As March 2020 progressed, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown led to a suspension of a number of routine NHS out-patient activities and a call for staff to be moved temporarily to the front-line. Having seen the impact on Wuhan, Italy and Spain, there was speculation as to whether the NHS would cope and how we would react as a nation, both politically and socially to the crisis.
As a clinical geneticist with an interest in familial cancer, this coincided with the end of the 100,000 genome project and a sense that there was an opportunity to ‘do my bit’ by helping on an acute oncology ward at the same time as trying to understand the challenges in driving forward precision medicine. Given my role as an honorary professor in education and outreach, I thought people might be interested in a basic medical scientific approach to explaining what was happening both nationally but also my personal journey back to a clinical ward-based setting after nineteen years. With this in mind I kept a diary for 40 days attempting to explain the daily news and how I was feeling about my new role, whilst self-isolating from my family for six weeks to protect them.
During the forty days I used economics, mathematics, poetry, basic sciences, clinical medicine and psychology to explain our current times and at the same time sharing some of the important lessons I have learnt through my life at home, the college and medicine. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Doctor/Dr-Julian-Barwell-115373416770182/
Dr Julian Barwell MRCP (UK) PhD AFHEA Clinical Geneticist, Academic Champion and Honorary Professor in Cancer Studies at the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology at the University of Leicester CRN Division 3 Clinical Lead for the East Midlands