National team effort and frontline strain

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THE Covid vaccine and our national health serviced continued to dominate the comment sections of the newspapers with columnists and contributors praising the team effort and acknowledging the strain on frontline workers.

The Daily Express

Professor Karol Sikora said vaccination was on everyone’s mind at the moment.

“The absolutely amazing thing is that in a short six months we have made several vaccines to Covid-19 from scratch,” he said. “We don’t know yet how long immunity will last and how powerful it will be at dealing with mutant strains. But it will surely reduce transmission and save lives of the most vulnerable. And help get our society back to normal.”

He said modern medical science was a massive team effort nowadays.

“We can only be amazed by the speed at which the technology has been rolled out,” he added. “But there will be no new portraits in the Royal College of Physicians – it’s simply no longer like that.”

The Guardian

Gaby Hinsliff said the NHS had come to the rescue and given us all a sense of national pride.

“Eminent consultants cheerfully muck in with a volunteer army tens of thousands strong, some of whom have spent their weekends training to wield the needle, while others help to keep records or gently steer people around the building,” she said. “For some older people living alone, it will be the first human touch they have felt in months of frightened isolation. Imagine what a reassuring word, or a gentle hand on the arm, might mean.”

She said there was an astonishing national effort taking place.

“For once Britain finds itself near the top not the bottom of the international pack, delivering more doses per head than anywhere bar the United Arab Emirates. Never forget the dust and sweat and blood that built this NHS, and which sustains it still.”

The Independent

Ankur Khajuria said NHS workers were exhausted, physically and mentally, and the pandemic has exposed a system that has relied on goodwill for years.

“With rising cases, limited resources and staff shortages, healthcare workers are being pushed to their limit,” he said. “As the current wave intensifies, many staff have been redeployed again to areas such as ICU, with limited experience and training, having to make life-prioritising decisions.”

He said it was not difficult to see why people were burning out.

“The government, key policy makers and local/national stakeholders must ensure that the mental health of staff is not neglected in the face of the rising Covid admissions and deaths, and that adequate support is in place to curb an impending mental health epidemic in the UK – the aftermath of which may see many staff members off on long-term sick leave or resigning completely.”

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