As lockdown lifts, I will forever remember this time as when my life went from 3D to 2D. I can imagine that quarantine during the Spanish flu in 1918 must have had a very different landscape from now with no opportunities for working-from-home, zoom webinars and Netflix parties. The positives for me was more time to read and more time to listen to podcasts and, realistically, more time to stare into space too. I thought I’d collate into one page, things I have enjoyed in the last eight weeks that have chronicled our individual narratives in this collective experience which might appeal to an international primary care community.
Blog: One doc’s story
A well-written account of one British FY1/intern’s experiences in a hospital in Scotland. Having only graduated from medical school in August 2019, this blog follows Dr Manveer Rahi as he navigates his first year as a doctor in the covid pandemic as he tries to marry up his first-hand experiences on the ward with his understanding of politics, economics, sociology and technology. A self-professed aspiring surgeon, I think he would do better in primary care. A mature insight into secondary care conversations.
Blog: The ICU diaries
A rather sobering account of the experiences from the front line by Dr H, an intensivist in a busy London hospital in the UK. The compelling stories are personal and haunting, and brings us right to the epicentre of the pandemic response. A very important narrative and an essential read for both healthcare workers and the public.
This was recommended to me by a friend who said that she thought I would like it when she started listening to it and she wasn’t wrong! This podcast reframes challenges that are very present in our modern world such as pandemics and climate change and explore how we got there but how we can leave them in a better state for the future than how we have found them in the past. It’s really listenable, is a big advocate of primary care and interviews some pretty inspiring people such as Paul Farmer.
Podcast: BBC world news
I have absolutely loved following the BBC world news through this pandemic because it really zooms into different stories of the pandemic worldwide with no preference to country or continent. Typical to the BBC, it has a very neutral reporting style which stops it from fueling any anxieties and it has been a calming and helpful way to keep up with news without being bogged down by the politics.
Podcast: The lockdown diaries
Bilal Qureshi is a broadcaster and former producer, editor and reporter for NPR based in the U.S. He interviews creatives such as Arundhati Roy (writer of God of Small Things) and Riz Ahmed (rapper and actor) about their experiences of lockdown. I like this podcast series because they’re only 20-30 minutes long and it shares the inner thoughts and vulnerabilities of celebrated artists who are just like us. It has a strong South Asian theme, possibly because Bilal himself is from Pakistan although he resides in the U.S which is a different and fascinating lens to look through.
Resources: primary care and coronavirus
Dr Dipesh Gopal, London academic GP, has been collating information throughout the covid pandemic, verifying the sources and distilling them into bite-size pieces. This has been a God-send in this time of information overload where the publication of new guidelines seems to outstrip my reading capacity. This is a really helpful tool.
I hope this has been inspiring in some way. Please comment below if there has been anything you have found helpful or useful during this time that you would like to share and I will be very happy to check it out!