Emma Wall is an infectious disease physician and a clinical postdoc in the Tuberculosis Laboratory, investigating how to improve outcomes from bacterial meningitis.
When the pandemic started to ramp up, I was asked by my clinical colleagues to return to the hospital as part of a huge team of academic physicians manning the front line. I was working at UCLH in acute medicine and we were incredibly busy, spending most of the day with sick COVID patients, donning and doffing PPE.
We worked very closely with our colleagues in the emergency department and the intensive care unit and together made some very difficult decisions about clinical care. Talking to patients about these decisions, including end of life care, while wearing PPE and without loved ones present, was one of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic.
During the pandemic, I have become even more of an advocate for translational clinical research, to inform both clinical decisions and policy. Over the last six months, the speed of sharing data, clinical reports, trials and vaccine development, has been incredibly impressive. I’m very aware that other infectious diseases, including meningitis, risk losing substantial gains made recently due to the focus on COVID. I am determined to complete my fellowship and support Crick science and UCLH clinical research to deliver the best for patients in the COIVD era.