Dr Benjamin Janaway+ Your Authors @drjanaway Psychiatrist, Writer and Science Communicator. Working on a novel. Widely published. Media enquiries via DM. RTs usually endorsements. Future Silver Fox. Mar. 19, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Waiting for the storm to hit is painful. Knowing what is coming feels unreal. Watching the general public hoard food, ignore advice and continue to spread this virus, knowing that in just weeks we will be seeing mass fatalities, its infuriating, depressing and, frankly, enraging.

Many doctors I speak to are used to being taken for granted. Many of us have been abused, screamed at, insulted, threatened and maligned. We accept it, because we know that those we help are at the extreme of suffering.

But this is different. We are warning you, not just to protect yourself, but others. The selfishness of those who dont want to miss a party, or their saturday catch up, could spread an illness that kills someone.

Each day I have gone into work I have seen staff anxious. People going off sick. Hundreds discharged to make space for what is coming. Colleagues talking and planning 24/7 to ensure we are doing enough.

And then I walk past the gym..packed. I use the tube, packed. I see people milling in groups, walking around without a care in the world. I hear them mention the virus in passing, then gossip about their dating, as if its a mere inconvenience to them.

Am I scared? Not for me, but for those we cant save because the public wont listen. Am I angry? Yes, for those who will be infected due to the ignorance of others.

Us NHS staff dont ask much. We work hard. We put our lives on the line. We miss our children. We exhaust ourselves daily. But we do it because we hope we make a difference. And we ask nothing back except that you trust us. And thats an honour for us.

But this, knowing that the public, that we give so much to, cant even make a temporary change to stop this infection, to help us protect the weak and the frail, its not just depressing, its insulting. And yet,we will be there for you.

We need you to step up. Social distance if you are well, isolate and call 111 if you are not. Break this cycle of ignorance and with it the chain of infection. Help us to help you.

Because I guarantee you, in a few weeks you will all be asking why the doctors didnt do enough, and we will tell you that this wasnt just on us, its on you too.

So please. Help us.

Thank you everyone who is sharing this. X

The response here is incredible.

This tweet is getting a lot of attention. I think it is only fair to point out that the above is not a political statement, but a call to action that is designed to help people. For the record, I wouldnt want to be leading the response to this pandemic

And support those who are advising and using data to help inform us moving forward. To me this is not a time to wax political, but to come together (figuratively, ) to help one and another overcome the challenge of our times.

You can follow @drjanaway.


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