When I first heard that Joe had been kicked out by his landlady, I assumed it was a prank. When it hit the national news, it hit home: that my friend had been made homeless in an unfamiliar city hundreds of miles away from his family. Me, my colleagues, and many commentators were vocally upset.
At first I thought the huge support for Joe meant disapproval for his landlady. That’s not true and it’s not fair. Even though the vast, vast majority of people who get this virus will be fine, a small, unlucky group won’t be. She didn’t sign up for this, and it’s OK to be afraid of it. But Joe, and thousands of other NHS staff didn’t either, and we are scared too.
Right now, we just want to work, to help get the country back onto its feet again, wherever we are needed. That’s not always near home. But the kindness of the hosts on this site has allowed that to happen, for us to keep going if we get posted miles from home, if our families get sick and we need to be apart from them to protect our patients, or we’ve tested positive and we are lucky enough to have the strength to keep working.
Joe has channeled the support he’s got into something amazing. There are now hundrads of NHS workers able to continue caring, helping us all get through this together. We are so grateful for all of those who are in a position to help out in whatever way they can, with accommodation, advice, and professional assistance. But we know there are people who, for any number of reasons, are scared. It’s OK to be scared. We are too.
Patrick Garfjeld Roberts
Orthopaedic Doctor, Oxford