This is the seventeenth blog in a series on COVID-19 and lockdown, edited by firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world we know within a matter of weeks. As a GP principal and trainer, I was used to practising and training in a certain way. Like most of my colleagues in the medical fraternity, I found myself out of my comfort zone.
Our medical practice adapted to a series of changes to facilitate safe practice- creation of red/ amber/ green zones, separate examination area for patients with suspected COVID-19, socially distanced waiting room layout, minimising face to face consultations for any non-emergency presentations through restricted entry through the front doors and the rearrangement of consultation rooms in the GP surgery to accommodate remote consultations in addition to face to face ones were just a few of them.
As these changes were hitting us hard, I remained a silent witness of the losses of so many patients to COVID-19. The undertakers soon got used to the bodies in “white bags”, the rooms of care homes started becoming empty with the sad demise of several residents.
The uncertainties were multifaceted and the challenges of keeping myself safe for my family and patients soon became a priority. Keeping up-to-date with COVID-19 related medical information and statistics became a part of daily routine.
Then arrived a ray of hope. UK became the first country to start vaccinating its eligible citizens. Our surgery volunteered to be the chosen site for Kings Lynn Primary Care Network – where vulnerable patients of all 3 surgeries in our town (including ours) would come to get vaccinated. With just about 7 working days leading time, our staff and volunteers worked flat out to overcome the logistical challenge.
We started before dawn and made necessary arrangements to ensure adequate facilities were provided at the areas where patients would check-in, get vaccinated as well be observed post vaccination as per national guidance. Patients put side the “fear factors” and attended this vaccination centre which operated from 8am to 8pm for three consecutive days. The enthusiasm that I perceived from so many patients was unbelievable. For the first time since March 2020, I saw that the negativities due to COVID-19 were overshadowed by the positive vibes from a huge cohort of vulnerable patients – a truly welcome sign indeed. As the whole population is facing the wrath of a new strain of the virus, the medical fraternity is determined to be resilient as they continue fighting against all odds.
Some of these pictures have been published in the Guardian newspaper.
Other blogs in this series: