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Stepping on the same banana peel

Things it would have been useful to know before the pandemic. EuroTimes Executive Editor Colin Kerr reports

Colin Kerr

Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

American musician Father John Misty talks about a post-apocalyptic world in his song ‘Things It Would Have Been Useful To Know Before The Revolution’. The song reflects on a post-apocalyptic world after a seismic event.

To promote the song, Misty and his record label Sub-Pop produced a striking animated video portraying a lone survivor trying to come to terms with her ‘New Normal’. The song, combined with the video, is a humorous yet striking statement about what may lie ahead when society breaks down.

In an interview, Misty explained that the song looks at “human beings stepping on the same banana peels over and over again”.

Which is why we need to talk about COVID-19. In the past 12 months EuroTimes has talked to ophthalmologists from all over the world about their COVID-19 experience.

Our community of medical writers has also given us their first-hand experience of life as doctors on the pandemic frontline.

Here is one reflection that we did not publish: “The situation is changing so fast. Three of my department are already covid +ve. The stress is immense.”

HOPELESS, HELPLESS

The words “hopeless”, “helpless”, and “burnout” were repeated frequently in our reports. Many doctors were angry with the inadequacy of health systems around the world and the failure to control the spread of the virus.

One thing that struck me while editing our COVID-19 features was that the majority of ophthalmologists who were asked to perform COVID-19 functions were young ophthalmologists.

Many of them have young families which would have added to the pressures they were under every day.

Dr Clare Quigley, in an article entitled Lockdown Limbo, articulated her fear of contacting the virus: “I am careful at work, but I know that I am the most likely to get exposed, and go on to bring COVID home, and from there spread it on to my brother’s family and their two children,” she said.

Thankfully front-line workers like Dr Quigley are now less likely to contract the virus thanks to the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

They can also start to look forward to returning to their old routine, but lessons have been learned that will have a major impact on the future practice of medicine and ophthalmology.

And to return to Father John Misty, let’s try to stop stepping on the same banana skin over and over again.


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