Nurse warns of complacency as Covid-19 curve flattens
Critical care nurse Mr Trent Ramsay of Woy Woy has warned residents to remain vigilant in maintaining physical distancing despite some reports that the coronavirus curve is flattening in Australia.
Recently returned from working for eight months as a paramedic in London, Mr Ramsay said the current situation in Australia was reminiscent of the United Kingdom a month or so before diagnoses and deaths from the pandemic spiked.
"I returned from London on March 28 and am still in self-isolation at home," Mr Ramsay said.
"I was alarmed on my return to find some people still living their lives as though it is business as usual, when it really shouldn't be.
"I went to work in London because I thought it would be a new and exciting challenge and an opportunity to travel while working alongside some other Aussies with whom I had trained.
"More than 50 percent of the paramedics in London right now are Australian.
"We were all surprised at how quickly the virus spread.
"The first Covid patient I went to was in February.
"I hadn't been given any specific training or knowledge on how to deal with Covid patients.
"We came into this pandemic blind."
Mr Ramsay said he had witnessed some tragedies as he worked in the UK.
"One person had Covid-19; he was young and healthy and didn't have any symptoms.
"He had returned home from overseas and was told to isolate for 14 days but one friend came over to catch up during his isolation.
"That one friend unknowingly transmitted Covid to his family ... and the dad died; a tragically unnecessary death that could've been prevented by staying home with isolation, and social distancing.
"One of my co-workers ended up in ICU and on the verge of death; others have died.
"Some of my colleagues' family members have died from Covid-19, and my colleagues will never know if they themselves transmitted the virus to their loved ones."
"There may have been a dip in numbers here in Australia, but it is still going to get worse," he said.
"In the UK we were going to Covid-19 patients with inadequate protection equipment; the reality is that Australia will probably run low on resources soon too."
Mr Ramsay said it was vital patients who had respiratory concerns called the Covid-19 hotline or followed official on-line advice before calling 000.
He stressed the importance of following health guidelines which include physical distancing, washing hands more and avoiding touching your face.
He also suggested wearing a mask could prevent the spread of droplets and urged people to keep their lungs and body strong by not smoking, doing regular exercise and eating healthily.
Most important, he said, was for people to stay home.
He also urged people to consider flu vaccinations.
"If we can flatten the curve, not just of Covid-19 but of influenza, we have a better chance of being able to have resources and staff available to save lives," he said.
Mr Ramsay said when his period of self-isolation was over he would return to the Australian front line as an intensive care unit and emergency department nurse, for which he was also qualified.
"I'm back home until the pandemic is over, at least," he said
Media release, 6 Apr 2020
Interview (Terry Collins) 7 Apr 2020
Trent Ramsay, Woy Woy