COVID19 reality bites


Hats off to our Italian colleagues – I can only imagine what each day has brought into your lives.

Last weekend, I held the notorious position as the last Consultant Neurologist on-call for Barts Health, one of the largest NHS Trusts England with 1,255 A&E patient attendances per day.

Monday onward, every able bodied member of staff has been redeployed to a major incident rota, the likes of which we never imagined in our fight against COVID19 – a foe that we never saw coming.

The Royal London Hospital (RLH), London, UK

The same decisions and discussions are happening across the globe, an admixture of nervousness and fear. At RLH the ITU bed capacity is increasing to 150 beds, with plans to convert the top two floors to add a further 170 beds.

Health care workers are self-isolating where possible ( In China, 41% of all cases were secondary to hospital-based transmissions. Lock down is expected to last until the end of May or June 2020.

It is now too late to reconsider our mistakes or even muster a certain level of anger at our leaders. I have read the phrase scaremongering, fake news, lies told by countries in scientific forums and the popular press; a form of sensationalizing in its own right. It is good to remember that “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor.

This is most definitely War.

About the author

Neuro Doc Gnanapavan


  • Wise words NDG
    All strength to you and to Prof G, Prof K, and the rest of the team
    Take care of yourselves

    • Thank you both, and I would like all of our MS patients to take full precautions- no matter how fit you may be.

  • Wishing you and your colleagues and of course your patients the very best. thank you for all you are doing!

  • No words could take away the fear that I’m sure you’re all feeling within at this time. I sincerely hope and pray you all stay safe & well during this time of crisis being called upon to work outside your field of expertise.
    You are all heroes and the world appreciates all that you are doing to fight this war.
    Take Care Gill 🙏🏻

  • Our world has significantly changed and I can only imagine that for HCPs it must feel as if you’ve been shoved into a parallel universe.
    I’m sure for every Blog reader that, like me, there is nothing but heartfelt appreciation for all you have done, are doing and will be doing in the coming weeks, or months dealing now with this awful pandemic!
    Please take care and I for one am in the take-good-care-of-myself camp so as to reduce not only the risk to myself, but also to try and avoid pressure on the remainder of the NHS attempting to deal with health issues other than CV.
    Best wishes to you and all your colleagues.

  • Hi Doc Gnanapavan & all the team, thank you for all your information regarding Covid-19 and the support you give the pwMS and wider community. I wish you well and stay safe and I hope you have all the equipment available too! Especially I hope for the availability of being able to be tested for the virus. I hope this is available soon to all HCPs and their families.

    It is now that we can all work together to get equipment, testing (chemicals) and correct information to our front-line medical teams and I hope the co-ordination of all of this starts happening sooner rather than later!

    We can learn from other situations to try and be ready – companies, people can work differently and a unique way of working to get all this up and running – can be done. We have so many great people and all this untapped resource can be used – it just needs a bit of ‘outside the box’ way of thinking!
    God Bless to you all xxx

  • Slightly off topic. If the virus life cycle is 3 weeks. Given we have been in lock down for 2 weeks. How and why r cases and death rates increasing? Italy and Spain have been in lock down for longer. Yet the cases/ death rate are still increasing ? How is the virus still moving to new people?

    • Okay I’m going to get to the point
      Has the virus mutated to air Bourne? Would explain medical being infected inspite of protective clothing.

        • Ahh okay. Pardon my ignorance but I thought droplet transmission is different from air bourne transmission. Later is obviously m0re dangerous as you don’t need someone coughing and sneezing. Besides I’m not trying to be alarmist. My background is interpreting numbers amd data patterns. As well as biomedical. The number rates in Spain and Italy are telling a different story. I hope I am just being paranoid alarmist.

          • The definitive way to control any aerosol or droplet spread virus is full quarantine or establishment of a cordon (the new term for the same thing) – no one wants to do this as it’s draconian and unlucky for those within the cordon. Respiratory infections spread fast in heavily built areas; an experiment performed on the tube demonstrated that if someone sneezed in the first carriage it would take 6s to reach the end carriage. Airplanes connect infected hosts in a much quicker way than imaginable. Hong Kong repatriated their citizens and are noticing a second blip. And yes proximity to high viral load will overcome even the best immune system.

    • If you look at the news you can see people are out and about in some people the time from infection to symptoms is about 5 days but in some people it is about 3 weeks. So if you have a family member who is asymtomatic and then they can be spreading for some time and it moved forward to the next person maybe you have coughed on your hand and you have open a door, super market trolley and the virus hangs round for a day or 2 days. The country did not get infected all in one day and so it is all asynchronous

      • Okay. I understand what your saying. But you’d see the curve flattening especially in places like Spain and Italy. There is something amiss as this not happening. Virus is still seeking out and killing at a increasing rate. And why are well protected medical staff falling sick?

        • Medical staff are surrounded by a huge viral load from sick patients, infection is almost inevitable, given how infectious this virus is.

        • It takes years to train doctors and nurses and then some for specialists. May all your team be safe and continue as neurologist when this all over. However if it was me on the front line. I’d ignore civilties and wear a wet suit during my rounds! If adequate protection wasn’t provided.

  • The idiots in charge of this with their “herd immunity” which suddenly changed to “mitigation” literally have blood on their hands.

    And every single person who is at work during this, no matter what their professions are part of the steatlth herd immunity strategy that is currently playing out.

    The front line in the medical field are risking their lives every time they set front out of their front door never mind when they are at work, and to STILL have this situation where people are not getting proper PPE is an absolute national disgrace.

    The ministers in charge of this should hang their heads in shame.

    THIRTY ventilators being given out today apparently, not the THOUSANDS Michael Gove was talking about yesterday then?

    • More importantly the nation where it started should be held responsible for the spread of this virus allowing infected patients to travel globally when they had local locldown. Out incompetence hmmmm.? As well as the wet markets and eating raw food allowing viruses to jump species. Inspite of the global disaster caused by these wet markets. The same wet market the origin of virus is now fully open and practicing the same policies that caused this disaster.



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