Let’s take care of each other

By Dr Wirin Bhatiani

An enduring memory of the coronavirus pandemic will be the weekly clap for carers.

During the first national lockdown, people from across the country stood on their doorsteps at 8pm every Thursday to clap, cheer and bang pots and pans in support of our key workers.

Sadly, that goodwill seems to be waning and there have been reports of people becoming impatient and venting their frustrations on GPs, health and care staff.

I understand how annoying and worrying the Covid-19 restrictions are. In Bolton, we’ve been living under local restrictions for months, and now we have a second national lockdown.

But that’s no excuse for bad behaviour, even if it is just from a minority of people, towards those in the frontline who are looking after us.

Winter is always a busy time for the NHS, and this year we have the added pressure of delivering all the services people expect – and in new Covid-secure ways - while dealing with coronavirus cases.

Staff are also falling ill themselves, having to self-isolate or need to look after a child who is self-isolating. In short, we have fewer people to deal with ever increasing demands.

I don’t want to see a return to the start of the pandemic when there was a large drop in people accessing NHS services.

Your NHS might be working differently but it is still here for you. If you have health problems, call your GP practice or contact them online. Face-to-face appointments are also available if necessary. Keep any appointments, as steps have been taken to ensure visits are safe.

Please follow the lockdown rules, which will get the infection rate down and take the pressure off our NHS.  

The weekly applause may be over, but we are still all in this together, and only together will we get through it.

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