As I tuned into Sky News this morning and heard them talk about all of the MPs who have gone into self-isolation, I felt an enormous sense of anger.
MPs, many of whom are extremely wealthy and who have had their part to play in the damage that has been caused to our NHS and emergency services, are going into self-isolation.
Some of these MPs are writing about their experiences and sharing their stories in well-known newspapers, but if you want to read them, then you have to get through a paywall first.
But what about the amazing men and women who serve in the emergency services and NHS who are responding to emergency calls and who are dealing with critically ill patients? How many of them are going into self-isolation?
What about the fantastic medics in the emergency ambulance service who are going to call after call after call without any protection against coronavirus?
What about the brave police officers who are still having to keep us safe from the evil that exists out there and who are also not being given the personal protective equipment which they need to protect them from people who are infected with COVID-19?
What about the firefighters who are being called to fires and RTC’s and who have to come face-to-face with people who might have COVID-19?
What about the GP’s and their colleagues in our local surgeries who are on the front line of our communities? How many of them are having to self-isolate?
What about the hospital staff who are seriously underworked and who are crying out for more resources, including more nurses, HCA’s etc. and who are going to be facing something similar to what is happening in other parts of Europe?
I am not interested in hearing about MPs who have gone into isolation.
No offence to MPs because I am sure that there are some genuinely decent ones out there, but we all know what has happened to our country, to our emergency services, to our NHS to our prison service over the last few years.
But we saw a string of tweets published by @RealSamVimes this morning, spoken by someone on the front line, which sums things up far better than I can:
“Interesting conversation with paramedics today at a sudden death that may or may not have been COVID.
“Anyway to tell if he was infected?”
“You did CPR?”
“Anyway to tell if you’re infected?”
“Back to work, then I guess?”
‘Two of mine did CPR, both have partners; one has a newborn.
‘Both worried, I did my best to reassure knowing that it’s basically empty words because, without proper testing and isolation, we don’t really have a scooby.
‘We all just had a scrub down as best we could.
‘Got back in cars and vans that prob won’t be cleaned before hand over to the next shift, booked in tasers that won’t be cleaned before being booked out by the next shift and used the computers we all use because our tablets are shit.
‘We washed our hands and used what little alcohol gel is at the nick.
‘Two small bottles for a whole Police station then went home to our families, I washed my hands again (twice) then cuddled my baby and wondered if I was endangering him.
‘I thought about my immune system, the fact that most cops and paramedics are run down from a crap shift pattern that has been implemented for maximum “flex” as opposed to welfare.
‘I wondered how often I’d been ill compared to the general population.
‘And I thought about all the years this government cut our numbers, froze our pay, stole our pensions, sold our stations, crammed us tighter and tighter into smaller and smaller nicks, left us with obsolete computer systems and no money to prepare for the worst.
‘How they did the same to social care, mental health services and the NHS and how it makes me f**king furious that No One has been held to account for the degradation of this countries best and bravest people and institutions.
‘And then I went to bed because tomorrow we will get up and do it all again, because that is the job, and that is what the country deserves.
‘My point is just that there’s a lot of mental strain on the women and men responding on the frontline right now, having to be in high-risk contact with no testing/isolation system.
‘So maybe if you see them out and about just say thanks to remind them why they are doing it”.
As someone who has served in the emergency services, my heart goes out to all of my former colleagues who will be on the real front line against the battle with COVID-19.
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