Facing up to a different style of medicine

There is a big wave coming at us, sucking in at us, gathering force and momentum. We can’t swim out and meet freak waves head on, which is what we do with most challenges that come our way. This one’s just too big. We have to run for it and stay ahead of that curve, that exponential curve.

We are motivated to minimise harm, to prevent people from morbidity or death. The best way I can see myself doing that is if I stay well for as long as possible, and that means not seeing sick people, and not spreading this virus to vulnerable people who have come to me for help. That means no face to face. If we don’t have adequate PPE, and you and I almost certainly don’t have it, and if we don’t have the appropriate means to clean our clinics, then we can’t do face to face.

The problem with this exponential curve is we can’t see the magnitude of it with the indubitability of a massive wave bearing down on us. Our day looks for the most part pretty much the same. We can still go across the street and buy a coffee, wave at someone on the street, see a patient in our clinic with a bit of a sore throat and a cough.

Except we can’t do that. We can’t risk catching and spreading this. Face to face medicine is currently part of the problem and not the solution.

Our medical training didn’t train most of us to work this way, or think, or behave this way. We need to stay ahead of the insidious wave of infection we can’t see coming by battening down the hatches and NOT seeing the patient with a sore throat and a cough face to face. We need to ride out the wave as effectively as we can with whatever means we have.