Opinion: Should the health authorities be more accepting of new information which may help?

Jessica Learmond-Criqui wants more collaborative advice on coronavirus.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui wants more collaborative advice on coronavirus. - Credit: Archant

We have a lot on our minds these days.

But in all the guidance and rules coming out of Whitehall, I don’t see any information about how to keep ourselves well and to help our bodies to fight this virus. What is clear is that unless a vaccine becomes available soon, we are all likely to get this bug and have to fight it.

We have been told that Covid-19 may cause coughs, headaches, a temperature and could result in breathlessness at days seven - nine when serious cases may need ventilators. So, why are our experts not providing advice on how to prepare for days seven - nine at home?

The government guidance merely advises to take paracetamol and to stay home for seven days.

Surely advice to take vitamins or to eat fruit which contains the vitamins could benefit many?

What about doing breathing exercises before we get the virus?

Many people are asking the question “what can be done around day eight or nine to alleviate the breathless/respiratory issues and avoid getting into further issues or complications at home?”

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What can they be told officially if they can’t get to a hospital or a ventilator? People are dying alone and in ignorance as there is no official guidance.

Our experts are scrambling to understand the virus. But they don’t all agree. Studies have shown that a third to two thirds of Covid-19 patients reported a loss of smell and taste. Yet, Public Health England (PHE) rejected this information and said that the symptoms are “too subjective” to be included in their guidance.

So, people who have a loss of smell and taste, but no other symptoms, are left walking around spreading the virus because the PHE has decided the symptoms are “too subjective”. Everyone’s assessment is subjective right now as no one knows enough.

What determines or should determine when one expert disagrees with another expert? What gives PHE the right to ignore the Royal Society of Surgeons’ ENT UK’s (ENT UK’s (ear, nose and throat specialists) warning? Should PHE be more accepting of new information which may help? I suggest that they should.

There is much that we don’t know but when we learn that our government has passed up the opportunity to join an EU ventilator procurement exercise because the prime minister thinks “we were no longer part of Europe”, you wonder if this is an administration which you would trust with your life.

We may have to face this bug sometime so it will be important to face it with helpful official guidance and if not, to find helpful information for ourselves.