Aoife and a fellow Guider dressed in CGI in traditional uniformsHi I'm Aoife Smith a leader in Coolock and Newry. I work as an Analytical Chemist in Raw Materials department of Quality Control in Norbrook. That seems like a mouthful but what it means is I test the raw materials for Norbrook before they're used to make products. It's as if I'm testing the flour used in a cake to make sure it's safe to use before making the cake. Norbrook is a company that makes pharmaceutical products for farm and domestic animals. 

When the lockdown happened we began to sanitise before and as we enter and exit the building. Norbrook produced hand sanitiser to give to all their employees, along with the hospital in Newry. We have been temperature checked before work too and are sent to the hospital for testing if our temperature is too high (I have not had to go, but a coworker was sent). The gloves we would use in the lab had to be changed as our usual supplier is prioritising the healthcare workers. Our department was split into two shift groups to minimize the amount of people in contact with each other. We are now working 2-10 and 6-2 on alternative weeks. I personally have found this hard due to having to be up early one week and to bed late the next. 

As I am living in the north I am too far away from friends and family. I have not seen them since March, but we have been video calling a lot more. We are so lucky that technology is advanced enough to be able to speak to people who are far away, especially during a time like this.