May 25, 2024

Coronavirus quotes

Moments of candour

Applauding health workers: Udo Schuklenk, editor of Bioethics

Is it too soon to note the hypocrisy of citizens and politicians standing on balconies, applauding health care workers for their hard work and extraordinary risk‐taking, while refusing to equip the health care system in such a way that there would not be a lack of personal protective equipment for these same workers? Reportedly, by the end of March 2020, at least 50 doctors lost their lives, in Italy alone, due to infections incurred as a result of the absence of such equipment.

Nerd immunity: Richard Lehman, a columnist for the BMJ

“Nerds are natural self-isolators, traditionally depicted as living in basements and sporting thin appendages of facial hair (if male), or large glasses (either sex). In cartoons they always look cross, arguing at graphs on screens using bad language like meta-regression or fixed splines. The fact that nerds exist in a state of permanent disagreement is illustrated in the hundreds of contradictory modelling articles which continue to appear: they cannot even agree whether a given covid curve is flattening or rising. When they are finally released from their basements, they will no doubt hold a conference to permit assortative mating, and to see which of them was wrongest.”  

Dr Helen Ouyang, an emergency-room physician in New York City

It has been less than six weeks, but I’ve never felt less useful as a doctor. The one thing I can do — what I think will matter most, in the end — is just to be a person first, for these patients and their families.  

Social physical distancing: Jefferson Health, a Philadelphia healthcare provider

And that’s why it’s important to remember that “social distancing” for our community is a misnomer. What we’re doing – together – is physical distancing, not social. Please remember to stay in touch with your friends and family. FaceTime, text, call or write family members. Especially if a loved one is isolated or ill, check in on them. 

To the human beings who are our patients, we understand that you are a person deserving care and not a disease needing treatment. We will do all we can to improve your lives. And if you are in your first few minutes or, sadly, approaching your last, we want you to feel the warmth and grace of a loved one by your side.

UK Alzheimer’s Society: open letter to the UK Health Secretary

Older people’s lives are not worth less. Care home staff are not second class carers. The Government must step in and make it clear that no-one will be abandoned to this virus simply because of their age, condition or where they live. 

Connie Titchen, 106, the world’s oldest survivor of Covid-19 (Birmingham UK):

“I feel very lucky that I’ve fought off this virus. I can’t wait to see my family.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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