Here at OK! we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone working for the NHS, and putting themselves at risk for us all during this difficult time. One of the people working on the frontline is A&E doctor Alex George.
The 30 year old found fame on Love Island in 2018, but has since returned back to his original career. He is now using his voice to inform us all on what to do to ensure we beat the coronavirus.
Here, the star tells us how girlfriend Amelia feels about his job, why he thinks the lockdown is needed and what we can do to help everyone…
Firstly, thank you for all you’re doing…
Thank you for saying that. I work part-time in between my other commitments, but I have been ramping up my shifts so I can do as much as I can to help.
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What is the atmosphere like on the ward?
Everyone’s aware that we need to roll up our sleeves and do our best – this is why I trained to be a doctor. At the moment we’re doing well, but we’re seeing an increase in pressure and we’re expecting that to continually increase.
Did you ever think something like this would happen?
Even five weeks ago, I would never have imagined we’d have been in this situation. It’s pretty scary, but at the same time we’re a resilient nation.
We’ll get through this as we have a really great healthcare system but everyone has to do their part.
Do you feel nervous when you have to go in for your shifts?
I think everyone’s cautious, but that’s a good thing as it makes you more careful. Ultimately we are at greater risk as we are on the frontline but we are using masks, and washing our hands to keep safe.
Do you think the government is currently doing enough?
In fairness, the government is doing as much as it can. One thing I will say is we’ve had underfunding of NHS and staff shortages for years, and it’s all very well providing money, but you can’t train people overnight.
It’s taken 10 years to get to where I am now as a junior doctor, and it’s 20 years to become a consultant. It’s not as simple as a quick fix. I think, with what they’re able to do, they’re doing their best.
What can we do to help?
The most important thing you can do is to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, stay at home as the government has instructed and keep two metres of social distance when you need to be outdoors.
How do you feel about the lockdown?
Before the lockdown I saw pictures of people doing things like having parties in the park, which was frustrating. I think some people can’t see the problem for themselves so don’t think it’s happening, but you have to take my word for it and people on the frontline – this is a real serious emergency situation.
It’s a national crisis. It’s not just the elderly and vulnerable struggling, there are young people in intensive care. It’s much less likely, but it’s happening. The lockdown is in our best interests. We have to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe. The sooner we get over this, the sooner the economy and our liberties can come back.
You recently tweeted that hospital car parks should be free for NHS workers…
People have been asked to put themselves at risk on the frontline, and they were then being charged for parking. That wasn’t right, and it’s nice that people agreed. The government listened to us.
It shows that when people get together on social media, it can make change. It’s something that should have changed a long time ago.
Some people have been using their platforms to give advice when they don’t actually have any understanding or a medical background. For example, there’s no evidence that putting a face mask on is helpful. All that’s happening there is that companies are making money off people’s worries. I don’t like that.
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Do you have any advice for what we can do to entertain ourselves at home?
I think having a routine is important because this is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve been trying to read, have regular mealtimes and I’ve been getting out for half an hour for a walk in the park with no one anywhere near me.
Just having a little bit space to walk around and clear my head is so important for my mental health.
Does your girlfriend Amelia worry about you?
Yeah – she’s in Bournemouth and I’m staying in London for work. She is worried about it all but I think everyone’s a bit concerned.
We’ve been using FaceTime a lot, at least once a day. I need to make sure I’m doing that otherwise you do get lonely.
When do you think this will all be over?
That is the million dollar question, and the honest answer is we don’t really know.
I think we’re at least a few months away from the peak, and then the question is how long do we stay at the peak? Realistically, it’s going to be several months yet.
My hope is that this is all going to settle back down before winter, but I don’t know if that’s me being optimistic.
For more information and advice subscribe to his YouTube channel: Dr Alex George
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