On what matters

Prioritising in a Pandemic

I'm pretty confident that Covid-19 has been the most-discussed subject around the world this week, and that's certainly been my experience, overhearing conversations in coffee shops, supermarkets and everywhere in between.

We're still in a period of relatively high uncertainty, and only time will tell how it really plays out.

This past few weeks I've been working on the respiratory medicine ward at UCLH, London, which has now been fully converted into a Covid-19 patient ward.

But in this email, I don't intend to delve into intricacies of the situation or the government's response. Rather, I wanted to use our current situation as a reminder of what's important.

For many people around the globe, this will be an anxious time. So many of us have loved ones who fall into the main 'at-risk' groups (such as old age, overweight or with underlying respiratory conditions), and even those who don't may still be affected.

Hearing medical stories through colleagues and on the wards these last few weeks has been a big reminder for me; of not taking those you love for granted.

Spending time with friends and family has immediately been bumped up my priority list, and I've been having many more phone calls and video calls with those I love, checking-in and catching-up (thanks to the wonders of the internet).

Perhaps I shouldn't need a global pandemic to remind me to do so, but I find it's easy to take those around us for granted.

And while I'm hopeful, and quietly optimistic, that myself and those I love will be fortunate enough to escape unscathed, I'm going to resolve to spend more quality time with them going forward. Because one day, sadly, they won't.


I consider myself fairly minimalist when it comes to the news, but two great resources I’ve come across on Covid-19 are:

  • This podcast with Joe Rogan and Michael Osterholm, which I think covers most of the bases regarding the pandemic

  • This video where Prof Chris Witty, the Chief Medical Officer in the UK, outlines the rationale behind the UK’s Covid-19 strategy

And, on the subject of perspectives and family, a really great blog post from WaitButWhy.com.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week,


P.S. This week I shared a pretty niche YouTube video about deciding medical rotations when applying for training programs, for those interested.