Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Miss England 2019, Bhasha Mukherjee, cut her title duties short last month to return to the United Kingdom as a doctor battling the front lines of the coronavirus. A little over two weeks into her role in the emergency room, she told Fox News in an interview how she's coping with the stressors that health care workers are faced with daily as the pandemic continues to take lives.
"It's very different than anything I've ever been used to in the past, to be honest," Mukherjee, 24, told Fox News in a phone call from inside of a U.K. hospital on Wednesday. "We're working 13-hour shifts and we no longer have the luxury of being in one ward. I get placed in a new hospital every day. That's how it is at the moment."
Mukherjee said the global health crisis has uprooted old systems and "every day the rules are changing" to adjust to the influx of patients. The junior doctor opened up about the new anxieties that come with the courageous task and how they've served as a reminder to always be mindful of your mental health.
"Usually you sort of put a brave face on and you just get on with your day," Mukherjee, who graduated from the University of Nottingham just two weeks before she was crowned Miss England last August, adds. "But there's now a constant feeling of anxiety and being on edge. I've recognized that."
The National Health Service (NHS) doctor shared she's found steady ground in between the long days and nights by using her public platform for good.
"At the moment, I'm focusing my creative juices on creating constructive content for my fans and viewers on my social media and YouTube to highlight charities, give advice about medicine and health care."
The 24-year-old doctor is teaming up with charities across Britain and India to help provide meals to essential workers and children.
While dealing with the pressures of the devastating pandemic inside of the emergency room comes with a number of unknowns, Mukherjee stressed that she wouldn't trade her job for anything else.
"I love my job. In a massive way, this is the only normalcy we have left and I actually feel for people stuck at home. I think it's much harder in their position than mine in many ways because I, at least, get that social contact even if it's through a colleague," Mukherjee explained. "I'm still following my normal day so to speak, whereas, for others, it’s very easy for those at home to spiral into poor lifestyle choices. It’s scary not knowing what the future holds. In my position, I’m very fortunate that I have a job."
Last Thursday, the beauty queen was on her way into the hospital when she witnessed for the first time the daily 7 p.m. applause for NHS workers. It was a moment that reminded her that those currently at home in self-isolation also deserve the same pat on the back.
"It’s not just health care workers who are heroes in this situation. Everybody at home is equally a hero because everybody’s contributing in their own way. It makes a massive difference when someone is at home because that’s one less patient for us to have to treat here in the hospital," Mukherjee said. "To all of the people at home creating content, making food and all of these things, that's great. Others are watching you. They're getting entertained and it's helping them at home. So please don't think that your efforts don't count. They absolutely do. I love watching people post on their TikTok and YouTube and the funny stuff they post about their days. Continue to entertain people on the Internet. It encourages people to stay home."