Thursday 19th March:
“We stay here for you, please stay home for us”. This image moves me. I know so much is happening behind the closed doors of our powerhouses which are our hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, all establishments dealing with the care and and saving of life of people who must not, but likely will be but a number, escalating on paper, whilst this virus has no regard for the life and love behind each number it infects or kills, and nor the staff working above and beyond their known limits to fight its stampede on the human life. I post this image on my Instagram with the message:
This is the strongest message I have seen yet...and my message to you is everyone is working tirelessly in our NHS right now, and not only with coronavirus. Other illnesses aren't suddenly taking a sympathetic holiday just because of covid-19-many other patients still need help. So please look after yourselves and your loved ones and stay at home. But also please get to hospital if you need urgent medical attention! Tough times, tough decisions, help us help you.
I continue to worry about how our hospitals are going to manage dealing with other acute illnesses in the midst of this and if people at home are going to react to symptoms that they should and normally would report to a doctor. At what point does the risk of contracting a highly virulent and contagious virus which can lead to death become overriden by the risk of another medical condition which can also lead to death? It would be a travesty if causes of death from reasons other than coronavirus go up at this time, but I anticipate that sadly this will be the case.
I look at my orchids on the kitchen window sill in full flower, reaching for the sun, living, thriving, and oblivious to the human world facing this health war around them, and and I post this on Instagram at the same time:
As the global religion that is football gets postponed the world over, whilst it isn't a global emergency (if football fans can just keep this in perspective!) my husband's livelihood depends on it, and if he were paid like a footballer then it might not be a problem! But it is an unsettling time, as it is for many of the working population who increasingly are unable to go to work. I know my work in the NHS will continue, in whatever guise, and right now it is a crazy busy time getting through as many skin cancer procedures as possible as we anticipate our usual clinic work to subside in dermatology, which being so outpatient based will hugely reduce the volume of the non-urgent work that we also carry out.
We then hear some sad news, that Peter Whittingham, a former footballer whom my husband knew well and worked closely with during his time at Cardiff City FC has passed away after clinging onto a life support machine following an accidental head injury. RIP. A stark reminder that whilst illness and death from coronavirus are all over the media, no one is hearing of the other sad and tragic loss of life from other things.
By Dr Sam Anthony
Survivor of a career in medicine, a career break from medicine, cancer, and blogging..join me in my quest to make us happier healthier individuals and doctors