Working in The Zone of Action: An Insider Perspective into what it was like to be a Frontline Logistics Staff

Vivek Ramakrishnan

Hello, my name is . . . well, my name does not really matter right now. Where I work, I have to constantly remain behind masks. Otherwise, I endanger my life, and worse, the lives of others more vulnerable than me.

Eleanor Hospital Logistics Team

I am a part of the Eleanor logistics team that serves Charing Cross Hospital. I remember my Nan telling me how, during the bombing of London in World War II, they were cooped up in home for days on end, too terrified to see if their neighbour was okay. Well, this our “Bombing of London”. We can’t meet our neighbours, friends, and family. People can’t go to work, shop or even socialize. I have not seen anything like this in my lifetime. The number of patients being rolled into COVID-19 wards . . . I have lost count. But where I am, no one has the time for self-pity or complaint.

To steal a line from Few Good Men, “We are in the business of saving lives”. My teammates have cancelled their holidays. Some of them sleep apart from their vulnerable partners. Yesterday, I saw a nurse eat half a sandwich, throw the rest into the bin, and rush back to work. Who can complain here? To whom? Every time I let a minor discomfort annoy me, I remember the faces of the frontline nurses and doctors, whose faces are bruised from wearing masks all day, whose arms and legs ache from standing and serving patients with unvarying care.

I remember that my work supports them. I remember that if I don’t replenish the clinical supplies, the fluids, test kits, the PPE, and ensure the right thing reaches the right hands at the right time, someone could die. If my stockrooms are not in order, nurses waste precious minutes searching for essential supplies. If I don’t test the PPE for permeability and penetration, a doctor or nurse, father or mother, could fall prey to this virus.

That’s why I do what I do, and that’s why, no matter how unglamorous my job seems, I love being a part of this Eleanor Logistics Team.

Eleanor Hospital Logistics Team

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