COVID-19:  It’s better to ‘overreact’ than to under prepare

Man in mountain climbing gear with snow-capped mountains in background
James O’Keefe

James O’Keefe graduated from Southern Cross University in 2017 and has since worked hard to obtain his dream role as an Emergency Nurse at The John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

“Our Emergency Department (ED) is one of the busiest in Australia, seeing over 200,000 patients a year. It has been an immense learning experience,” he said.

Like most hospitals, The John Hunter Hospital has developed a plan to care for those affected by COVID-19 and Mr O’Keefe says the nursing and medical staff he works with everyday are some of the very best, “it’s a privilege to be a part of the team”.

“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and minimize the impact this pandemic will undeniably cause,” said Mr O’Keefe.

“Our health system is one of the best in the world. We have, and continue to implement, public health strategies to plan for potential future challenges.”

“Some members of the general public may think it’s over the top, but if these measures weren’t in-place we would be far worse off than we are now. It’s better to ‘overreact’ than to under prepare.”

Mr O’Keefe believes there are many lessons to be learnt from this experience of social isolation.

“We took for granted the ability to connect with others. Those social outings that we once shrugged off, we now crave.”

“Being isolated can have significant impacts on people, such as the thought of being alone, but it is important to remember that we aren’t alone; we are all playing a vital role in exterminating COVID-19.”

He recommends everyone follow the advice of health professionals and utilize local health district or Government websites to keep informed on further updates.

“We are all in this together and thank you for your ongoing support!”

“It has been immense! The positivity it provides us as a health community gives us such a boost in morale, and in times like this, it has been most welcomed.”