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Phil Whitaker is a GP and writes the New Statesman’s “Health Matters” column. His books include Chicken Unga Fever: Stories from the Medical Frontline (Salt)
We are the waterfront against which waves of Covid-19 patients are beginning to break.
In less than a week, we converted the practice to a “triage” model.
No country has ever tried to regulate the rate of a pandemic in this way before.
There may come a time to escalate, but prematurity risks increasing the sense of threat to no good purpose.
“He’s not even going to make it to hospital,” Brian said. “He’s going to die in the back of the truck.”
Imagine swine flu-levels of population panic plus a virus capable of causing millions of hospitalisations, overlaid on an NHS devastated by a decade of Tory austerity.
"GPs who had hitherto been prominent cheerleaders for the project let out a collective howl of dismay."
The heightened fear reflects our evolving knowledge of life-threatening infectious diseases.
Most people being medically risk-managed will derive no benefit, either because they were never going to develop the risk condition, or because they will do so anyway.
Is the threat real, or just electioneering on Labour’s part?