Early morning, ICU Department in a hospital. April 15th 2020. Two
female frontline workers are gowning up. As they don gown, hairnet, goggles
and mask they chat.
*(1 AND 2: INDICATES WORKER 1 AND WORKER 2 SPEAK SIMULTANEOUSLY)
Worker 1: Ok let’s get the gear on.
Worker 2: Going to be a hectic day, again! I’m wrecked. 8. Hrs. sleep and I’m still wrecked. These 12 hr. shifts are killing me.
Worker 1: I know, I haven’t had a day off in two weeks but ya can’t let the side down. Another 38 deaths in the last 24hrs…
Worker 2: And 533 more confirmed cases, we have 19 in ICU, the highest figure in hospitals in Ireland I believe.
Worker 1: Over 12,000 confirmed cases in total.
Worker 2: I was reading a report last night, came across it online, it said that the virus can remain on
imaging equipment for 9 nine days.
Worker 1: Nine days, who said that…?
Worker 2: American College of Radiology.
Worker 1: You don’t want to read reports like that when you go home. I was watching Netflix. ‘Tiger King’, have you seen it? Absolute nuts?
Worker 2: Nay, heard about it…an American nutter who keeps big cats. Speaking of Tiger King has the Queen Bee been around this morning?
Worker 1: Professor Ryan, no she’s too busy. ‘Donning and doffing is most important’. (Imitating the professor’s posh Cork accent)
Worker 2: Did you see Simon Harris gave us a shout out on Twitter, we’re heroes apparently.
Worker 1: Of course we are. Makes a change…top of the heap now!
Worker 2: You know poor Bridie passed…I wouldn’t mind but only two days ago I met her daughter at the hospital entrance and brought clean clothes up to her. Broke my heart, the daughter was crying her eyes out.
Worker 2: That was very good of you.
Worker 1: Heart breaking not to be able to visit your mother. Could be your own mother or father.
Worker 2: God forbid.
Worker 1: How’s your mum coping, is she on her own.
Worker 2: She is. She’s Lonely. Sure I can’t go near her. I drop off her shopping twice a week and I stop and chat to her through the window on my way to and from work every day.
Worker 1: That’s tough. Sure you couldn’t go near her .We’re going right into the middle of the breeding ground where the virus is.
Worker 2: I know but you have to fight the battle. It’s a constant balance between family and work.
Worker 1: PPE check. Gown?
(They inspect each other)
Worker 2: Yep. Hairnet?
Worker 1: Netted. Goggles?
Worker 2: Goggled. Mask?
Worker 1: Over mouth, over nose.
Worker 2: Gloves?
*1 and 2: Two pairs, under and over the cuffs. (They do a twirl of the hands)
Worker 2: What do we look like?
Worker 1: Heroes!
Worker 2: Ah yeah, Batman and Robin.
Worker 1: Na, Wonder Woman and Super Girl
Worker 1: I’ll grab the fumigator. Have ya got the Antichlor Wonderwoman
Worker 2: Never leave the work station without it Supergirl.
Worker 1: You know Rose, they couldn’t keep ICU open without us cleaners.
Worker 2: Super heroes Vera!
(They both laugh) They exit stage left.
Voice over and the words appear on a screen/wall upstage/back
Wonder Woman: “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
Batman: “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
Super Girl: I need you to hope. Hope that you will remember that you can all be heroes.
Carmel Rooney is a ‘reincarnated’ actress/writer. Recently retired lecturer in Communications, from TuDublin. Twitter: Carmel Rooney @rooneycarmel Facebook.
Nicely grafted & like the perspective – the lesser-recognised heroes
Makes you think how important it is for us, feeling we are doing nothing to help, safe at home, to stay at home, and go by rules. And eventually give these hero’s their life back. Thank you carmel. Xx
Exactly Ann, I was inspired by an newspaper article outlining the workof a cleaning team in a hospital. thanks for reading.
Lovely cameo of behind scene workers, with believable characters and great sense of place. More little gems like this, please!
What a clever play! Cleverly written andwith a great twist! Well done!
Thanks John- human heroes!
Glad you focused on the cleaners. I feel they and supermarket staff (your next mini-play, Carmel?) can’t get enough praise and sometimes get left out. There’s also that little element of surprise as I expected it to be two nurses. And the quotes from the Superheroes at the end top it off nicely. Bravo!
Love the lead in and the unexpected ending – very clever and a great call out to those who often get forgotten – we are all part of the engine that helps us on our journey
Thank you Carmel. It is a very clever, well written humorous piece. – “The new normal” for our times.
A well written reminder of what’s going on out there while I’m cocooning. Liked the twist near the end. A very under valued, essential job. Thanks, Carmel.
Really well written. A great testament to the ordinary everyday heroes who are working on the front line.
Liked this well written account of two workers chatting before starting work. Nice twist about their occupations. Key message about ALL the heroes out there. Thank you, Carmel.
Lovely cameo of behind the scene workers, a great sense of place and time with believable characters. More gems like this, please, Carmel!
Very clever and enjoyable. Great twist!
Really enjoyed it Carmel, was a nice tonic for a Monday. Well done. Thank you for sharing. You are a star
Carmel continue on your creative journey of writing and performance You work is always challenging and brave Thank you for addressing the issue of inclusivity, enjoyed it lots!
Big Thank You to all who read and commented on my tiny play. Very much appreciate your time and encouragement. Sincerely Carmel
Would luv to read more from these types of perspective! Reminds us the full stretch of committed frontliners risking their own safety for us – and with a little humor to keep their own spirits up from what they’re seeing on the frontline.
Love it Carmel, there are so very many unsung heroes keeping a thread of normality going, great to give them a shout out, decorated with a touch of humour, real Dubs at work.
Nothing like it
Great Carmel. I loved the way you created the dialogue, something I really struggle with. Great subject and a fine write.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Eamon.
It’s a superb piece, Carmel. Congratulations. Well done. I’d love to see it performed. I hope all is well with you. x