COVID DIARIES: Act like you have the virus

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

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 24th January 2021, 7:00 am
Dave Langley
Dave Langley

As part of the #BeatCovidNE campaign, Dave has been keeping a diary of life during the pandemic.

We caught up with Dave to find out how he was adjusting to lockdown again and he told us why we need to make tweaks to our daily routines while the mass vaccination programme gets underway...

“Work is extremely busy. To alleviate pressure on our hospitals as much as we can, paramedics, with their life saving skills, treat as many people as possible at home as safely as we can.

We are the first line of protection for hospitals and, while we’re hectic, we know that with more and more people getting vaccinated daily, we’ll come out of this.

Some of my team is helping to administer the vaccination at the Centre For Life in Newcastle and they’ve said how well organised it is. The process is slick, everyone feels safe and supported with the information they need to know about the vaccine.

I’ve had the first vaccine dose and my next one is in March. I understand why the government has increased the period between getting the first and second dose.

By doing this, it means many more people will have a good level of protection rather than none at all.

Being under some form of lockdown has become a way of life. Right now, the message is to ‘stay at home’. When not working, I’m at home, limiting my social contact as much as possible.

My partner Denise and I only visit the supermarket once a week. I’m aware this is easier to do than if we were feeding several growing children but the more often we mix in places like supermarkets and essential shops, the greater the risk of passing on or contracting the virus.

We are, in effect, acting like we have Covid. As soon as I leave the house, whether it’s to go to work or the local shop, I put on my mask. It’s become second nature to sanitise my hands before I leave the house, and then in the car, and also use the sanitiser provided by my workplace or the shop I’m

entering. It’s such a normal part of daily life now.

If Denise and I could socialise with friends every weekend, we would. We haven’t been able to do that for a long time now - we greatly miss it - but we know there’s a good reason for it. If we want to do these things in the future, we must consistently follow the rules.

Stay local to exercise, don’t travel via car or train to reach a place to exercise.

Start at your front door and finish at your front door. If you see someone you know when shopping or exercising, no matter how unnatural it feels, don’t stop and have a chat - call them when you get home. Act like you have the virus.

All we need to do now is get to the other side of this. There’s a strong feeling of resilience and positivity at work. We’re feeling optimistic because we know if everyone sticks to the rules for a little while longer, we’ll reach the end of this long, dark tunnel.

The vaccine has been found - more than one - it’s only a matter of time now.

Until then though, maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask wherever you go - whether that’s queuing to get into a supermarket or to pick up a takeaway from your favourite restaurant - and sanitising your hands properly is the only way that’s going to protect you and your loved ones and get us all out of this sooner rather than later.

If people don’t follow the rules, we are putting even more pressure on an already strained NHS. The NHS saves lives and to ensure that continues people need to stick to the rules. It’s that simple.”