As a sense of normality returns, we must not forget what this last year has been like for the NHS
I’m an NHS consultant. We barely had the resources to keep people alive – let alone cope with longer effects of Covid
One year ago, lockdown had just come in. A creeping sense of dread was spreading across the hospital. We were focused on the first wave of admissions, the peak of which for us occurred in early April. We were desperately learning how to keep people from dying due to this new disease. The longer-term consequences were the last thing on our minds.
Now, a year on, there is a superficial sense of normality returning. Our respiratory support unit, for so long hidden behind closed doors with “STOP: CORONAVIRUS” signs and staffed by hooded figures in head-to-toe PPE, has turned back into the bright, airy ward it used to be. Nurses, doctors, porters are back in their usual clothes instead of uniform scrubs; conversation has replaced the incessant hiss of Cpap machines. Our ITU is shrinking back to its normal size. It is easy to forget how things were even a couple of months ago.