4 May 2020

The lockdown locum life

Join Hassnain Safdar MCOptom, a Locum based in the East Midlands, as he navigates through his new 'normal' during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The locum life in lockdown… who’d have ever thought!? 

“From busy weeks travelling around the East Midlands covering clinics in high street practices, to staying within the same four walls of extreme familiarity - life at home is the new norm. 

“As a locum, I’m in total control of when and where I’d like to work. With routine eye exams cancelled and a significant downturn in business due to COVID-19, I, along with many other locums have been left with little or no work. 

“This has increased concerns for my financial position and raised questions as to whether there will be work post-pandemic. I remain optimistic that things will slowly return back to normal in the not-too-distant future, as the same routine patients who have been advised not to attend, will need to be seen.

“With gyms and restaurants closed and social gatherings banned, we’ve been forced to navigate through this pandemic while trying to maintain some normality of daily life. Not forgetting the numerous day-to-day updates which highlight the severity of this current health crisis. It’s safe to say the first few weeks were quite depressing. After accepting this new way of life, my daily challenge has been occupying myself with things to take my mind off the COVID-19 crisis. For me, this has meant spending more time than ever with family, facetiming friends, going out for a daily run and setting new time goals, working out in my living room, and investing in some basic home-gym equipment! I must admit, I haven’t taken the brave decision to have a haircut at home… not yet anyway! Maybe the lockdown look might be the new trend post-pandemic?!

“I’ve been keeping myself busy with attaining CET points through online webinars, and taking part in the occasional virtual meeting as part of my roles with the College and LOC. I must say, it’s been a great way to keep things running as smoothly as possible so we can resume activity swiftly once we’re back to normal.

“On another note, currently I’m observing fasts as part of the holy month of Ramadan and staying at home means I can take full advantage of the spare time I have to cherish this blessed month. So I guess that’s something positive from this lockdown after all!

“To sum up, while I’m slightly anxious at what the future holds, I’m looking forward to returning back to normality. We might find ourselves in a new way of working for the short or maybe even long term, but I remain positive that we can get through this, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep smiling and stay safe!”

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Related further reading

As society continues to open up, the Optometry in Practice editorial board thought it opportune to reflect on the experiences of the pandemic to date and assess the impact on both eyecare professionals and our patients.

It is rare for respiratory viruses to cause eye infections, writes Kim Thomas, but they may use the eye as a portal of entry. And what is the mechanism behind their travel to the respiratory system?

How do clinicians choose between generic and branded drugs, balancing the need for patient safety against cost? Kathy Oxtoby takes a look.