COVID DIARIES: Zoom calls with friends and looking forward to a curry

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

As part of the #BeatCovidNE campaign he has been keeping a diary if life in lockdown.

We caught up with Dave, from South Shields, to get his latest thoughts…

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“I’m feeling pretty good considering the situation we’re in. My partner Denise and I have been taking part in a weekend Zoom call with all our friends. There are five couples involved and it’s great to see faces we haven’t seen in person for so long now.

At work, things are full on but I’m so impressed by the way we are handling it all.

We are working incredibly hard together, as a team, giving it our best efforts to help as many people as we can. A colleague sent me a text the other day to say he saw me on the back of a bin lorry as part of the BeatCovidNE campaign. That made me smile and it’s good to know the message is reaching local communities.

I have been particularly impressed with the region’s vaccination roll out programme - it’s been really well managed. The local roll out has been exceptional with the councils and NHS trusts working tirelessly to get as many vulnerable groups vaccinated as possible.

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I’m also pleased that the North East Ambulance Service is starting an in-house vaccination programme to vaccinate as many staff as possible. This week alone, 800 vaccine slots have been created for staff which is great news. Vaccinating those on the frontline is an effective move because it’ll prove critical in protecting people and reducing community transmission of Covid.

While the vaccination programme is hitting the headlines, we must be mindful of our current reality. Receiving the first dose of the vaccine does not make you Covid immune. I’ve had my first vaccine but I know it’s still so important to follow the rules.

The only way the death rate will fall is by lower infection rates and the only sure-fire way to do this is to minimise social contact. Only leave your home if essential for work, medical reasons or food supplies, wear a mask wherever you go and wash your hands regularly.

I know it’s tough to keep going but our efforts are working. The infection rates are coming down and that’s credit to everyone who continues to stick to the rules to get us out of lockdown quicker.

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If I’m ever feeling like I’m stuck in the house, I just pop to the local park to get some fresh air. There’s no need to go to another area or town. Staying local is easier and safer. I miss going on holiday but at work I’m reminded why we’re in lockdown and I know if I want to jet off again, sticking to social distancing is vital.

Like everyone, I can’t wait to go out for a curry and a few drinks. Until then, we must stay home and minimise our social contact. It’s the only way we’re going to bring the virus back under control until the vaccine can prove it’s worth.”