As front-line hospital workers, Tina and Dom continued to work throughout the pandemic. Tina, who works on the pre-op reception, drives past Staff Nurse Dom’s house on the way to the hospital, saving him a bus ride or walk each day.
It’s a short journey but to Tina, filling an empty seat is an easy way to help out a colleague and she’s more than happy to do it. As she’s passing Dom’s house regardless, she chooses not to ask him to share the travel costs.
“Car sharing works great for us. It’s nice to have a chat in the morning before starting work. Dom works later than I do, so it’s always good to catch up on what’s gone on the day before. It’s become part of our daily ritual and a welcome routine that didn’t change amidst the strangeness of the last year!”
The pair started car sharing having struck up a friendship after meeting at work. The hospital agreed to amend Dom’s hours to fit with Tinas, allowing them to car share 4 mornings a week while another colleague drops Dom back home. The pair had been enjoying the convenience and companionship of their shared journey for a number of years before Covid-19 hit.
Despite the disruption of the pandemic, the increased pressure on NHS hospitals meant Tina and Dom were needed more than ever. They continued to car-share, each taking precautions to reduce the risk of transmission. Following Government advice, they would both wear masks, ensuring the vehicle was well ventilated, with Dom sitting in the back seat.
With the launch of the vaccine and the relaxing of restrictions, the sharers continue to follow government guidelines. They both wear masks as they do at work, but Dom has been reinstated in the passenger seat, re-joining Tina in the front of the car.
“As healthcare workers we were some of the first people to receive the vaccine. We’ve now had both jabs and are regularly tested as part of our jobs. I feel safe sharing my journey with Tina and imagine I’ll be sharing a lift with her as long as it’s convenient for both of us. I’d recommend car sharing to anyone. It’s not only good for the environment but a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with colleagues. For me, this has been more important than ever during the pandemic.”
Author Erin Heenan