The relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown regulations is raising a lot of questions, both for doctors and for patients. This week, we discuss how the lack of clarity and coherence in public health messages over the past few months has caused anxiety and confusion for our patients, especially those who have been told to shield. We talk about GPs tailoring shielding advice to suit the individuals they treat, the politicisation of mask wearing, and the flaws of ‘abstinence-only’ health messaging. How do we balance prompting overall health, rather than just working to prevent disease, and how do we start taking baby steps towards returning to normality?
Julia Marcus is an infectious disease epidemiologist and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Population Medicine . She is also an HIV researcher.
Carol Liddle, a COPD patient, is a patient advocate on the panel for NACAP (National asthma and COPD audit), as well as a patient representative for the Taskforce for Lung Health, which is run by the British Lung Foundation.
Tom, Navjoyt and Jenny mentioned some resources they have found useful while looking at racism in medicine - which we have compiled into this document https://bit.ly/DBIRacismResources