In our current COVID-19 world, we see examples every day of true frontline heroes. These people are out there going above and beyond their call of duty, and despite the stress of being potentially exposed to the virus, and other challenges such as being away from family, or the uncomfortable protective wear required, they put themselves on the line every day to serve and protect their communities at large.

In this special spotlight series, we are celebrating our very own front-line workers, our cleaners, who are out there cleaning Melbourne and Sydney commercial offices, workplaces and residential homes, helping them to stay safe and clean during the coronavirus pandemic.

From proactive sanitisation cleaning to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to full-fledged Covid-19 response disinfections, our cleaners are committed to being part of the solution to keep our community safe and businesses compliant so they are able to continue operating.

You will get to know the people behind the masks, hear about what it takes to suit up and perform a Covid safe disinfection and some of the challenges involved behind the scenes.

You will discover that they are just normal people, many whom are not from Australia originally, and yet stepped up in the crisis, underwent intensive coronavirus cleaning training, and ran towards an unprecedented challenge that many would run away from.

Q1. What is your name, where are you from and how long have you been part of the Planet Earth team?

Silvana, I’m from Bogotá, Colombia. I have been part of the team since October 2012.

Q2. Tell us something about yourself?

I love to take pictures of the sky, especially when is cloudy.

Q3. What does it mean to you to be part of the covid-19 response cleaning team?

It means responsibility, it means I am part of the solution during a critical time, and it means I will have some good stories to share in the future.

Q4. What is the difference between a standard green clean, and performing a covid-19 response disinfection?

Chemicals, procedure, equipment, and adrenaline!

Q5. How do you feel when you suit upand are about to perform a covid-19 disinfection clean?

I feel privileged to be part of the solution. While most people are running away from the virus, we are the ones chasing it and killing it.

Q6. What is the biggest challenge when you are performing a covid-19 disinfection? How do you overcome this challenge?

The equipment is uncomfortable, the biggest challenge is to work with it. It is always hot, you cannot breathe well, and you must think twice to bend down. But you get used to it, when we remove all the equipment and breathe the fresh air, the sensation of freedom is priceless.

Q7. What is the most rewarding part about being a cleaner during the current pandemic?

That people can come back to their jobs and workplaces safely.

Q8. What do your friends and family think about what you do?

My Family are proud of me, they support me and think I can do anything

Q9. What is something people might not know about being a cleaner during covid-19?

We actually have fun doing this!

Q10. What is the work mantra that you live by?

“Work as you would like people to work for you”.

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