ESSENTIAL: Natalie Mohammed, 22, is a pharmacy assistant at Clermont Pharmacy.
ESSENTIAL: Natalie Mohammed, 22, is a pharmacy assistant at Clermont Pharmacy.

Heroes of the pandemic: Clermont pharmacy assistant

SOME people are still required to go to work during this national shutdown.

We're speaking with essential workers to hear how their jobs have changed and how they're keeping things turning in the Central Highlands.

We'll bring you their stories.

 

NATALIE Mohammed, 22, has been a regular face at the Clermont Pharmacy since she started working there eight years ago.

The young pharmacy assistant usually works behind the scenes in the dispensary, preparing your scripts as quickly as possible and ordering products to ensure scripts are filled and shelves are stocked.

"I love it," she said.

"I love being able to help people and knowing how things work and why you take certain things is really cool."

While it's usually their "quiet" period between Christmas and the flu season, the team has been busier than ever assisting the community as best they can amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"You have your main drugs that everyone uses and I guess because of coronavirus there's been a lot of shortages and people get set in their ways with the medication they want and don't like changing brands," Ms Mohammed said.

"There's a lot of shortages of over-the-counter everyday stuff too - everyone wants it so they don't run out."

She said it made things difficult when a handful of customers weren't willing to change brands to work in with the shortages.

"You just have to try and get stuff on the shelves as quick as you can but most of our customers are pretty good," she said.

"They agree to change to something else they are happy with, that and our regulars are pretty relaxed, they trust us and have faith in us to get it back on the shelves."

Ms Mohammed is one of many essential workers directly facing the uncertainty of the pandemic.

When people enter the store with a small cough, although she says "you can't act scared", there is always the question in the back of her mind of where they have been and if they have the virus.

"It's a scary feeling not knowing," she said.

"Some people aren't going to follow the rules but you can't just close for your own safety because other people do need you.

"There are still people out there who have little kids that wake up in the middle of the night with a high temperature and you need to be there to supply them with what they need."

While the number of new cases in Queensland is reducing, police continue to enforce restrictions to limit the chance of the virus spreading to the region.

"You hope everyone is respecting what's going on in the community and if it does get to town people do respect the boundaries so we can stay open," Ms Mohammed said.

"If someone (at work) does get sick, that can be the difference between us closing and staying open.

"We need to stay open otherwise it's an hour down the road to the closet pharmacy."


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