Marie Louise McConville: Trip to A&E reminded me that Covid-19 fight isn't over

An impromptu trip to A&E at the Ulster Hospital this week reminded me that Covid-19 is still very much with us
Marie Louise McConville

What a busy few days it's been.

First we had teacher training days - so the kids were off school - and so, it was back to working from home with them by my side.

Then we had an absolutely fabulous Bank Holiday Monday which we spent in glorious Strangford where we enjoyed walks in the sunshine, the best whipped ice cream in Co Down and pizzas on the patio.

And then, just for good measure - because I hadn't had enough fun - I enjoyed a trip to A&E.

Having become unwell after the Bank Holiday break and having first contacted my GP for advice, and given my Type 1 Diabetes, I was advised (just to be on the safe side) to go to A&E and so, opted for the Ulster Hospital, hoping the wait wouldn't be quite so long.

Of course, it was an absolute belter of a day outside and sitting in casualty was the absolute last thing I wanted to be doing but, I had no choice.

A lovely doctor greeted me and directed me where I needed to go and on entering A&E, I could not believe how packed it was - lots of people clearly having the same type of day I was.

After being triaged, I was seen by a very happy and smiley doctor called Amy who, despite everything going on around her, was so welcoming.

After a chat, she took some blood before sending me for some tests and I have to say, the service was second to none.

Sitting in the corridor it suddenly struck me that while we are all returning to the so-called new normal on the outside, behind these hospital doors, the fight against coronavirus is continuing.

With a constant stream of patients arriving, staff somehow managed to maintain a bright and friendly demeanour despite constantly changing gloves, washing hands, cleaning down stations, and wearing visors - and all while it was a good 18 degrees Celsius outside.

A nurse called Debbie, who carried out one of the tests, was just so calming and lovely.

I really don't know how they do it with what is going on.

While we are all returning to restaurants and booking holidays and holding garden BBQs, these nurses and doctors are continuing to deal with the fall out from Covid-19 and they are to be saluted for that.

Some of those medics the other day were working 12 hour shifts in really difficult conditions and seeing them reminded me that we are not on the other side of this pandemic yet.

After being given the all clear, I was sent home and told to rest.

And, while I was relieved, I have to say my experience of A&E this week will stay with me.

Thanks to those who looked after me this week, I am indebted.

Keep up the good work guys, I don't know where we would be without you.


It's official ladies - you can forget the trainers.

It's finally the news we've all be waiting for.

Researchers at Coventry University have found that regular hot bathing can actually mimic many of the health benefits of walking, jogging and cycling.

It increases blood flow, body temperature and heart rate - in much the same way exercise does - and could help improve cardiovascular health, promote cell growth and repair and even act as an anti-depressant.

So there you have it, there's no need for all that running and sweating.

All you have to do is bathe.



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