Covid-19 EXCLUSIVE: Frontline UK Pharmacist reveals his experience

“Even though there are stresses and a lot of reliance on the pharmacists, knowing that we are doing something positive in these extremely difficult times is great and helps me keep it together.”
– Pharmacist Adil Bhaloda

“PHARMACY” by ckeech is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Pharmacists face the Frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic

The UK Government stated that pharmacists are deemed as essential workers as they are serving at the Frontlines for the Coronavirus pandemic.

With consideration to the fact that the Coronavirus is such a dangerous disease, every pharmacy across the UK has imposed a rule to their customers who come to the pharmacies – only one person is allowed into the pharmacy at a time in order to best protect each pharmacist that is working during this pandemic. The other customers are to wait outside while also abiding by the social distancing two metre (6 ft.)  rule.

“One at a Time” by michael_swan is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

About Pharmacist Adil Bhaloda:

According to Prescription Doctor Adil Bhaloda –  a Clinical Lead Pharmacist – Mr. Bhaloda “previously worked as a pharmacy manager for a number of branches, overlooking the pharmacy staff and helping the local community get the treatment they need for previously diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions.”

At Prescription Doctor, Mr. Bhaloda also “enables his pharmacy to safely prescribe medications they offer through their online service. He oversees that the prescriptions are dispensed safely, in accordance to the UK pharmacy’s procedures and protocols.”

Pharmacist Adil Bhaloda reveals his experience about the Covid-19 pandemic

via GIPHY 

Pharmacist Adil Bhaloda spoke with me and answered 9 questions I had for him about his experience while he is working during the Covid-19 pandemic as a pharmacist.

1 Journo Jess: “Since measures have been put in place to protect the safety of pharmacists – for example social distancing – how have you been able to manage safety measures while working in your current environment with your colleagues and your customers?”

“Wearing the right equipment and maintaining social distancing where I can, I can still keep up with my duties. Any prescriptions that customers would have normally picked up are now being sent to them to ensure their safety.”

– Adil Bhaloda

2  Journo Jess: “I know there are restrictions that have been imposed on customers in that there is only one person allowed in the pharmacy at a time, has this been an effective measure?”

“This has been moderately effective as these measures keep everyone involved safe. However, it can be a struggle if someone is unable to come to the pharmacy alone. Then this usually results in someone coming on behalf of them, but this can still be problematic.”

Why is this problematic? – “if a patient is unsure what medication they need and we aren’t able to assess their symptoms. We can give them medicine based on the symptoms described, but that isn’t always ideal. Additionally, the person picking up the medication may not be aware of what the patient is already taking.”

– Adil Bhaloda

3  Journo Jess: “This is obviously a stressful time for everyone, have customers been corporative when visiting the pharmacy by following the guidelines that have been put in place?”

“Absolutely. They understand that most people who come to the pharmacy will be vulnerable and do               whatever they can to not impact                                                  them more.”

– Adil Bhaloda

4 Journo Jess: “Obviously, it has to be an extremely stressful time working as a pharmacist during this pandemic, have you been able to keep your mental health at bay while you are working?”

” It’s been tough at times, but it’s best to change the way you think about it. Even though there are stresses and a lot of reliance on the pharmacists, knowing that we are doing something positive in these extremely difficult times is great and helps me keep it together.”

– Adil Bhaloda

5  Journo Jess: “While this has been a challenging time to work in the pharmacy industry during this pandemic, have you and your colleagues been able to work together effectively?”

“We have had to make some changes to the way we do things, but we are running as efficiently as we are able.”

– Adil Bhaloda

6 Journo Jess: “The government has given priority to all essential workers, including pharmacists, giving them priority access to get tested for the Coronavirus if they should need it. Have either you or any of your colleagues been required to or have needed to get tested for the Coronavirus?”

“None of us have been required to be tested, but a few took a test after a few weeks as a precaution. With the number of people entering the pharmacy each day, they don’t want to take the risk and pass it onto those more vulnerable.”

– Adil Bhaloda

7 Journo Jess: “While working at the Frontlines of this pandemic, one can only assume that you might have fears of coming in contact with someone who may have the Coronavirus. Did you fear the possibility of contracting the Coronavirus while on duty?”

“I did. A lot of people enter the pharmacy with some of the symptoms, so it’s hard to just ignore it. It’s best to be cautious.”

– Adil Bhaloda

8  Journo Jess: “The government says they are trying their best to support every essential worker with any support they can for those who are putting their lives at risk to keep the economy running and to provide medical attention to those who are in need. What type of support have you gotten from the government during this pandemic?”

“We have been provided with some protective equipment, as well as offering assistance for medicines and prescriptions to be delivered to patients.”

– Adil Bhaloda

9 Journo Jess: “As every essential worker has a loved one that is worrisome of them working in these dangerous conditions of this pandemic, how has this situation affected your family?”

 “They’re worried for both their well-being as well as mine. Knowing that I could be exposed to people affected by COVID-19 is very worrying, but knowing I am taking the precautions I can there’s not much that can be done to ease their worries.”

– Adil Bhaloda

Pharmacist – Adil Bhaloda – offers a message to the public of the reality that we will face as we progress towards getting closer to the lockdown being lifted. Here is what he had to say:

“Stay safe and be extremely careful. If the lockdown is lifted, this doesn’t mean everything returns to normal. Once a vaccine is developed, tested, and distributed is when all worries about the virus will go away. Make sure you follow the guidelines as strictly as you can for your sake as well as those around you.”

– Adil Bhaloda

By Jessica Quinlan, Freelance Journalist Updated March 16, 2020
By Jessica Noel Quinlan, Freelance Journalist                                                                     Updated 8 May 2020

%d bloggers like this: