Update from the Medical Practice
As you all know, this week has seen the first steps into Phase 1 of the unlocking of the Covid-19 lockdown in Scotland. These first changes give people a bit more freedom to exercise, enjoy some recreational activities and meet up socially outdoors at a safe distance. The Scottish Government website has a series of documents explaining what you can do and what you should avoid doing.
Important amongst these recommendations is that we use judgement in assessing the safety of sporting activities. A range of specific sporting bodies have issued information and a common thread in these documents is to bear in mind your own ability and experience.
What will be a risky activity for one person might be an everyday activity for another and we simply echo the advice of the Government and ask you to use your judgement.
Also keep in mind that remaining active is going to be important for us all, as we find our way through this long challenge. Having this greater freedom does come with the risk that we might let our guard down and be less rigorous about distancing.
It is vital that in enjoying these greater freedoms, we don’t do that. We must keep in mind that a person can be passing Covid-19 on soon after catching it, before developing symptoms and a substantial minority of people with Covid-19 have no symptoms at all. Distancing remains as vital as ever for us all.
For the moment, there is no reduction in the restrictions on travel and people should only be travelling to or from the island if their journey is essential. Again, the guidance document listed above gives a good explanation of what is essential. We would like to thank Tiree Community Development Trust for their summary document issued by SMS and published on their website
This excellent summary gives a clear explanation of where we currently stand in phase 1 of the unlock and how things are planned to progress, depending on how the covid-19 situation develops over the coming weeks. There remains a great deal of uncertainly as to when people will be allowed to return for non-essential travel to the island.
These are matters of government policy and not something which is decided on at a local level. What is certain though, it that we all need to keep on top of social distancing measures and that is going to remain vital however the unlock proceeds.
An unfortunate reality is that at least for now, the unlock doesn’t offer any respite to those ‘shielding’ or isolating due to being at very high risk. We are very aware of the strain on this group of people, despite all the support available from the amazing volunteers and professionals in TAIC and other organisations.
We would really like to know if there is more the Medical Practice can do, or if there are things we could be doing differently to help. We are also aware that some people in this group are finding ways to get a break from looking at their four walls, whilst staying isolated. We will not criticise you for bending the rules. They are there for your protection and you should not feel like a prisoner. We will be happy to hear from you if you want some advice about what to do or not do.
You will have also seen in the media that the ‘Test and Protect’ programme is being rolled out across the country. For the moment, the testing offered by this programme is not available here, but the surgery still has direct access to testing. As we have said previously, we would like anybody with symptoms of a new cough, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell to contact us at the surgery and we will organise a test. As the national programme of test and protect reaches us, the system might change, but for the moment, please continue to call us at the surgery.
The challenges which this virus places upon Tiree as a community may change in the coming weeks and months, but it is the determination and strength of the community which will carry us through it.
We thank you all for your continued efforts.
Tiree Medical Practice