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.