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Let’s face 2021 with courage, creativity – and non-steamy eyewear

COVID-19 has tested nurses, but our ‘can-do’ spirit will see us through the days ahead

COVID-19 has tested nurses, but our can-do spirit will see us through the days ahead

Do you mind if I nag you? I asked our young builder, explaining that since retiring I have missed pointing out to people the error of their ways; its been tough.

As soon as I mentioned I had been an eye nurse, he braced himself for the inevitable. He had been drilling a deep trench in our kitchen floor to get to the pipework, without wearing safety goggles.

Weighing up the benefits of safety goggles

There was so much dust and debris flying around that even my eyes were sore and I was keeping my distance, so he must have been at considerable

COVID-19 has tested nurses, but our ‘can-do’ spirit will see us through the days ahead

Picture: iStock

‘Do you mind if I nag you?’ I asked our young builder, explaining that since retiring I have missed pointing out to people the error of their ways; it’s been tough.

As soon as I mentioned I had been an eye nurse, he braced himself for the inevitable. He had been drilling a deep trench in our kitchen floor to get to the pipework, without wearing safety goggles.

Weighing up the benefits of safety goggles

There was so much dust and debris flying around that even my eyes were sore – and I was keeping my distance, so he must have been at considerable risk of trauma.

His workmates joined in the conversation, telling me about the damage their eyes had sustained over the years and how many times they had been to casualty. The worse thing is the telling off from the nurses, they all agreed.

‘If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our entrepreneurs can rise to a challenge, whether practical or intellectual’

I was about to splutter that the wearing of protective eyewear should be enshrined in law, as is the case with seat belts, when they put me in the picture. The goggles steam up, they explained, and when you are wielding an electric drill, the last thing you want to do is hit a pipe or, even worse, an electric cable.

When the alternative to sustaining corneal injury is sudden death, it’s a no-brainer.

Surely steam-free personal protective equipment can be arranged

They had my sympathy. All of us who wear glasses know about steaming up in these days of mask wearing. But surely it’s not beyond the wit of man to overcome this?

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our entrepreneurs can rise to a challenge, whether practical or intellectual. Yet again, necessity has proved to be the mother of invention.

For so many of us, this new year will have been like no other. No Auld Lang Syne, no fireworks, no fizz with friends at midnight – unless it’s on Zoom. No ‘welcome’ on the mat for 2021; we are all still reeling from 2020.

There may now be light at the end of the tunnel as far as coronavirus is concerned, but the journey is still dark and the way is strewn with hazards, with our country still riven with uncertainty and division.

Creativity and invention saw us through the year

But nurses have always looked difficulties in the eye and got on with making things better, whatever the circumstances. We are ‘can-do’ people who collaborate and encourage. The creativity of NHS staff and scientists was boundless in 2020, something we should celebrate and emulate.

So let’s not dread the coming year, let’s embrace this courageous spirit as we face the future. Getting hold of some non-steamy goggles would be a good start.


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