Meet The Heroes Doing Their Bit In The Fight Against COVID-19
When the going gets tough… the tough put others first. Here we salute some of the more selfless and courageous responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because hope and optimism are catchy. And in this time of crisis it’s worth remembering that the virus isn’t the only thing that spreads.
COVID-19 has decimated healthcare systems and economies across the globe, claiming lives and destroying livelihoods. Social distancing and forced lockdown have changed the way all of us live, work and play. But amid the ‘unprecedented’ turmoil, many people are finding ways to be positive, helping others less fortunate, inspiring those who feel helpless and in the case of healthcare workers – like our cover guy, Dr Kieran Kennedy – ploughing on and doing their jobs under the most trying of circumstances. Here, in their own words, some of those who have stepped up in the short time since COVID-19 reshaped our lives reveal what drove them to find the best in themselves.
Dr Kieran Kennedy is a neuropsychiatry resident in Melbourne’s public hospital system. As a mental health specialist he works across many departments, including emergency. Here he details the psychological toll COVID-19 is having on patients and healthcare workers and the importance of staying active
“Right now, the whole landscape of the healthcare system has changed, almost in an instant. It feels like we’re in the calm before the storm, preparing for battle. We’re hunkering down and all these plans are being made. I think that’s where Australia and New Zealand are lucky in the sense that social distancing and lockdown have done what we hoped they would in terms of stemming some of the flow. Seeing what’s happened to Italy, the UK and America is scary.
As a doctor, imagining what it would be like to have that many patients presenting to hospital and not having beds or equipment for them would just be such a gut wrenching situation. As doctors, we’re used to being in control and feeling like we can help. To think that there might be a scenario where that can’t happen is just surreal. I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but to put yourself on the line, to do what you’re trained to do, knowing that you could get sick, is difficult. I think healthcare workers, doctors and nurses are very aware of some of those cases overseas – that aren’t that infrequent, either – of young, fit, healthy doctors passing away. That really is quite anxiety provoking.