Monday March 23rd 2020
The global pandemic of COVID-19 had gathered momentum over the weekend. There were now reported cases of the virus in the highlands, and some of these patients were known by the practice staff. There was now a huge shortage of PPE in the highlands. The situation is now serious.
At 8.30pm the Prime minister Boris Johnson (no we don’t know how he got elected either) Announced that he was placing all of the UK into Lockdown… 25million people watched his speech on television. At this statement we experienced feelings of shock and possibly relief that this enviable decision had been made. The global pandemic of COVID-19 was gathering momentum and to instruct people to stay at home for 3 weeks was believed to be the only way of slowing the pandemic and allowing the NHS to cope.
Tuesday 24th March
The instructions from the healthboard were still being developed. However We have decided that the Clinic would be running mainly as an advisory capacity, and providing antibiotics where necessary. This is seen to be the best way of minimising person to person contact which would protect both our patients and ourselves.
We do not have the PPE, which includes FFP3 masks and goggles to protect ourselves from the COVID-19 virus, which means we could easily be infected by patients, or conversely infect them as it is known that some people can be a symptomatic and easily transfer the virus.
Our patients can easily contact us for advice through email, Facebook or telephone.
Ionagh was to triage any calls and direct them to either Ken or Helen if she felt necessary or the patient wished this.
By the end of the day the healthboard had issued guidelines for the treatment of patients, they were advising a regime which mirrored our own. Although the advice of allowing the practice to email prescriptions to the chemist was helpful.
2 patients contacted today – they were both satisfied with the advice given.
Throughout the day all members of the team were in constant contact, we were able to both discuss clinical and ethical issues, as well as providing emotional support for each other.
Ken was both in touch with his insurers as it was extremely clear that they would be financial problems as although our expenses remained the same… our earnings for the foreseeable future would be negligible. He was doing this whilst both worrying about the staff and his family. Most worryingly his son Max was having difficulty getting home from his winter job in Canada,
Wednesday March 25th 2020
The Practice is still closed, and by now all of the UK is coming to terms with lockdown, and people are starting to realise the seriousness of what is happening. We have received no emergency contacts or queries from patients.
Ken has spent another day in “organisation” mode. Collecting deliveries and continuing to be in contact with the Insurers.
He also dropped of the Surgeries supply of masks and gloves to Nairn hospital and Maggies as the UK faces a crisis in PPE and although our supplies aren’t the recommended to protect against the virus it better than nothing.
Ionagh and Helen were also involved in organising roles, as they contacted Software of Excellence, highland dental plan, the health board whilst continuing to monitor emails.
We also had our first video staff conference, and Chelsea recommended an app, which was downloaded by the practice.
Unedited photos will not be shown of this…… as everyone was still in their pyjamas… although here is a brief shot of the part of the meeting chaired by Bhodi (Chelsea’s cat) ??
At this meeting we discussed how to manage practical aspects of the lockdown such as practice cleaning, waiting for deliveries and preventing maintenance issues of unused equipment. It was also a great way to get back together and see how everyone was coping.
Ken took some of the few gloves and masks in the practice to Maggies hospice as they had run out.
At 7pm the staff attended a webinar on COVID-19
Thursday 26th March 2020
In Inverness, things had begun to get stricter in relation to Lockdown and new legislation meant that the police could stop anyone seen out and about. However many people were going about their business in the usual manner.
We however we’re keen to get back to normal ASAP so kept in our houses, giving advice to patients, sorting finances (as it was going to be a tough few months) and constantly messaging each other.
Probably our weirdest conversation was answering Chelsea’s fact challenge. Today’s subject being Hippos. It was ascertained that they were dangerous beasts, being the third largest land mammal, got ill if they ate meat and that hungry hippos was a great game though. However no one believed Keely when she reported that in the year 1922, the state of Texas made it legal for hippos to attend high school prom as the result of a tragic accident…..she produced evidence.
Friday 27th March 2020
we are still triaging patients and advising as face-to-face contact is not allowed. Helen managed to organise antibiotics and duraphat toothpaste for a patient to be pick up from a pharmacy. Ken picked up temporary filling material from chemists, to be distributed to patients if need be. Thankfully our patients continue to be understanding.
At 3pm we all did a webinar from Henry Schein.
it was noted from this that after the cruise ship was evacuated after it had a outbreak of corona virus the virus remained on the ship for 17days after evacuation. This was worrying as it is possible that this information will affect the duration of Lockdown. Also at this time Ibuprofen should not be recommended to COVID-19 patients.
Unfortunately the rest of the lecture was pretty boring as it was mainly discussing financial concerned in the USA as this is where the lecture was based.
In other news it was announced that the prime minister Boris Johnson and Health secretary Matt Hancock Handcock had tested positive for the virus.
In the Evening Chelsea entertained us all with her keyboard playing ?? she is booked to play at Ken’s wedding. ?❤️?
Saturday 28th March
As we consider Chelsea high risk due to her asthma, she is advised to self isolate. Therefore Ionagh went to get her shopping. The queues at the supermarket are now being regulated as patients are asked to keep a safe distance from each other and the number of shoppers in store are limited.
Although troubles with finances and concerns about patients are rumbling on a bit of light hearted relief was provided this evening by Keely and Struan. They are now in lockdown at Struan’s parents (the Balfour). As Mrs. Balfour is working very hard at New Craig’s hospital they made her a special treat and turned the house into a wine bar. Obviously as Keely is a girly swot, she had printed out a menu and together with the family had prepared this special treat. She has promised to host a similar evening for Eden when the COVID crisis is over.
Around the UK all unnecessary travel is now to be stopped. So walks are to be taken directly from home and car trips are just to be for vital food and medicine and for key workers. We are grateful therefore to live in one of the more beautiful places in the UK.
Helen was cycling, to get some much needed fresh air and exercise before attending a dental webinar.
Chelsea had a wee worry in the afternoon, as a spam document was circulating Facebook that alcohol would be banned. As most of Scotland would be affected by this, is was a relief that this was a hoax. ????
The government also announced today that this situation could last 3 months. We pray ??this isn’t the case.