Residents of Nottingham with the rest of the UK have been ordered to stay indoors. In a bid to slow the spread of the virus and save lives, Boris Johnson announced new, stricter measures to keep people at home.

However, to save lives requires hands-on action and a great deal of responsibility from all parties concerned, in this case, every single person but the pressure is on key workers.

These “human forces” experience daily challenges in their professions but now more so with the Coronavirus pandemic. But these heroes fight on.

Consultant physician at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, Nandini Seevaratnam is one such key worker who shared her views of being on the frontline and how COVID-19 affects her professionally and personally.

Audio: QMC Consultant Physician Nandini Seevaratnam

Ms Seevaratnam who works mostly with vulnerable elderly, said one of the things that could not be predicted was the workload and being expected to work long hours but, at the same time, she was grateful for the support of the community as a whole during these times of uncertainty.

“This is clearly unprecedented because we haven’t had a pandemic quite like this, certainly not in my lifetime”, she said.

As yet Nottingham had not had huge numbers coming into the hospital but they were expecting this to happen in the next couple of days.

Her other concern is that being out there is not just a risk to herself but also passing the virus on to family members and other colleagues.

Nandini Seevaratnam

Those required to run the Justice system are also identified as key workers. Nigel Smith, a solicitor with Paragon Law is an intermittent key worker, and said their biggest challenge at this stage was dealing with multiple agencies and organisations including the courts and tribunal services who were responding to measures slowly without clarity.

This made it difficult to properly advise clients and prepare for numerous deadlines in terms of courts and application dates with the Home Office.

Mr Smith says; “there are serious consequences that we could face if we fail to meet certain deadlines”.

His office has scaled down from 25 staff members to three a day, to adhere to social distancing but they are all still working because people’s legal futures depend on it.

Audio: Nigel Smith, solicitor

Ms Seevaratnam and Mr Smith are two of millions of essential workers in Nottingham and around the world who daily put the needs of others first and provide life changing services. Adhering strictly to the measures imposed by the government is the best way to slow down and stop the spreading of this deadly virus.

The four main reasons to leave your homes are:

  • for providing any medical care or help a vulnerable person
  • shopping for basic necessities only as the need arise
  • one form of exercise a day – (a run, walk, or cycle) – alone or with members of your household
  • travelling to and from work, which now only applies to key workers

A list of key workers released by the government including advice on what you need to do to stay safe while in isolation, or experiencing flu-like symptoms which might be COVID-19 can be obtained on the website.