COVID DIARIES: The hospitals are in real danger of being overwhelmed

Dave Langley is a clinical care manager with North East Ambulance Service having worked for them for 34 years.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 15th January 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 5:17 pm
Dave Langley.
Dave Langley.

The 55-year-old has been keeping a diary as part of the #BeatCovidNE awareness campaign.

Here, he discusses how he’s finding lockdown three, his thoughts on the new Covid-19 variant and why it’s more important than ever to follow the rules...

Given my role at work, I think another full lockdown was inevitable, especially with the new variant. The hospitals are in real danger of being overwhelmed - it’s a scary, worrying situation.

The new measures can only help to reduce the transmission of Covid if people follow the guidelines with no rule-breaking or bending. It is a case of life and death now and we all need to be compliant.

Over the Christmas and new year break, I think we expected that people were going to be a bit lax and switch off to the Covid guidance. You can’t blame them really and I do understand but infections rates and hospitalisations have risen.

And that was just a very small window of relaxation - one day. Imagine if we didn’t have any measures in place at all for even a one- or two-week period?

The North East Ambulance Service is working really hard and coping incredibly well under the circumstances. Our paramedics are highly skilled and are able to treat a lot of people at home. We do our best to manage hospital admissions as much as we can but there are many people falling ill with Covid – it really can make you seriously poorly.

I’ve suffered a personal Covid loss too with my partner’s cousin recently dying.

He was living with cancer but leading a relatively normal life. However, he contracted the virus and wasn’t strong enough to beat it - and he probably caught it from simply walking past someone.

The new variant is accelerating the spread of the virus, making it harder to get under control. This is why people need to stick to the rules.

As much as you might want to, you can’t even pop next door to see your neighbour for a quick cuppa, because you are breaking the rules (unless they’re your support bubble) and you could be spreading the virus without knowing.

If we don’t stick to the rules, more people are going to become infected at a faster rate due to the new variant. Although it’s not more severe, more people will become poorly because it spreads quicker which, in turn, puts an even greater strain on an extremely stretched NHS.

This is why the basic rules play such a critical role. Leaving your home for essential reasons only such as food shopping, medical reasons or exercise as well as keeping your distance, wearing your mask and washing your hands can save a life. If you’re in a public place such as a supermarket or on a beach, please keep your distance. If it’s too busy, go back another time.

I know boredom does set in though. Lockdown box sets are a big hit in our house and we’re looking at booking a holiday which we hope to go on in the next year or so. Video technology is playing a key part too by ensuring we keep in touch with our families. You can support your loved ones by simply picking up the phone for a chat. It does make a huge difference.

The vaccine is our answer to getting out of this. I am so pleased with the huge uptake in the vaccine. People want it and people are keen to get it and that’s what we need, that kind of mindset. In the vaccine versus the virus race, I truly believe the vaccine will win but only if we keep following the rules.

A big part of this is to continue to test if you get symptoms and self-isolate properly.

Stay at home. That very simple act will make a huge difference if we all do it and stick to it.”