Despite not being able to leave the house and walk around as much as I usually would yesterday, I slept surprisingly well last night. In part I am sure it is because I knew I would be working from home today. I still aimed to be up and dressed by 9, but it still meant I could have an hour longer in bed than I usually would.
First tasks of the day were calling patients who are more at risk of a deterioration in their health. I expected to catch people on the phone easily, they are isolated at home after all, but a surprising number of calls went unanswered. In the end I was able to speak to about three quarters of the people I had planned to, and for the majority of them I received a second pleasant surprise, they were not expecting me to call.
What I mean is they had not expected our service to be contacting them to check how they were. They spoke about services being busy and having more important things to be doing than calling them. I wanted to say ‘you are the important people I need to be reviewing’ but of course I was less direct. Even in the middle of a pandemic, it was nice to see people thinking of others being more important than themselves. I know with all the scenes of panic buying and ignoring social distancing this might not appear the case, but in my small sample at least they were thinking of others before themselves.
Sarah and I managed to have a mid-morning break in the garden, no butterflies today, but we did see a large bumblebee and the weather was once again glorious. It’s amazing how just a few minutes out in the sun can really give me a boost to keep going for a few more hours.
Lunch (leftover pasta) was a quick affair as I had a meeting with the other consultants in the trust at 1 to discuss our current position and preparations. As a mental health specialist trust, we are not going to be frontline in the management of COVID, but we have an important role keeping our patients well so that they do not need to present at A+E for example in a crisis.
I must say I feel reassured by the planning in place for Leeds. Important changes to the way we run the service have been started already, while the remaining issues to be ironed out are currently being considered. Access to PPE (personal protective equipment such as masks) remains unclear, but we have been reassured PPE is available, the main issue seems to be distribution to the right places rather than supply. We will have to keep an eye on this over the coming weeks.
The local area was noticeably quieter when I went for my walk this evening. I passed no more than twenty people when usually it would be close to 100, and I was pleased to see everyone socially distancing. I even passed Morrison’s supermarket on my route and saw people queuing outside to get in, each stood 2 metres apart. I think the message has finally gotten through to people.
Dinner tonight is fish cakes (shop bought) and air-fried homemade chips, which are as good, if not better, than the chip shop alternative, while being considerably healthier. My parents bought an air-fryer a few years ago, and after trying the chips they made as part of our Christmas Eve meal, and I was instantly hooked. I am sure in part it is the memory of Christmas which I associate with air-fried chips, but they are delicious in their own right.
The plan for this evening? More Friends and then hitting the books. I have been working my way through 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami which is a brilliant read. Unfortunately, as the pandemic has accelerated and restrictions have increased, I have found it difficult to concentrate on the book, preferring instead to watch TV or browse my mobile. Not tonight, I am determined I will read at least a few more chapters. Part of me needs to know what is going on in the book, and that part will win out tonight I am certain.