I’m not one for moaning about the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak – mainly because so many people berate its every move and this is hardly the easiest of situations.
We had little warning of it and the task of managing everything is enormous.
The financial backing being given is unprecedented and many in other countries are not so lucky.
But a conversation with a friend from Dundee who now lives in Germany had me scratching my head.
When she, her husband and young children developed symptoms including a fever, you know what she did?
She called Germany’s coronavirus hotline to speak to an expert. Within hours, medics were at her house testing all family members – and the next day, she had her results, which were negative.
Can you believe it? The efficiency Germans are well known for seems at its best now when needed most.
One theory about why Germany’s death rate is much lower than the UK’s is that so many more people have been tested – about 500,000 a week – while our promised 100,000 a week by the end of April seems ambitious.
Even some of those who experienced no symptoms in Germany but tested positive knew to isolate so as not to spread the virus.
Here, meanwhile, unless you’ve been ill enough to be hospitalised you have no idea if the flu, cold or tiredness you had the other week was in fact the virus or not.
The uncertainty doesn’t end there. If even a fraction of media reports are true, some NHS staff don’t know if they’ll have a mask or gown to see their next patient.
It’s all very well for politicians to talk of our frontline heroes being our saviours but they should live up to the sentiment or at the very least protect them.
We are told the arrival of tests and protective equipment is imminent – but “imminent” has been weeks of waiting and muddled messages.
Shipments of PPE from Turkey have been delayed while staff in labs set up to blitz testing speak of twiddling their thumbs and clocking off at noon because there’s nothing to do.
We can only hope the government’s confident talk of coming up with a vaccine comes to something – and soon.
Now, more than ever, we need to feel like we are in safe hands.
I’m still (a tiny bit) hopeful we’ll show some of the German efficiency we so need… before our patience runs out.
Martel was a special guest on The Feelgood Feed from DC Thomson, where she discussed haircuts, homeschooling and Homes Under the Hammer.
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