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29 November 2020

Anonymous – UNITED KINGDOM

I am a lucky individual who is able to be working through a lockdown. PCR testing and surface temperature monitoring are the parameters I must comply with to be able to continue work. I found out on a Friday night that if I wanted to come back to work on Monday I had to get a PCR test because 5 people at work I had no contact with tested positive. I had no symptoms. I had the test done, I missed Monday as the results did not come back in time for work. I was not paid for this day missed (side note; I work away from home) . My employer asked me to do a second PCR test Monday night because they want results back quicker. Both results came back negative. Upon returning to work I was surface temperature screened three times one day, the first time having my temperature be too high (because of the hat I was wearing.. it’s winter), then having it done again and it being fine. The Covid marshals returned and ask again for my surface temperature. I said no. I was informed I would no longer be allowed on the job site if I did not comply. So I did it, it was fine. I showed up to work with two negative PCR tests and was asked to have my surface temperature checked three times.

I don’t trust these parameters nor do I find them necessary and I have amble reason not to. I am finding myself wanting to fight these unnecessary per-cautions.. sadly my reality is I need this job (I would be working else where, but my profession is in the tourism industry which is not going to be running this winter). I also want to point out the expense of all these screening methods. Free PCR testing for essential workers (this will have to be paid for at some point yes?) And the screening monitors equipment costs, then the position of a covid marshal to administer the screenings, and time paid to the employee as they are on hours during this screening day after day.

What I am recognizing is my mental health is in a terrible state. Pressures from work, not wanting to upset friends and colleagues with my view points, noticing my viewpoints are being politicized (Anti lockdowns = right wing/fascist political views, loosen covid measures = Trump supporter), and feeling trapped in a world of people who do not question mainstream media.are the main contributors to my anxiety.

My story is no where near a terribly bad experience. What I am trying to highlight is that mental health is fragile and under these pressures a person could be sent spiraling into depression and anxiety. What’s worse is I don’t even have it bad. I have people I can talk to about my anxieties and I have somewhere to go if I can no longer work. I can only imagine how much suffering is going on for people, who are in a far worse situation than my own, experiencing our covid-fear overrun world.