Pushing past fear to impact lives
Working in the early days of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Clarendon Health Department peer educator, Precious Francis Davy, said she had to rely on her faith and trust in God to see her through, because there were times when she was gripped by fear of the little-known but fatal disease.
As much as she enjoys her job interacting with the public, advising them on how to keep themselves from contracting sexually transmitted diseases, she said the COVID-19 pandemic had not only her, but some of her peers more than a little nervous.
“When I heard about COVID, I panicked and I was fearful in the early stages. I was afraid because I didn’t know what this thing was,” she admitted. However, with knowledge came power and she, along with her colleagues, shared information and coping strategies.
Francis Davy did have a few anxious moments though, when she walked past those who were symptomatic and who came to do their COVID-19 tests.
Francis Davy is a Christian and worships at the Osborne Store Seventh-day Adventist Church. She testified that prayer does work, because in the midst of her anxieties, God kept her so that she could strike a balance, knowing that He was protecting her while she worked.
Filled with a passion for her job, Francis Davy shared on some of what she enjoys most about her work as she interacts with both young and old.
“What interest me most is the reaction I get when I’m doing a condom demonstration and I have a rubber dildo. They (the public) are so interested to look at it because it feels like the real thing and they always want to touch it,” she shared with a smile.
Another surprise for Francis Davy is that the ones who show the most interest in the condom demonstration are seniors.
She said they are very interested in how to use it and are eager to see the demonstrations.
“They would say something like ‘In my days I have never seen something like this’. So, because of that they are so interested in how the condom is used. They want to know more about condom usage, HIV, and everything about their health where that is concerned,” Francis Davy pointed out.
Being a community peer educator, she noted, helps her to grow as well and teaches her to cope with fear and surviving tough times.
Her job entails educating persons about HIV, proper condom usage and HIV screening. Being the peer educator that she is, she is advising those who are sexually active to ensure they get their HIV test done.
Francis Davy, who hails from Mocho in Clarendon, is the mother of two children.
She is one of several healthcare workers at the Clarendon Health Department being recognised in celebration of Health Care Workers’ Appreciation Month for their outstanding service during the COVID-19 pandemic.