I rise early as I am part of the HSE’s national COVID-19 Public Health team. At the moment the children are doing school work from home, eliminating the usual morning rush. If I have to travel to Dublin, I catch up with paperwork and emails on the train.
I have a new national role in the implementation of the National Case Management Programme and my new office is a quick stroll from Heuston Station. While I’m currently working remotely as much as possible, I travel to Dublin for meetings as we continue to plan for the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
I’m careful to wash my hands, frequently, and keep my distance, on the train and at work. Some of the morning is taken approving content for the hse.ie/coronavirus website, the trusted and factual source for all public health information about the virus.
At some stage I will have a quick sandwich and a coffee.
I have meetings, either in person, maintaining the two metre rule, or via teleconference, about our new Contact Management Programme.
It’s designed to enable contact tracing on the large scale required by this outbreak.
I continue to work with public health colleagues in reinforcing and communicating key public health messages: proper handwashing and physical distancing, what steps to take if you have symptoms and how to self isolate.
I am a spokesperson on how to protect public health during this pandemic. This has meant many media interviews, including two recent appearances on the Late Late Show .
I participate in weekly press briefings about COVID-19. This is a new aspect of the job but an important one in giving correct public health advice.
If I’ve been travelling for work I get home, wash my hands the minute I get in, and sit down to dinner.
I chat with my family and try to get out for a walk later when there are fewer people about. On my return, I wash hands, and go to the laptop for the latest COVID-19 updates.
I get to bed early, so I am ready for the day ahead. If we all wash our hands, protect vulnerable people by physical distancing and follow the advice on what to do if we develop symptoms of COVID-19, we can help to flatten the curve and save lives.
Dr Sarah Coyle, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, HSE