In light of the upcoming ‘Clap for the NHS’ event (poster in image above), we wanted to give voice to local NHS staff and their message to the public at this critical time.
We spoke to two nurses who are Ladywell residents, who gave us their insights into the developing coronavirus crisis and the NHS.
The message was clear: we can all contribute to their heroic efforts to save lives by staying home and stopping physical contact with friends and family outside our households. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the situation like in hospitals now?
“WWe are seeing rapidly rising rates of very sick patients with Covid-19 and while everyone is working their hardest to manage the situation, without everyone following the government’s advice to restrict contact the NHS will not cope,’”said one nurse.
It is important to remember also that this is just the beginning of the crisis for the NHS. One nurse described an atmosphere of preparations:
“We are just at the start but we really are working as a team in my trust to get ready and looking to work in radical and new ways together. We are all getting updated and ready to help out on wards when needed, even those who are very old and haven’t done that for ages!
“I know that’s what is happening across the NHS in London. Cleaners, community teams and social carers are every bit as important as hospital staff and are often working in much more difficult conditions. I think we should clap for everyone, for all of us.’
Amidst the crisis, the nurse added, it was important to remember that “we’ve had patients make really good recoveries though already. And most people will do.”
What do we need to do?
The key message from the experts is for all of us to stay at home. “We need everyone to follow the isolation advice and not to socialise with friends or family. I know it’s hard on everyone, but we know that asymptomatic carriers (as well as symptomatic) are passing on the virus on average to two more people. It’s so important people heed the advice.”
Looking after your mental wellbeing
As mentioned, staying at home might not be as simple as it seems. It is very important that during this time we take care of our minds. One nurse urged us to mention anxiety-limiting strategies when self-isolating:
- Having (and sticking to) a routine;
- Ensuring you get exercise, e.g., you can find a number of free workout routines on the NHS website;
- Try to watch the news once a day as part of your routine – this might be better than being constantly switched ‘on’ to every detail related to the pandemic.
- Try to keep in contact with friends and family via telephone, Skype/Whatsapp for video calls.
Most importantly, please reach out for help if you feel you are struggling:
Contact Lewisham Local if you need any support during this difficult time, whether it’s help with shopping, getting access to a foodbank or just having a friendly chat on the phone. You can submit a request here or phone them on 03330 150378.
Contact The Samaritans on 116 123 (for free) – many of us will be feeling alone and scared, please reach out if this is you. You can also have a look at their handy online guide if you’re worried about your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can find more information here. You can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
If you are looking for ways to help in the community
You can help the Council’s coordinated effort to support vulnerable people in our borough by submitting your details here.
Community mutual aid groups are organizing across the borough – join to connect with your neighbours, details here.
Are you in touch with your neighbours? Think about what the best way to connect is – whether through Whatsapp or email, getting the neighbourhood to communicate with each other is a good way of addressing people’s needs most effectively.
Try to support local businesses if you can. With the evolving chaos at national supermarket chains, have you considered whether a local business might have what you’re looking for instead?
Here’s our list of local businesses adjusting so that they can keep serving the community. If you have any further suggestions of how we can update this list, please get in touch!
Join Thursday’s Clap for the NHS event, this Thursday at 8pm to show your appreciation to NHS staff who are helping to keep us safe. Let’s stay at home so that they can continue to do their job with as little risk to their own health as possible!