roller-coaster.

“At the start, it was an illness that we did not understand and had such a drastic effect on the way we practise medicine. Trying to provide patients with the best possible care with no set recipe, has proven challenging while trying to keep up with the latest developments. This has been coupled with fear and anxiety of sudden death, expectations of family members and losing colleagues,” she said.

She has experienced anguish and happiness.

“We celebrate success stories and we mourn losses. We try to be supportive of one another. The cherry on top is telling family members their loved one will be home soon, often hearing screams of joy,” she said.

Solomons begins her day with prayers followed by morning routines with her children.

At work, she changes into personal protective equipment to check on her Covid-19 patients.

Before proceeding to her rooms for patient consultations she changes to another set of PPE.

She checks on her patients in the afternoon again.

“When I get home, I decontaminate in my garage and shower before I have any interaction with my children and elderly mother. I try to focus on family life. However, if a patient decompensates, I will drive to work.”

Her message: “We have lost many lives, young and old. As a health-care professional, I speak for many when I say we are tired. The public needs to practise every method to prevent the spread of this infection. We need to realise our selfish behaviour can have serious effects on the next person.”

Group marketing manager at Melomed Private Hospitals Shameema Adams said Solomons has a strong work ethic and compassion.

“She is an inspiration to many women. Through faith, she is able to overcome her challenges and strives for what she believes in,” she said.

* For the month of August Weekend Argus will feature women in the front line.

* This Women’s Month, IOL in collaboration with the African News Agency, are calling on our readers, corporate partners and staff to nominate a woman who embodies the spirit of the women who took part in the 1956 march on the Union Buildings, by empowering and uplifting her community, fellow women or industry.

The #SheIsMyRock nominee will be featured on IOL and you could stand a chance of winning an awesome gift for her, thanks to our sponsors Dove, JC le Roux and Sorbet.

To enter, email us at [email protected] or WhatsApp to 074 557 3535, include a picture of the inspirational woman in your life and tell us why she is your rock. Text, audio and video entries will be accepted.

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