Lockdown as a Biomedical Scientist
Today, in our little series about living and working through these times, Judy Powell from St. Mary’s Conwy shares some reflections as a Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology, working for Public Health Wales at Glan Clwyd Hospital.
As we read Judy’s words, we pray for her and all her colleagues in what could be described as the vital ‘behind the scenes’ work of a hospital: the detailed work of scientific testing and analysis. It is her faith in the God of protection, who the psalmist describes below, that gives her the courage to work each day – something we can all relate to, whatever we’re doing and wherever we are.
Judy Powell (Biomedical Scientist, Public Health Wales)
Bydd y sawl mae’r Duw Goruchaf yn ei amddiffyn
yn aros yn saff dan gysgod yr Hollalluog.
Dywedais, “Arglwydd, rwyt ti’n gaer ddiogel,
yn lle hollol saff i mi fynd.
Ti ydy fy Nuw i, yr un dw i’n ei drystio.”
Salm 91: 1-2, 14-15
You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.’
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honour them.
Psalm 91: 1-2, 14-15
Prayer Pond (Glan Clwyd Hospital)
Judy Powell writes:
When the COVID-19 crisis first started, I felt afraid to go to work and wanted to self-isolate with my mum, to protect her. But we didn’t fit the criteria for the management team at work or our GP to allow this.
At the same time a lot of positive encouragement and prayers were coming through friends and family, on social media and Christian TV. Psalm 91 kept being brought to my attention. I also remembered a sermon from St. Mary’s Conwy when Reverend David Parry gave us chalk to write a blessing on our house. It was Epiphany, and he told us about the ‘chalking of the doors‘ with CMB: symbolising the three kings (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) but more importantly standing for Christus Mansionem Benedicat – the Latin words for ‘May Christ bless this home‘. All of these encouragements of faith made me start to feel protected.
It is strange to think of a blessing on the doorposts at the beginning of what has turned out to be such a momentous year in our history. In such anxious times, in many ways it is a blessing to go to work, as I am helping to do something positive, but also because of the social interaction and camaraderie with my colleagues. We’re wearing face masks now even when on the computers, and following the 2 metre rule at break time. But we can bring in treats to share, chat and find out how each other’s families are coping.
There are times when I just want to go and be on my own for a while. The photo above is of the pond near the lab where I go to watch dragonflies at break time if the weather is good. Here I pray for those who are alone for too long, those who are sick and those caring for the sick and those who have lost a loved one, or indeed, their job.
Nid pobl braw ydym ni:
ond pobl dewrder.
Nid pobl i’n diogelu ein hunain ydym ni: ond pobl sydd yn gwarchod diogelwch eraill.
Nid pobl trachwant ydym ni: ond pobl haelioni.
Dy bobl di ydym ni, Dduw,
yn rhoi a charu
ble bynnag yr ydym,
beth bynnag fo’r gost,
am ba hyd bynnag fo’r angen,
ble bynnag y gelwi arnom. Amen.
We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us. Amen.