Covid Diaries: "It's the unknown that drives fear'

Dave Langley, 55, is a clinical care manager for North East Ambulance Service.

Dave Langley
Dave Langley

In this role, he is a frontline manager for emergency crews, a job he’s done for 34-years.

He lives in South Shields, with his partner, Denise, who is a nurse on a Covid-19 ward.

As part of the Beat Covid NE campaign - which urges communities across the region to stick with the coronavirus rules and guidance over the festive season – Dave is keeping a weekly diary.

Here are his latest thoughts...

“Our home is busy and happy. My partner and I both have children, and Denise recently became a great-grandmother - our place is lively and energetic.

"Because we help care for the younger members of the family when we’re not working, we are vigilant about not bringing the virus into our home, especially given what we do.

"In my job, I am all too aware of the risks of all kinds of illness but Covid is something that’s completely blown my mind. I have seen it affect many different people in so many ways.

"It’s the unknown that drives fear around Covid. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can’t smell it. We can’t pinpoint where it is. Some people don’t even get any symptoms and can pass it on without realising.

"This is why all the precautions and minimising physical contact is so important.

"The main worry is that you don’t know how it’s going to affect you - I have seen with my own eyes people become seriously ill from Covid - which is why doing everything we can, taking on that personal responsibility and following the rules, is vital.

”It is upsetting, but the fact is, the less contact we physically have with people, the less we’re likely to catch the virus. If everyone minimised their contact as much as possible, then we will see infection rates continue to drop and, as a knock-on effect, take a step closer to normality.

"I do think the people of the North East are trying their hardest to stick to the rules. Because that’s the key isn’t it? Being consistent. And we’ve done a great job.

"The hospitals, although busy, have coped. There are good reasons for this: people are sanitising, they’re wearing masks, they’re trying to keep their distance.

"All the things we’re being told to do, that you feel are being repeated over and over again, they are so important.

"Let’s continue fighting the good fight. Let’s respect the rules, as confining as they are.

"We must try and keep this virus at bay until, hopefully, the vaccines kick in and do the world a huge favour.”

Ahead of the campaign, residents were surveyed across the seven North East councils.

Key findings included:

*71% of people are ‘very worried’ about the UK-wide Covid-19 situation.

*Over half say they want to stick with social distancing guidelines but find it hard.

*A third say they find it hard to stick to household mixing rules.

*Over a quarter ‘forget’ to follow social distancing rules.

*15% admit to deliberately bending the rules

*The overriding emotion felt by residents is ‘frustration’ with 50% feeling this way

For more information visit: www.BeatCovidNE.co.uk