ORCID

Abstract

Over the space of a few months virtually everything we know has been turned on its head. In Wuhan (China) during the closing months of 2019 a spillover event occurred in which the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was transferred from its animal host population into humans 1, 2. Spread mainly by respiratory droplets, the virus has a basic reproduction number (R0) of between 2-6 in an unprotected population making it more contagious than influenza, but considerably less so than measles. As SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread across the planet, aided by our love of intercontinental travel, the local market outbreak of a mystery respiratory illness became a global pandemic of unimaginable proportions 3. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the illness that occurs in humans as a result of infection with SARS-CoV-2, has dominated the news for most of 2020 to date, and transformed the way in which we live, work, socialise, shop, exercise and communicate. In addition to this, it has placed intensive care medicine at the very centre of healthcare planning in the future, as the pandemic highlighted the weakness in our local, regional and national systems for dealing with crisis of this magnitude. The herculean efforts seen in intensive care units (ICUs) around the world is a testament to the dedication of those in our specialty and those who came to support us in our hour of need. However, for many of us, the situation was (and may still be) overwhelming and unsustainable; none of us would be eager to 2 return to it in a hurry. Once we have all taken a well-earned break, we need to brace ourselves for whatever lies ahead, equipped with the knowledge and experiences gained in during this pandemic.

DOI

10.1177/1751143720937957

Publication Date

2020-06-15

Publication Title

Journal of the Intensive Care Society

Volume

21

Issue

3

First Page

195

Last Page

197

ISSN

1751-1437

Embargo Period

2020-10-01

Organisational Unit

Peninsula Medical School

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