Thoughts of a Lockdown Pharmacist

“DON’T TOUCH THAT”!!

“CAN’T YOUR FRIEND WAIT OUTSIDE”?!

I cringe as I recall myself shouting those words at the pharmacy…..This is nice though as I ride my motorbike through uncharacteristically quiets roads in Cornwall on a warm summer day…..

As we roll into week 7 of lockdown and things start to ease, I felt a slight hint of relief only to realise the harsh reality that this is not a sprint but a marathon.

At the pharmacy we are proud to have made some significant changes in a relatively short period of time but there is more work to do….and we all need to think about our own individual behaviours for this to work.

Reflecting on the past 6 weeks I crack a smile with my dark ironic sense of humour. Here I am, an avid and keen outdoor exerciser, balancing on my Indoboard in the backyard.

How has a crisis asking people to stay in actually made people like myself stay home whilst complete novices have been somehow guided outside?

I guess I made this decision on my last 5k run on April 16th. Earlier in the week I’m listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 discussing dog walkers and joggers and the lack of consideration of joggers, turning a corner I bring myself to a halt. Dog walker  and walker – 10m. Road. Poorly timed infrequent traffic. 9m…..8m…..7m….6….5…. the voice in my head is shouting now: ”why are you not stopping”?! A break comes. I run on to the road, to safety! Ha!

Next day I’m saddened to see it all around me.

  • A pharmacy shopper having to be reminded not to touch things unnecessarily and ask for assistance.
  • A brisk walker brushing within 0.5m of a dog walker, exclaiming proudly “getting my daily excercise” as they do.
  • Someone waiting in line 2m behind the customer waiting to go in the co-op, only to have someone walk past the queue within 0.5m of the person at the front.

It really is proverbial face in hands stuff for a health professional.

But in this game I know to just carry on. Somethings are out of my control but why change the things that are not?

We have taken a fall in recent times and it’s difficult for people to adjust, and I’m not proud of some of my less professional actions of late, but as one of my favourite quotes in a childhood superhero comic I remember the words…

We will get through this but it will take strength, determination and reserve all round.

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