Sunday 22nd March 2020
A tiring weekend. We were busy with an increasing number of respiratory boarders on the ward, taking up a third of beds. Yet still the elective surgical cases continued to be admitted. Short sighted? Perhaps, but still the march goes on.
There have been greater calls from doctors and politicians for the general public to remain indoors and maintain social distancing. A fact that has fallen on deaf ears as parks and outdoor spaces have been flooded with visitors. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland, today gave a stern briefing scolding those flocking to parks, beaches and the Highlands. These groups have attempted to escape the COVID-19 outbreak and in doing so have put rural communities, with disproportionately large communities of elderly and potentially vulnerable people at risk. This is particularly troubling as these areas have the lowest capacity to deal with such outbreaks, having few ITU beds and ventilators available.
Today was Mother’s Day in the UK. A day when people typically come together and celebrate as a family. The same day that the UK government have threatened the public with a Italy style lockdown to stem the flow of rising hospital admissions and deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On this day many have ventured outside to enjoy the sunshine to spend time with family to enjoy mother’s day. This might be the same day that many more are infected. Potentially those that we love the most. As the number of active COVID-19 cases, and so the death toll, continues to rise in the coming weeks we should ask ourselves who did we put at risk that day? Your brother? Your sister? Your mum, perhaps?
As a member of frontline staff I can start to see the inevitable wave of admissions and deaths coming. Tales from Italy and London are starting to reach mainstream media and it has hit home that this is to be expected in Scotland in a short time. But yet I am powerless to do anything but watch the tide come in. We, as doctors, nurses and caring professionals, will do our utmost to care for our patients. We will put our own safety at risk for the survival of others. This is our calling.
Today we should use this moment, mother’s Day, to think of others and how our actions might affect them. Let’s show our loved ones how much they mean to us by staying away, maintaing proper social distancing and thus, helping to keep them safe.