Critical Care with Covid-19: The Cost of Christmas

Kat Hargraves
3 min readNov 26, 2020
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Just because it isn't illegal to meet your family at Christmas doesn't make it a good idea.

Covid is really contagious. Much more so than flu. So let's assume if you are in prolonged close contact and one of you has it, it will spread. The question becomes could you have it and not know? How certain are you? Let's not forget you could have it and be totally asymptomatic. Would you stake your life on it? Would you stake your families lives?

Because that's what it comes down to. Short term gain and long term loss. Maybe not for your family, you might be lucky and get away with it, but for someone.

The thing that stops this virus is stopping human contact. That's what it needs to spread. That's why the first lockdown worked. It was much stricter, people followed the rules more carefully and contact between people was much reduced. Then we came out of lockdown, relaxed, mixed more and cases started to rise. It's not complicated.

The part that complicates things is the government trying to protect the economy, and establish to what extent we can keep society open. The last tier system appears not to be strict enough, because we wound up back in lockdown.

My point being, if we relax and allow contact between people, there will be an inevitable rise in cases. There's no avoiding that. And you don't know who will get it. Could be someone you love, might be no-one you know. But there will be a price to pay. Our actions have consequences.

Christmas, much as we love to share it, can be enjoyed as a single household, or shared remotely. It won’t be the same. Nothing this year has been normal. But if you have a lovely Christmas this year and then those people aren’t with you the next, was it worth it?

Or can you grit your teeth, deal with one less than perfect year and wait it out for a vaccine.

It's particularly frustrating for those of us in healthcare. The general public hear 'protect our NHS' so often now that I think we forget what it means. We want to stop the NHS being overrun because people will die. Not just people with Covid but people waiting to access our normal services. Death is a very abstract concept for a lot of people. For us, we're literally watching people die. Despite all our best efforts. Our Covid patients are with us a long time, they seem to plateau for at least a week before they either improve or don't. So we get very familiar with them and their families before we lose them.

Of all our Covid patients admitted this peak, to date, just three have been discharged alive.

We don't want to watch more people die. Stay apart this Christmas. Protect each other.



Kat Hargraves

Critical Care Sister, MSc Advanced Practice, Really not a morning person.