“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them”
Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Poet and Nobel Laureate 1861-1941
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, stay updated by the following two government websites
The NHS and care professions do heroic work and superhuman efforts will be required of them as they are on the frontline in this pandemic. Lest we forget the bravery of frontline healthcare workers, significant numbers of nurses and doctors became infected in Italy and some made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives. The ‘clap for our carers’ show of solidarity demonstrated how our nation appreciates the work that our NHS and carers do, when on March 26th at 8pm, thousands stood out on their doorsteps, from windows and on balconies to applaud the efforts of NHS and care workers in treating those affected by COVID-19.
Initiatives to increase the capability and capacity of our NHS to deal with COVID-19 are taking place at pace. The army are currently constructing the first of several NHS Nightingale Hospitals at the vast ExCel in London, a field hospital type facility which will potentially have 4000 beds for COVID-19 related admissions, similar facilities are being constructed in several large cities. The dedicated NHS staff will separate from their families whilst they work at these facilities to prevent infecting their families. 20,000 recently retired doctors and nurses will soon return to assist at the front line, private hospital beds have been secured, several thousand ventilators are on order.
In last months’ article, I explained the importance of effective hand washing, cough etiquette and how as the coronavirus enters your body via your eyes, nose and mouth, you should avoid touching them with unwashed hands. Our NHS is likely to face an unprecedented challenge over the coming weeks and it is important that we all accept the current disruption to our daily activities and freedoms to delay the spread of coronavirus so that the peak demand on the NHS can be managed.
It is therefore important to follow the current government advice of staying at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, you should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
I remember the winter of 1996, I was a newly qualified junior in a district general hospital, the hospital was overwhelmed due to influenza causing a significant number of hospital admissions. We were providing care to patients in corridors where their beds were moved to due a lack of space on the wards, we made it through a very tough few days with a can do attitude and positive state of mind amongst the nurses, allied workers and doctors despite lacking the required resources. This spirit will be recalled now by my NHS Colleagues working at the frontline as their bravery and dedication will be needed now more than ever.
Dr Raj Chandok, General Practitioner
FRCGP FRSA MSc MBBS DC DRCOG DFFP D Med Ed.
Principal, Dr G Singh & Partners.