a59dc453bae94906a51f684cd2fa5d67The patient arrived at 15:00. “I can’t breathe.”

It was a public holiday. One doctor was attending to a run of gunshot wounds in the non-Covid emergency centre. A second young doctor was left in the “flu” clinic with dozens of possible Covid patients, most of them mild. A cough. A sore throat. No taste. Most of them fine.

“I can’t breathe.” An elderly gentleman was dropped off by his family at 15:00. No, they cannot come in; there’s a virus. Short of breath, sugar high. He didn’t remember his phone number. The nurse put him on oxygen and gave him insulin. She booked an ambulance for the hospital, helped him lie down on an examination bed in the consultation room turned temporary Covid ward and gave him a sheet. It’s all they had…..more