My day job is in the NHS and I run the UK Defence Journal in my spare time. I have a very important message for you.

Stay at home if you can, please.

Due to Coronavirus my role now involves close proximity to confirmed Covid-19 patients. I’m not worried about Coronavirus, I’m worried about what will happen if people don’t stay home.

I’ve worked more overtime this last while than I ever have in such a short space of time.

I am tired, I am weary and I am stressed. Every shift has been tiring. My face is sore with the constant use of a face mask and visor but the fact is everything needs disinfected and sterilised. I’m able to work and I’m thankful for that.

I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse or any type of medical staff but I do work in the Facilities Department (that’s support services from portering and cleaning to IT, estates and everything else), we’re often the ones people don’t think about when they think of NHS staff but we’re there every day working away.

As I said above, my job now involves daily and constant contact with patients suffering from the virus and one thing I’ve learned is that I might be scared but the patients are absolutely terrified because many are still ignoring advice to stay home.

There are no people I’d rather face this virus with than the men and women I work with at the hospital, my colleagues and friends. I even said recently that I feel safer there than I do anywhere else. Every one of the domestics, porters, caterers, supervisors, nurses, doctors and others that I work with will probably tell you that I complain about absolutely everything but I’m not moaning about our response to the pandemic, I actually think we’re on the ball here.

There was a volunteer on the front doors the other day as I arrived making sure people that come in and out sanitise their hands, he’s not even being paid and he’s helping out right at the frontline in the fight against this pandemic. These are genuinely fantastic people putting their lives at risk to help others.

Yesterday I spoke to colleagues at all levels and roles and the one thing, the very noticeable thing, was that everyone is still smiling and joking. People were more concerned about daft wee things like annual leave, when the canteen shuts or when the last bus is much more than they’re concerned about Covid-19… because when all is said and done we’ve got this. It is our job but it’s being made harder than it has to be.

Implementing infection prevention and control measures are what we are all trained for and you know what, we’re all pretty good at it. I have worked for the National Health Service in various roles for 10 years, a third of my life, and I have never been prouder to be NHS staff.

I was travelling to and from work every day over the Easter weekend there and every day I noticed large groups hanging about down by the River Clyde or in parks as the bus went by. It’s not Covid-19 that scares me, it’s a virus like any other and hospitals are used to fighting them. People like those mentioned above are what scares me, selfish, mindless idiots putting a strain on the NHS, its resources and putting my colleagues and their patients at risk.

We’ve already lost NHS staff to this outbreak. Healthcare staff should not go to work wondering whether or not they’ll die because they put in a shift. I do not want to die because I’ve caught something that can easily be stopped if people do the right thing.

There will come a time when this outbreak has been defeated, do not doubt that. That time will come sooner and less lives will have been lost if people decide to just stay home.

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Herodotus

Your efforts are much appreciated…especially by us oldies! For us, coronavirus is pretty much a death sentence.

John C

According to a Swiss university study, 9.8% of over-70s who get it die of it. That rises to 18% of over-80s, but even so, while it’s certainly very dangerous, it’s not a death sentence.

Ian

I must press home George’s message as well, most commenters on here tend to be level headed, so my post is not an instruction or insult to your intelligence.

After volunteering for my local hospital in response to Coronavirus, I was asked if I would be willing to work on wards with Covid-19 patients, to which I readily accepted. Why? Because I knew, they wouldn’t risk exposing volunteers unless they were absolutely desperate.

Let’s hope that something positive and long-standing comes out of this…

George

Well done to you and all NHS staff, what a magnificent organisation the Nation can be proud of. This virus has truly demonstrated to the world the NHS is something to aspire to.
Once more many thanks and please stay safe!
George

Someotherguy

Your, and your colleagues’ work are great appreciated, along with your insight. Thank you and stay safe :).

Daniele Mandelli

Respect to you George, and all other NHS staff.

Joshua Rieser

Thank you for your hard work George. I hope you stay safe over the forthcoming months.

Airborne

Top job! Respect!

Barry Larking

Many thanks for your service and all best wishes. God bless.

Kelvin

You are doing a fantastic job George. You and all others who work in hospitals deserve the greatest respect. Those who do not observe the rules regarding social distancing deserve our scorn, they are either being willfully disobedient or naive to the health risks they pose to others. To all the health workers: keep well and stay safe.

geoff

Thank you George for what you are doing. It is a scary situation especially for an older(albeit fit) man like myself.

Annabilly

For us, coronavirus is pretty much a death sentence.

Crabfat

As another wrinklie, I have so much to thank the NHS for – especially since retirement, when everything starts going south! Many thanks George, to you and all your colleagues, for the tremendous work you put in for all of us. Stay safe, mate. Thanks also for the brilliant UKJ.

Rob

Well done George. At the mo, the whole nation is depending on people like you in the NHS, our thoughts are with you. However the Gov do have questions to answer: 1. Why did we not lock down earlier, with things like the Cheltenham festival going ahead? 2. They keep on promising 100,000 tests a day, PPE deliveries and more ventilators – but the truth is this isn’t happening. 3. And here’s one for UKdefencejournal, why are the frontline carers operating without Army current GS respirators or stockpiled S10 respirators when all other major western nations have rolled out their… Read more »

Paul T

Rob – At some point there will be an enquiry to investigate the handling of this crisis.Id agree with point (1) the Lockdown should have been implemented earlier,a week preferably a fortnight would have made more sense and theres a catalogue of events that should have been stopped,not just here but in other Countries.(2) Testing is available but you need to book and I think you have to have suffered symptoms too,the much vaunted Anti-Body test should be a gamechanger when and if it arrives – the Government purchased Kits but found out the results were not accurate enough so… Read more »

Rob

Respirators, both new (GS) & old (S10) are far superior to the surgical masks being used by medics. Yes filters need changing and proper decontamination drills need to be used – which actually means washing the mask in soap and water thoroughly after use. Using these masks, which are reusable, would massively lower the requirement for surgical masks and provide far superior protection to those using them.

Cam

Stay safe mate, and keep your chin up ( if it’s not too sore) 🙂👍🇬🇧🇬🇧

maurice10

Thank you so much sir and keep as safe as you can.

JohnHartley

Well done George. Hope you get a chance to put your feet up soon. I read that men of a certain age, were more likely to come down with C-19 as they do not wash their hands enough. I am now washing my hands, twice as often than I used to. Will go off & do that now.

Andy

This is where “thankful you for your service” is certainly appropriate. Thank you George.

ChariotRider

George, Thank you. As a disabled person and now with prostate cancer (dormant) I have probably depended on the NHS more than most in my life time. My small contribution is that I used my 3D printer to make 3 visors for a neighbour who runs a home care business. She has spent £700 on PPE, some ordered from a German construction firm, but none of it has yet been delivered! (And before anyone blames the Government that’s open market stuff, not Government supply chains.) So I made her the visors she needed. My wife is a retired nurse. She… Read more »