A matter of days after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, I was standing in the hospital where I now work as an emergency doctor watching preparations for the crisis. Having served as an army officer before training in medicine, I was there that day in my third role, as a broadcast journalist.
We were filming a Channel 4 Dispatches special on the coronavirus outbreak and I was following Dr Christian Subbe, an acute medicine consultant. My working at the hospital had helped get the film crew in.
I was struck by a strange sense of déjà vu as I prepped for filming that day. There was the same level of risk assessment, anticipation and concern among the production team I experienced when preparing to film in hostile settings overseas such as Libya.
‘Stay safe, be careful, call us 24/7 for anything,’ I was told.