‘We are vulnerable not invincible’: The human stories behind the global pandemic


Britain has now entered its second phase of a three-week lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Across the UK, floods of support has been shown towards NHS workers and care workers and their efforts to save lives on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.

#ClapforNHS has widely become a phenomenon where people across Britain clap in solidarity for all the NHS workers and carers during this difficult time at 8pm GMT every Thursday.

A story from the hospital bed

Elizabeth Payne from Walsall has experienced first-hand the impact of the NHS. She recovered from Covid-19 after being rushed to the hospital with a “continuing fever”.

Elizabeth enjoying her garden

Elizabeth is a Principal Pharmacist Medicines Safety Officer working at the Walsall Manor Hospital.

She told Birmingham Eastside she had “still not recovered from a previous viral infection” when rushed to the hospital.

The experience of having Covid-19

“The nurse told me I had tested positive for the virus and my heart sank because I knew how serious it could be.”

“We have to limit our movements to that bay’ and at one point ‘there were 6 patients to one commode.”

Elizabeth said she shared a ward with a married couple who were separated by virus, but who sadly never saw each other again.

“I was opposite a lady who had the virus and was in hospital for two weeks. Then two days after she was admitted her husband was also tested positive for the virus and he died a week after, and she wasn’t able to see her husband.”

Thoughts on a post-coronavirus world

Elizabeth and her husband Ian Payne

Elizabeth had a warning and a message of hope for others who contract Covid-19:

“Anyone who has had this, coming out the other side it’s going to take quite a bit of time for them to recover from it.”

“It will hopefully make people think your health is the most important thing you have’ and ‘we are vulnerable and not invincible

“One positive that come out of this, we carry on looking out for each other because in day to day life you become so absorbed in life.

A doctor on the frontline

Dr Riaz Khan, General Practitioner

However, the pressures that NHS staff are under cannot be overlooked.

According to Nursing Notes, as of 9am GMT today, 111 health and social care workers were believed to have died of Covid-19.

Dr Riaz Khan is a frontline GP working at the A&E in Walsall Manor Hospital

“At one point the A&E department had 22 patients admitted into the hospital and unfortunately none of them survived.”

He also has strong views on how the NHS regroups once it can get a handle on effective treatments for Covid-19.

“We have to pay more attention in preparing for such calamities. In the future of the NHS, new ways of working will need to be identified and applied such as artificial intelligence and remote consultations’.

Government guidance

The NHS recently released a Youtube video guiding patients on how they can contact their GP or nurse remotely to avoid face-to-face contact.

The video currently stands at more than 1.1 million views.

As the fight against the virus continues on the frontline and within our homes, people like Elizabeth Payne have proven the coronavirus can be beaten.

You can find more information and government advice here


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