A hero of the hero coronavirus swaps her scrubs for sequins and tiaras in an attempt to be crowned Miss England.
Lizzy Willis, 22, entered the national beauty contest after falling asleep after a grueling night shift that treated Covid-19 patients.
She has worked in the intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London since the outbreak in the UK.
She was inspired to sign up to Miss England by Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee, who took a career break as a junior doctor to win last year’s competition.
Lizzy, who is also a British Army reservist, has reached next week’s virtual semifinal.
Lizzy, from Maida Vale, West London, said, “It was really random.
One day I couldn’t sleep after a night shift and I read some news articles and I ran into the previous winner, Bhasha Mukherjee, and saw that she is a doctor
“I was just thinking ‘oh I could do that’ I looked at the website and decided to just send in an application and made it to the semi-finals.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the participants will not meet each other or the jury in person.
They are connected via the Zoom video calling app and can submit their submissions remotely.
Lizzy added, “Its remote nature has certainly made it very weird.
“We recently had a test run and it was quite interesting to see everyone on the screen.
“I think if you’re personal, you have a lot more freedom with your body language and how you present yourself and what you wear and stuff.
“If you’re just sitting in front of a screen, I only have a phone screen to record.
“You just have that little window to present yourself and sell yourself, so it’s hard.”
Lizzy started her nursing career just before the coronavirus outbreak last December and has been working around the clock ever since.
She said, “It was the busiest and craziest time of my life, especially in my career. I just started when this first started.
“I’ve talked a lot to my family about what’s going on, because they’re in the medical world too, so I know they can really relate to how busy and crazy it is.
“I also focused on the competition because there are so many elements to do. For example, there is a Miss Eco round.
“Part of that is making your own outfit and presenting it to the jury.
“I spent a lot of evenings sewing small items of clothing and it was really therapeutic after work.
“It’s made from old clothes and the idea is to reuse it to make something brand new.
“The competition is something new for me, but it is also a new way of working.
“It is a new experience for the judges, let alone for the participants, but everything is very positive.
“You hear rumors that it will be very competitive and that the girls are very mean to each other, but this was very nice.
Everyone comes together and supports each other.
“I did some modeling during college just to build my confidence, but I never did parades.
“It’s quite a leap of faith.”
The Miss England Semifinal will take place on July 31.