The C-word

Mar 30, 2020

This is definitely the strangest blog I will ever have written. This time last month I was writing about issues with customer service and getting Google stuck in Polish…which all seems a far cry from where we are today. The world is facing unprecedented times as a wave, which frankly makes a tsunami seem tame, is sweeping over it in the form of an invisible yet deadly virus.

We knew about the Coronavirus when China announced its first death in January. I, like many, talked about flu with friends and felt confident that the Chinese could contain this and I am not ashamed to admit felt that in some way in the UK we may be protected. Surely the virus would be under control quickly? Or a cure found?  This is the 21st century… space travel is imminent… technology knows no boundaries? How naïve / hopeful / optimistic / ill-informed (all of the above!) was I?

As our European neighbours were feeling the impact before us throughout late February and early March, I cancelled a trip to France and unbeknown to me Friday 13th March would be my last day in Skin Deep Clinic for the foreseeable. I’m not superstitious but I’ll now be avoiding ladders on pavements for ever.

It was a straightforward decision to temporarily close Skin Deep Clinic as human contact spreads this virus. I was kept busy for a few days cancelling over 100 appointments individually by text and email. I felt overwhelmed by the level of support and positive feedback from clients. I followed this up with a mailshot (and if you know anything about my dreadfully poor IT skills then you’ll appreciate this was a challenge in itself) and again followed some lovely responses and sentiments.

What next? As a nurse my instinct is to help my colleagues in the NHS. I have been out of the NHS for many years and have worked in a variety of settings since. My skills are transferable and I’ve maintained way above the minimum standard of CPD throughout my career as a nurse. I have no underlying health issues and neither do any of my immediate family. I cannot sit back and watch so it is with trepidation that I completed the application for NHS Professionals. This is effectively a giant nurse bank (the irony isn’t lost on me as one of my previous roles was running the nurse bank for Royal Shrewsbury Hospital).

And… I just took a phone call to say that my application is successful and the system, which is still being developed to allow each Trust to access our availability to work, will be up and running shortly. I cannot begin to imagine what next month’s blog will be about!

Meanwhile the dog moaned to be let outside again (she is not enjoying this indoors life) and I noticed these red tulips basking in the sun by my front door. What’s not to love?

Stay safe… stay sane….