My name is Rachel and I’ve been a nurse for almost 9 years. I’ve seen some things, experienced some disasters but nothing has prepared me for this moment in time. On a good day I would spend 30 mins seeking a car spot and a 10-15 minute walk to my work. I’ve been chased by people in the dark, made to feel vulnerable and scared. In a hospital I’m confident, I’m outspoken and I’m present. In the dark, I am alone. Whilst this pandemic sweeps the globe and both unites us and divides us concurrently, the ripple effects are just starting to be felt. My old 30 min search and success of a safe, accessible and affordable car spot was reliant on the world turning and people living. Now that we are finally heeding advice and staying home (yay for social distancing!) It means that the spots I used to seek are no longer an option. People are not going to work, people are not taking the kids to school, people are no longer living in the same way we all once were. Just like the old adage, a butterfly in Brazil causes a tornado in Texas, the ripple effect of you all doing exactly what we want you to do has now added just one more stress to me and my colleagues when we’re forced further and further away from the hospital and have to give up our ever decreasing sleep time to search for somewhere, anywhere to leave our cars. I used to be afraid of the dark as I left the safety of the hospital. Now I am scared of my safety within my hospital and grateful for the freedom of the dark and being alone on the 4-5 km walk. I’m reliant on Google maps telling me where I’ve left my car that day and if that ever backfires, you’ll find me by dawn still wandering, sleep deprived and starved, hoping this is all about to end. We’ve all lost things and been impacted. I’m lucky enough to not only have a job but also to be in high demand. My loss is in my freedom though. My boyfriend and I are now living separately and I Skype him, my family and my friends. I miss my baby nieces sticky hands and my 8 year old nephews roughhousing tickle fights. I miss my old life and yet here we are preparing for the new one. I’ve stopped going to the supermarket too – maybe this was a sign to eat the food that’s been hiding at the back of my cupboard for years. I’ve gotten three parking fines this week alone, so what I save in gym fees, I’m paying in infringements. But its okay, I have a job, and I have a purpose. So help us to help you. Give me and my amazing colleagues, both ones i work with at present and the ones I’m about to get to know well a place that is safe, is predictable and is accessible. If you have any capacity to share with us your driveway, your front yard or perhaps even the Carpark of your sadly closed business, we can sleep a little longer, walk a little less in the dark and focus more on the task at hand. Whilst you bunker down indoors, we’ll fight the fight for you. Just let us park our cars first. If we work together to provide, we can start a pandemic of kind and of good. Of a connection more that just germs and negativity. In a world of darkness, be our flashlight. You can even have my allocation of pasta from coles (I’ve never liked pasta anyway) and I will check in on you on my way in and out. Through the glass of course but twice a day, I’ll be there to say hello and to comfort you from your isolation, your desolation and to bring you anything I can to help make your transition easier for the both of us. Help us to help you.
Rachel, VIC 27 March 2020
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