Public have "very important role to play" in preventing second wave, says medical expert

20 July 2020, 13:20

By Seán Hickey

This medical expert told James O'Brien that if the public follow "straightforward" coronavirus guidelines, we can avoid a second wave.

Professor Carrie MacEwen, the Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges was speaking to James O'Brien in a gentle reminder of hygiene and social distancing practices to help avoid a second wave.

James referenced a "passionate antipathy towards face coverings" in British society which he was speaking to callers about all morning. He asked Professor MacEwen if she had "any idea where this might have come from?" She didn't have a clue.

She told James that what the British public are being asked to do "really is very straightforward" and she couldn't understand why some corners of the public were finding it hard to abide by the rules.

"We just need to make sure we obey the social distancing" the medical expert said, reminding listeners of early measures the government put in place such as frequent and thorough hand washing and staying home if you display symptoms of coronavirus.

"If we do these things, which as you say, aren't really that difficult, then we will help to prevent a second surge which would be extremely worrying for all of us."

Professor MacEwen said that obeying government regulations will help prevent a second wave
Professor MacEwen said that obeying government regulations will help prevent a second wave. Picture: PA

James went on to state that "there is a sense that people aren't alarmed enough even though we've buried more people than almost any other country on the planet" yet Professor MacEwen insisted that health professionals aren't trying to scare people.

"We don't really want people to be alarmed or frightened" she said. "We want them to recognise what the problem is and recognise what they can do to to help this."

She said that people that have been less concerned for the risks of the virus need to recognise that "behaving in a way that isn't being responsible is actually going to impact" friends and family of theirs who are more at risk.

"It is reasonable to think of the rest of the population and how our behaviours might impact on them too."

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James went back to the subject of face masks and wondered if it's a fair assumption to make that "the sooner we actually get on top of this...the sooner you'll be able to go shopping without the face mask" and people should look at the request to wear a mask as a means to a better end.

"That is the message we want to give" Professor MacEwen stated, adding that "We need to try and make sure that we're all on this journey together."