A written story submitted anonymously by a railway worker in Scotland.
COVID-19 has consumed our lives. 9 months ago I couldn’t bear to listen to any more talk of Brexit yet now? I oddly miss the constant talk of Boris’ constant blundering attempts at trade deals. It seems like a simpler time.
But strangely, simpler times is almost how it felt going into work. Yes, transport sector is a dangerous one to be working in; cross contamination, crowds of people, working through the Lockdown. However, in my workplace during lockdown, the place was an escape. We spoke of COVID a lot, we of course understood all the risk. But – quite naive of us – we were very poor at social distancing. In fact coming to work was almost like how going to the pubs used to be. We would socialise, have fun but at the same time doing the work that was required to ensure other key workers could get to work and home again.
It’s hard to describe without making us all come across as very foolish but within my depot, we felt secure. It felt like our own hideaway from the carnage that was raging outside of the shed, in the big outside world. Within our work shed, we felt safe. A small piece of the world we had before.
With the increase of cases though, I’ve had to ensure my Union members are adhering to social distancing and stronger measures to keep ourselves safe. It’s a necessity not only for ourselves but for our loved ones and our communities as a whole. But by doing this we have lost that sense of escape that we all held so dear during the darkest days of lockdown.
The transport industry continues to move, albeit at a crawl. Like many industries, COVID has decimated us. The railway, the lifeline of Scotland, is on it’s knees. We are lucky our industry is so indispensable that the government is propping us up to the tune of millions of pounds after passenger numbers have dropped so dramatically. This will not continue forever.
The next big worry for us, like so many others, is whether or not job losses will soon come. We stand with every other worker in Scotland. We may all be scared of what tomorrow may bring but if we stand together (socially distanced), then things may not be as bad as we fear.