Coronavirus: NHS doctor 'evicted from home due to landlady's fears over COVID-19'

26 March 2020, 07:57 | Updated: 26 March 2020, 13:26

A doctor says she has been evicted from her home due to her landlady's fears about the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Maria Tadros, who has been a qualified NHS medic for four years and is currently training to be an eye surgeon, told of how she was "feeling pretty broken" about the ordeal in a Facebook post.

"I got evicted today," the 28-year-old who works in a hospital in Shropshire, wrote.

She said in the post that she returned home from work on Monday "and could tell the landlady was anxious, standing in front of the TV in the kitchen watching the news updates".

"She asked if I'd been seeing patients. Said she didn't know what to do. Asked about my 'situation' back home and how far away it was. I've never been looked at that way before," she wrote.

"I told her I understood that the situation was very difficult for everyone. That I was taking extra precautions with hygiene both at work, and on coming home.

"I also said I would start looking into alternative places to stay, as I could see she was anxious and this was her home."

The next day the medic said she received an apologetic text message "asking if I could find somewhere else to stay immediately, maybe commute from elsewhere till I find somewhere permanent, and sorry but thank you for understanding".

She was allowed to leave work early to pack her things, move out and find somewhere else to stay for the night.

"I completely understand her anxiety," Dr Tadros told Sky News, saying she had no ill-feelings toward her landlady.

"I think she wanted to bring her family home and didn't want someone working at a hospital to expose her to the coronavirus risk.

"I understand why everyone is a bit scared and panicked at the moment, and the instinct to protect your family."

On social media she wrote "hours of panicked phone calls later, I found a room" - adding she was told she "must pay upfront" and that there was "no bedding provided".

"So I spend a couple of hours packing, multiple trips needed because I have no suitcase, so plastic bags and handbags it is," Dr Tadros wrote.

"Then I head to Sainsbury's. Feeling pretty broken by this point, won't lie.

"Still in my work clothes, looking for plates, cutlery, towels etc. When this lovely lady who's stacking the soap aisle asks if I'm ok, and if I'm managing to find everything I need, noticing the weird collection in my trolley.

"I mention the situation briefly and say it's pretty great to find hand soap on the shelves.

"She's outraged, but I tell her I understand people's anxiety. She says she's so sorry that this happened, and excuses herself."

The doctor's spirits were lifted shortly afterwards when the member of staff came running with a surprise for her.

"A few mins later she's running to catch up with me before I leave, and says she's sorry I've had a terrible day, and thank you so much for everything you're doing for us. Then hands me these lovely flowers and a £50 @sainsburys gift card, saying 'we figured you could use it to buy some bedding'," she wrote.

She added: "Today has been rough. But there's still so much goodness out there.

"Please, stay home. Check in on each other. Make sure your friends and family are ok, whether they're at home or at work.

"Let's get through this together. #covid_19 #coronavirus #stayhome."

Dr Tadros, who was born in Egypt and moved to England with her family when she was three, is sharing a house with other healthcare professionals who she said have been "very welcoming" and "understand what the situation is".

She told Sky News: "I wasn't sure whether to post about it - but I thought it was important people are aware of what is happening to some people and the added stress we are under.

"The outpouring of support has been really amazing. The lady at Sainsbury's was exactly what I needed at the time because I was so down.

"A lot of friends who are psychologists have reached out. I have also had specific offers, saying 'this is where I live, I have a room and you are welcome to come and stay here as long as you like'. I've had people search for hotels for me."

Dr Tadros added: "I'm settling in now. I think in that moment, I felt I had nowhere to turn. But it has also made me realise how great people are - this is the time that reveals your true nature and I think a lot of people have shown just incredible kindness."

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