New normal

By Dr Wirin Bhatiani

It’s been the sunniest spring on record, and the news is getting better all the time.

Many have found the lockdown very difficult, not being able to visit their family and friends, especially those in hospital or care homes.

But, because we’ve followed the rules, the coronavirus restrictions are now being gradually lifted. People can now meet outdoors in groups of six – provided they stay two metres apart – and non-essential shops are starting to reopen. Even the football is coming back!

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a complete return to normal. For some time to come, we have to get used to a ‘new normal’.

Social distancing will remain an integral part of our daily lives. Staying two metres apart from people outside our household will still be essential to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Remember to keep your distance: perhaps go shopping later in the day, or avoid using public transport in the rush hour. Taking up cycling or walking would be a healthy alternative too.

Hopefully the ‘new normal’ will mean we continue to use ‘old’ methods to stop the spread of germs. That means washing our hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch our coughs and sneezes, and regularly wiping down surfaces.

It’s fitting that this is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, whose theories about hygiene underpin modern medicine. These principles remain essential in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and will stand us in good stead as we face future viruses, including the flu.

Finally, as the shops and schools start to reopen, remember that the NHS has never closed. We may be working in different ways but if you feel unwell please contact us.

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