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Thursday, December 3, 2020
2020 Heroes: Alejandra Pena and Elva Martinez

2020 Heroes: Alejandra Pena and Elva Martinez

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Alejandra Pena  and Elva Martinez

Housekeepers

Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth

Pena has been working at the hospital for 10 months, Martinez for 3 months.

Alejandra

It’s been very … We’re nervous and scared all at the same time, all kinds of emotions, but we enjoy what we do.

What made you want to apply at the hospital?

Elva

I needed a job. My daughter was a housekeeper here once, several years ago.

What has changed since this all began?

Alejandra

We’ve learned a lot, you know? With housekeeping, we thought it was just wiping down the toilets, mopping, and when all this hit us I was like, “Oh my God, there’s a whole lot of cleaning to do.”

Elva

Yes. Especially putting on the gowns, and learning how to withstand it, you know? Cause you sweat and you can’t breathe with a face mask.

And when you’re trying to move fast. It’s like, hyperventilating.

Do you have to put on the full gear every time you go into a room?

Elva

It’s the gown and that, and then the shield.

Alejandra

And the gloves.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Elva

I like to relax at home or spend time with family. Of course, I don’t see them that much right now since all this is going down.

Do they not want to be near you?

Elva

Most of my family members work in hospitals or nursing homes, basically do the same thing.

– Reporting and photography by Amber Shumake

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