Coronavirus Editor's Letter: Dr Tim Yu
These past few weeks and months have been consumed with an almost singular focus on Coronavirus. The government response with entering lockdown and the subsequent hospitalisation of the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has emphasised the scale and severity of this pandemic.
Many companies are asking what they can do to help the situation, and we have seen some truly inspirational actions which have been highlighted by our Editor in Chief.
We should also ask what we as individuals can do for our community, and what we can do for ourselves. There are numerous community projects and apps aimed at helping those in need - The GoodSam app is currently processing over 750,000 volunteers who responded offering their assistance. Nextdoor is also a community app where neighbours offer local solutions and support to those in need. However, the most important thing we can do to help combat this pandemic is to heed the government advice about reducing all unnecessary movement - it is an important distinction that Viruses do not spread, Humans spread Viruses. By reducing our movement we can reduce the spread of the virus. This is particularly important as we enter the peak of cases in the UK - the NHS does not have infinite beds, staff, and resources to look after everyone and rationing of care will inevitably have to occur. Even if you become unwell for reasons other than coronavirus you may not be able to be seen as medical services get diverted away.
We should also not neglect ourselves but also bear in mind that we should not feel guilty if we don't all come out of this as master bakers, yoga gurus or multi-lingual geniuses! Whilst taking up a new hobby or interest or focusing on personal development may be helpful to distract from the pandemic crisis, there should also be an understanding and acceptance of the importance of our coping strategies. It may be easy to become angry about people flouting the lockdown rules, but focusing on only the negative will only negatively impact your own mental wellbeing. Try to get some exercise, fresh air and sunlight (within reason and following distancing advice!), try not to bottle things up - there are a lot of video apps and other ways to meet friends and family virtually. Otherwise consider writing in a journal to give yourself another outlet if needed, and be aware of other talking therapies and services out there such as MIND and Good Samaritans.
Stay Safe and Look after yourselves and others
Words by Dr. Tim Yu