The Covid-19 Pandemic Articles

Photo credit: ©Stock image –  1707462853 – by Andy Dean Photography

Featured below: In this section of my portfolio, you can click on the Titles or Images to view the Coronavirus articles I have written thus far. 

Covid-19 Chicago Survivor speaks out: “Two months later, and I still feel unwell”

Follow-up on Nurse Taylor: The struggles she faces as pandemic continues to get worse at the Navajo Nation Reservation

American couple change wedding plans amid Coronavirus pandemic

US Woman’s Collegiate Soccer Team undergo quarantine measures after Coronavirus outbreak on team: Soccer Player and Coach speak out

Covid-19 in Russia: Russian English School Administrator speaks out about online schooling measures

Covid-19 in Turkey: English Teacher says ‘kids will continue online learning through the rest of the year’

US Texan Middle School Teacher says online schooling measures ‘have not been effective’ amid pandemic

EXCLUSIVE: US Nurse conducts Covid-19 Contact Tracing at Navajo Nation Reservation

Covid-19 Exclusive: Mexico’s resort photographer speaks out

Indian Orphanage provides Covid-19 relief efforts to more than 10,000 internal migrants

COVID-19: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community assists in pandemic

Covid-19 EXCLUSIVE: Doctor in Brazil assists in pandemic

Covid-19: Turbine Technicians keep the lights on during pandemic

Covid-19: US New Jersey Pharmacist speaks out

Covid-19: Asylum seeker and partner provides acts of kindness for others during pandemic

Covid-19 EXCLUSIVE: Frontline UK Pharmacist reveals his experience

COVID-19 EXCLUSIVE: Frontline NHS Medical Consultant reveals the big picture

Covid-19 pandemic: Life Celebrant spreads light to the grieving

Covid-19 Lockdown: Psychologist reveals impact on mental health & how to cope

Covid-19 EXCLUSIVE: Disabled, vulnerable person speaks out

COVID-19 EXCLUSIVE: American High School Senior Speaks Out

The COVID-19 isolation makes an impact on people’s health and the planet’s conservation

The COVID-19 isolation makes an impact on people’s mental health

COVID-19 EXCLUSIVE: Frontline NHS Medical Consultant reveals the big picture

“Together we need your support – stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

– Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Newly-assigned doctor steps up to the Covid-19 challenge

As hospitals are filled to full capacity all across the UK, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, 31-year-old Dr. Asif Munaf has stepped up to the role as the Frontline NHS Medical Consultant for the Covid-19 Ward(s), which makes him the youngest medical consultant in the UK. Furthermore, he works in acute medicine all across the East Midlands. Dr. Munaf said, “it’s a great source of pride that I was able to step up for a few weeks as a consultant and actually live my dream of seeing my own patients, having my own team behind me.”

The Coronavirus pandemic is now worldwide and has affected many. According to the World Health Organisation “Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.”

Dr. Munaf said his new role entails “looking after a set of patients on a ward, which is specifically assigned to Covid patients, so that’s a 28 bed ward with patients testing predominantly positive for Covid.” With consideration to the fact that a lot of operations have been cancelled, Dr. Munaf said, “this has opened up a lot of wards, due to the pressures of the viral outbreak.”

“I start off my day by seeing my patients early in the morning, making plans for their future treatments, whether or not they need oxygen, steroids, or antibiotics, or whether they should actually step down and go home” – as they have recovered from the Coronavirus.”

– Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Due to the nature and the dangers of Dr. Munaf’s new work environment that he is faced with, he has been placed in a hotel, away from his home and family, so that he doesn’t put his family at risk – his wife and two-year old son. Moreover, Dr. Munaf said this experience has made him realise not to take time spent with his family for granted.

“So for me – it’s made me realise it’s about quality, not quantity. So whenever I do get to see my family, it’s very rare and precious to me. So I make sure that my phone’s off, my notifications are off, and I’m fully in the moment.”

– Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Featured: Family-man and doctor Asif Munaf with his wife and two-year old son

Video featured below: NHS Medical Consultant Dr. Asif Munaf tells more of his new assigned role, what his new role means to him as he also has a minority ethnic background, what he experiences while on duty in the Coronavirus wards, and how this has affected his family – his wife and two-year old son.

Behind the scenes of the Covid-19 Ward

Dr. Asif Munaf said, he and his team had no idea how big this outbreak was going to be so big. He said, “when we heard about this pandemic coming from Wuhan, we thought it would be 10 cases in the UK and that’s it. People who travelled from China recently. We didn’t think it would be all 50,000 cases with 10,000 deaths. We never really anticipated daily of patients coming in April, which is usually a good month.” Furthermore, Dr. Munaf expanded on his new role and how it has been a challenge:

“Every day’s a different challenge. The one thing I’m noticing is that patients are most certainly much more unwell than we initially thought, so patients have a tendency to really get unwell over night.”

– Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Dr. Asif Munaf said this is unlike any experience a doctor can go though. His daily routine, as a doctor, has changed significantly since he took on the role as the Medical Consultant and he is finding it challenging to comfort his Covid-19 patients, as opposed to his previous patients, because they are alone and their families are not allowed to be with them. This has has added a whole new dynamic to a patient being in ITU  (intensive care unit).

 “I think day-to-day, the reason why patients are coming in is because they have self-isolated for two weeks and they haven’t got any better.

So there’s a real fear there – they’ll ask me, ‘Am I going to die doctor, What’s going to happen to me, What’s going to happen to our families, Can my family come visit?’

It’s a fear that’s never been there before.”

 Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

As Dr. Munaf makes his rounds in the Covid-19 Ward, its so hard for him to see so many of his patients in such distress. Thus, he constantly has to make decisions that are not easy.

“There have been some tough decisions and as a doctor you have to bear in mind the patient’s clinical picture. So for me, just a couple of weeks ago when I first started, the decision was whether to make a patient – end of life – meaning he or she can’t actually go beyond level one and care in other wards.”

Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

The use of CPAP machines to treat the Coronavirus

Dr. Munaf said, many nurses have had to be relocated to the Covid-19 ward(s). Most of these nurses are only surgically trained – looking after drains and post operative problems such as hip replacements; therefore, upon the nurses getting moved into the Covid-19 ward, they have had to get retrained in order to be able to use the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines.

“CPAP Machines” by A.Currell is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

“So for nurses to get trained on CPAP machines, it has been quite a life changing experience.  The medical nurses, the ones that actually dealt with respirattory problems – asthma, bronchitius, they already knew how to use CPAP machines and how to use the settings. But the new nurses, surgical nurses, because operations have been cancelled, they have been reassigned to Covid wards and have been retrained on CPAP use.”

Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

According to the NHS, “a CPAP is the preferred form of non-invasive ventilatory support in the management of the hypoxaemic COVID-19 patient. Its use does not replace invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), but early application may provide a bridge to IMV.” Furthermore, Dr. Munaf said, he has had to make difficult decisions with regards to the use CPAP machines.

“Difficult decisions for me have been bad because my ward is what we call a level one to level two ward – meaning level one normal medical ward and level two  some of the patients usually 3 or 4 of 28 patients are having CPAP so that’s – continuous positive airway pressure. Tight fitting mask, delivering high full oxygen so that’s level 2 care, level 3 care is ITU (intensive treatment unit). So for me, the decisions primarily have revolved around making decisions for who is kind of age level.”

Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Doctors mental health

As this pandemic continues, doctors work together as a team and look out for one another. Dr. Munaf said, his colleagues are continuously checking in on each other to make sure they are holding up well during this pandemic and there have been psychiatry professionals reaching out to him and his colleagues.

“I think as doctors and nurses you know we’ve come together. We’re constantly messaging each other – asking ‘how are you doing, do you want time off, how are you feeling about work.’ We’ve had allied health professionals help us out as well. So I’ve had a lot of messages from psychiatrist or psychologist that said, ‘Dr. Munaf if you want any free CBT let me know or if you need PTSD support’. So that’s been very good.”

Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

Video featured below: NHS Doctor Consultant Dr. Asif Munaf tells more of what he experiences day-to-day as patients are testing positive for Covid, what are the difficult decisions he has had to make as a doctor, the shortage of PPE and CPAP machines, nurses getting trained to use the CPAP machines, how has the medical staff been able to manage their stress levels, and what type of things has he learned going through this pandemic.

Dr. Asif Munaf offers the public a message of hope:

“First off I think 2020 will be bad, very bad, but the second half will hopefully be, fingers-crossed, better. Please follow government guidelines on being at home and going out for essentials – and that’s on rare occasion.

Please minimise your shopping trips and if you are out please respect the social distancing guidelines on two metres when you are shopping. Together we need your support – stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

Dr. Asif Munaf, NHS Medical Consultant

👇🏻 Watch Video below to hear more from Dr. Asif Munaf on his message of hope to the public during the Coronavirus pandemic👇🏻

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