You might have heard it said that Covid will be a marathon and not a sprint.
This implies that the virus is with us and it will be around for a long time.
Now we have it in the world it is here forever.
People in six months and two years will contract some form of the virus.
We need to change the way we work in hospitals, in the community, across schools, factories and offices, at least until a vaccine or an effective treatment is available.
In the next months there will be advances in technology, virology and microbiology that would otherwise have taken years if at all.
We have seen this in the hospital and across care – we have moved to ways of working that were previously considered impossible; ways of collaborating, sharing information and ideas that were only a few weeks ago indefinitely hamstrung by bureaucracy, information governance and fear of getting something wrong.
It is magical.
These changes I am sure will be sustained; they will help the marathon.
The trouble is however, that this is also a sprint.
Long-distance runners and sprinters tend to be different people, they look different, behave differently – long and sinewy, compact and muscular; built for different worlds.
We need sprinters.
We are running out of time to ensure our society, the health service, social care and vulnerable people are prepared.
We need to (and we are doing) everything we can to get the country ready for the pandemic which has not yet fully hit.
Building the Excel Nightingale was a sprint, mobilising new ways of working, finding volunteers, training carers and care workers to understand infection, prevention and control are all sprint actions.
The slower we move now, the more people will become ill or die.
Yes, there was the frustration at the slowness of our national response; it is too late now to fret about that – we need to get on and run.
Physically I am more of a sprinter;
I will need to transform into a long-distance guy.
I might not be capable of the transformation – we will see what is possible.
What can everyone do now? Well, support the sprinters, do everything you can to keep them going – some might expect a short run, others longer.
Yes, stay indoors, yes, wash your hands, yet support neighbours, family and friends.
Be well and take care.