Now I understand the level of concern after the media reports on the alarming rate of infection of the coronavirus. I have seen the news reports and of course I’ve been emailing all of my friends who live over in China to check how they are.
But we are struggling at work here in London. We have long queues at the surgery, and half of those waiting to see us just want to know where they can obtain surgical masks. The demand here in England is not usually very high. You don’t often see people wearing them. Suddenly, lots of people want them. They are anxious.
We have tried to obtain surgical masks for the practice and we cannot. Not for love nor money can we get hold of any! We have been told that many of the large pharmacy chains cannot order them. Some of the independent pharmacies seem to have had the foresight to stock them, however the demand has been greater than anticipated, so they have depleted their stocks.
We were told to direct patients to Amazon. But we looked on Amazon and the Fortuna surgical masks that have been recommended were showing as only available at the end of February.
In the meantime our patients are anxious. Most of them are either planning to travel to South East Asia or wish to send masks over to family who live in lands with restrictions and cannot buy face masks in their area. We are discussing hand washing good hygiene with patients who are anxious, but we don’t know what to say with regards to facemasks.