As Covid-19 strikes South-west Scotland, Dumfries medic calls for lifting of restrictions

Perhaps just a victim of bad timing, Prof Chris Isles of Dumfries and Galloway, speaking yesterday on Good Morning Scotland, called for lock-down restrictions to be lifted in areas such as his:

We have had no new Covid positive cases throughout the region for the last eight days, no Covid positive cases in the hospital for the last five days and no Covid positive deaths for the last fortnight.

And, wait for it:

Prof Isles said his area had locked down and waited for a “tsunami of Covid positive admissions” which had not happened.

You’d think Isles would be aware, given his name, of the saying ‘No man is man is an island‘ and perhaps be able to apply the notion to his place of work?

No region next to an infected region is an island?

Why is the name ‘Pennington’ popping up in my mind?

20 thoughts on “As Covid-19 strikes South-west Scotland, Dumfries medic calls for lifting of restrictions”

  1. Actually I think you’re being a bit harsh on him. I suspect that, as you hinted, his comment has been overtaken by events.
    I know Prof Isles slightly and my opinion of him is that he’s a decent bloke.
    I don’t know his politics and nor do I care, but he’s not in the same league as Pennington at all.
    And although he’s semi retired he is still a working physician and, I understand from friends, a respected academic.
    No doubt he’s not perfect, but I think your swipe at him is unfortunate.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I can’t find much apart from medical matters when I search for him. But then I’m not all that adept at searching! I’ve read Ian Kemp’s comment below. I don’t have experience of Prof Isles as a clinician but I do know that in D&G he is respected. I agree with Ian Kemp.


  2. This is, perhaps, how we will learn to live with this virus—until it mutates to innocuous, or we get a vaccine (which I doubt). We will need to judge our journeys with care, keep our distance and be less social.
    “Hi” Jack and Fluffy (along with a borders journalist) have agitated for weeks to get people travelling into Cumbria for work/play. No doubt some people have heeded them.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. At professor continually banged on to us about as experiments are in progress
    And data being produced
    Never ever jump to conclusions
    It is not the score at a moment in time
    That is of relevance

    Liked by 4 people

  4. We just can’t take any chances with this dreadful pandemic, and the Scottish Government are doing the right thing, being very cautious, but it could still be too soon to open places up where many people congregate.

    It seems that a one size fits all, ie, the whole of Scotland following the stated stages of easing the lockdown, is the best policy by far.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. He is a good, fine clinician and my family have much to thank him for. This isn’t the first time he has advocated regional variations in the release of lockdown so I am inclined to the bad timing explanation.
    Also don’t forget that Dumfries and Galloway is about 100 miles wide (roughly a similar distance that Leicester is from London) and Gretna is quite far to the east. A lot can happen in 100 miles


      1. From what I know of him I’d say not. He no doubt has strong opinions, but then what professor doesn’t? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. An attention seeker – not in the conventional sense. In my 30+ years working in and for the NHS, Consultants are prepared to fight their corner by almost any means.
        In my experience he is an excellent clinician (cardiologist) who cares about his patients. Like so many others that work for SNHS his clinics and wards have been closed to make room for Covid patients which, thanks the lock down, never appeared.
        He, I believe, is concerned that the patients he normally sees are suffering and given D&G had, until this cluster appeared, been the least affected mainland Health Board I think his comments are motivated by his frustration that there are empty beds that he could usefully use. This feeling is very common across the Health Service at present and totally understandable,
        I think he just got picked up by the BBC a few weeks ago as it meshed into their general different speeds out of lock down narrative (i.e. couldn’t Scotland go quicker).
        I don’t know him personally, just the grateful father of one of his patients.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘Prof Isles said his area had locked down and waited for a “tsunami of Covid positive admissions” which had not happened.’
    Decent guy or not. The reason we don’t have a tsunami is BECAUSE of the fucking lock down. What is so hard to understand.
    Today i spoke to a man who works on the ferries. He and his wife (who works in holiday cottage industry) are worried about releasing the lock-down. I asked him if his feelings were shared by others and he told me everyone who works on the ferries is worried about it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You write: “The reason we don’t have a tsunami is BECAUSE of the fucking lock down. ” Indeed – why this is so hard for a professor, for a clinician to understand I do not know.

      I suspect every medic across the world that has seen treatment of patients in their specialist area stopped or delayed is ‘frustrated’. A clinician in Dumfries and Galloway will hardly be exceptional in this.

      So is this individual clinician speaking to complain about the situation in D&G or the situation facing medics in secondary care everywhere?

      I also assume that more than hospital/s in D&G ‘waited for a tsunami’. Indeed as we know many/all took precautionary measures just in case of one – Nightingale hospitals throughout England is a notable example which weren’t needed (so far). So should actions on lockdown and to establish new temporary hospitals NOT have been taken because, as it’s turned out, there was no tsunami, at least according to the professor?

      Frustration is no excuse for a professional displaying an absence of logic – or using over-developed ‘hindsight’: when doing so in the press and with the use of one’s professorial ‘authority’, then a critical response is fair game.

      The fact that the comments have been ‘over-taken by events’ is incidental to the core of the press comments although indeed in terms of timing, let’s just say it is ‘unfortunate’ !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Coming out of lockdown early has been a live issue debated in NHSD&G since at least 14th May so perhaps the perception of hindsight is from those who have only just become aware of that debate.
        As I have said previously his presumed frustration is felt widely across the NHS and I also large parts of the world. I where case numbers were/are high then there would not have been the sight of large numbers of unoccupied beds to prompt a reaction. It is rarely possible for an individual to change the whole world view overnight, one fights ones battles as they present themselves.
        I personally feel he is wrong, the authorities in D&G also took that view but that shouldn’t lead us to condemn somebody for fighting their corner especially when it has a presumably humanitarian objective.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ian, Thank you for your informed local contributions to this thread.
        I do not recall you having participated in the past, but you have added value in this thread. I hope you will continue to participate and to comment on matters furth of D&G, too.


      3. Alternatively, the explanation for the lack of tsunami is that the coronavirus had already passed through the population – see Professor Sunetra Gupta’s model
        Have you seen the reports of the virus being discovered in sewage dating from October/November 2019 in France/Italy?

        The UK government went with the Imperial College model with its prediction of a tsunami of cases.


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