30 July 2020

Back in the day, when the only vendor I dared to visit in person was the hospital shop and my main procurement indulgence therefrom was a bag of banana split eclairs, I more or less lost the ability to conjure up an image of ‘normal life’ in my head. I readily conflated living a life with simply being alive. I was grateful to wake up every morning and literally smell the coffee! Perhaps this is an approach I partially absorbed from the many patients I have admired for coping with their own normalities being abruptly curtailed by a significant health event. In an odd way, the certainty of what was needed to immediately stabilise the situation and secure the health and well-being of as many of us as possible made what we all had to do seem tolerable.

As the drive to re-open the economy continues, I am made increasingly aware of the differences between how I personally respond to the continued threat from a novel respiratory virus and how a regular person perceives my antics. I am confessing to you all that I wrote a long (polite, I assure you) email to the second restaurant whose outside tables I visited. I outlined, precisely as one might respond to a reviewer, how their set-up was at variance with various elements of the guidance. I have not told this to my son, a young adult, because I could see how much he enjoyed being out and about in a place that had me clutching at my pocket hand sanitizer for a sense of security. I did not dare to venture inside the restaurant at all, even to peek at why the fancy lady dressed like Ivanka Trump had taken a huge bag of make up into the bathroom! Maybe she was an influencer? I was super curious, but heaven forfend that I would take a risk to spend a penny and find out more.

The reason I belabour this point is that it is becoming increasingly obvious that the clear differences in COVID-19 risk between our younger and the older citizens may also serve to separate the generations further, based on the risks they are willing to take. This is something we need to address as society in general but also as A Society. Which leads me to the main purpose of my article this week; the BSH is keen to recruit a ‘trainee’ member to our Board of Trustees. When Josh Wright became Vice President in April, he vacated his Ordinary Trustee position on the BSH Board. Myself and the Board would really like a “trainee” BSH member to join us.  Trainees, I personally appeal to you - please apply for this!

The post runs until the annual scientific meeting in 2021. To apply, please email your expression of interest, including what you could bring to the Board, to President@b-s-h.org.uk by 17 August 2020. Interested parties are welcome to contact myself or other Board members for informal discussions about what being on the BSH Board involves. The BSH Nominations, Governance and Awards Committee will consider your applications and the Board will confirm your appointment when it meets in late September. As the Pet Shop Boys famously sang “When you're young you find inspiration/ in anyone who's ever gone/and opened up a closing door1”. I hope a younger Board colleague could learn some tricks from us about how to stick their foot in a closing door and in return, we really do need your input, in particular to warn us if we are Being Boring.

 

  1. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, Being Boring, Behaviour, Parlophone Records, 1990