Friday 20th March 2020
A beautiful day in Edinburgh with blue skies and sun shining. As I ride the bus to work I’m struck by the number of people still going about their lives on the city streets. Small businesses still open. This contrasts to Berlin, which I visited just a few days ago, which in contrast seemed empty with many bars and restaurants closed for the foreseeable future. Edinburgh marches on.
Over 3200 COVID-19 cases in the UK and 144 deaths. The graphs are starting to look a little scary, following an exponential trend, with the number of cases doubling every 3 days. The UK currently has 5000 ITU beds which normally run at 80% capacity. If the number of cases continue to escalate as the same rate we will soon run out of critical care beds. The government has called on industry to rapidly produce ventilators, with F1 teams, car manufacturers and electrical equipment makers answering the call so far. However I struggle to understand where the additional critical care beds and the trained staff needed to manage the equipment will come from.
Today the BBC reports that the government are asking 65,000 doctors and nursing staff who have retired within the past three years to come back to the NHS. Whilst this will boost frontline staff numbers significant training will be needed to train these staff to use complicated ventilators, typically only seen in specialist ITU beds and theatres. Do bigger armies guarantee success at war?
The highlight of the day was free Nandos, two of the chain restaurants came together to feed our ward free of charge. This was a huge morale boost but also served to reduce potential food waste of the company as all restaurants, bars and cafes are to close from midnight tonight. The streets will likely be a little more empty tomorrow.
Gyms are closing also soon. I frantically tried to source some weights or gym equipment on online sites so that I can work out for the next few months. No luck. Everything is sold out in stores, clearly my idea was not an original one.
Onto the weekend we go!