Since this infectious disease was broadcast in the media, it has caused great distress. it has meant the people of my age from the beginning have had to stay within their own home. I am lucky in 2 ways. I have a lot of interests which occupy much of my time as well as as having a small garden c 30 ft square at front and back of the house, which I have developed in the 50 years ( November this year0 since we moved in. Stpring 2020 provided a lot of sunshine, hence lots of blooms.
I worked through the 1957 influenza outbreak in a general hospital as a second year student nurse. I did not get it, but some other staff did and were ill. `Apart from the usual precautions to make oneself safe-hygiene good nutrition and isolation from other staff and patients, I do not remember anything alse being done.
I later did a Diploma in Nursing as part of joint study to enable me to become a Registered Nurse Tutor (1968-70). in particular, we had an excellent lecturer in Microbiology. This hporvided me with much valuable ideas about and insights into infection transmission especially in hospitals. Added to this was the structuring of care using the four principles of the Nurising Process. Assessment/ Planning / Action and Evaluation. Basically the process derived from engineering and is used in other contexts like teaching.
Regarding diseases, therefore it was important to discover their origin.- Hence contact tracing and testing as well as dealing signs and symptoms of a disease, if known, are a basic requisite to identify and stop spread of the disease.
Hoever testing is dependant on several factors. The specimen taken must not be contaminated by other agenst. Once sent to the laboratory, the test s given must be specific to the causative organism. (With Covid 19 as a new disease manifestation, it was important for testing to be as specific as possible. )
Should a disease be infectious, it is important to contain it. Then the provision of appropriate treatment if available and the role of the nurse in caring for the people affected. As the care progressed, frequent evaluation of what was being done was instituted until recovery, impairment or death occurred. All this needed to be done in a social context , involving relatives, especially if carers at all stages. My previous experience as a mental health nurse helped me to develop a widely based model as a teaching structure.
Covid puzzled me from the start. It was portrayed as infectious. This should then mean that sufferers should be identified and isolated. Where there was travel from country to country, borders should be closed and further entry to the country refused and a period of quarantine imposed immediately. Within the country where sufferers were identified the local Community Physician should have decided a similar local regime in a 2-way diague on strategy.
General Practitioners (GPs) are usually regarded as the gate keepers and leaders of the Primary Health care team eith off practice and district nurses, health visitors as well as other allied professions within such a practice.. These should report likely symptoms and decisions made as to where the sufferersh ould be sited for further care. In many other infectious diseases, this would be done at home. Only when symptoms are more life threatening would they be sent on to hospital for barrier nursing.
Symptoms of Civid- 19 seem to correspond to other types of influenza inlength of time it tool to manifest with symptoms, i.e. 7-10 days from catchcing the infection. Obviously some individuals are more susceptible to any kind of infection than others, e.g. those with diabetes mellitus, chest conditions, those living crowded family conditions, social care and other institutions. Others once they become ill show themselves susceptible to fatal sepsis – this can be more noticeable in the elderly with other conditions.