An RSM programme hosted by TV presenter Kate Garraway represented a departure from the status quo for the Society. In an usual response to exceptional times the video production, Covid & the festive season: Expert advice for staying safe, featured one of the country’s best-known science broadcasters and other medical figureheads to answer questions from the public on how to keep safe and well during the holiday season.
Broadcast simultaneously on the websites of the RSM and the London Evening Standard on Tuesday 8 December, the programme featured BBC science presenter and infectious diseases doctor Chris van Tulleken; Dr Clare Gerada, GP and Medical Director of the NHS Practitioner Health Programme; Professor Robin Shattock, Head of Mucosal Infection and Immunity at Imperial College London; and RSM Trustee Dr Sarah Filson, infectious diseases and microbiology specialist registrar doctor at Northwick Park Hospital.
Together they explained the science and evidence behind the Covid Christmas bubble guidelines and offered some practical tips to questions including:
“The reality is that the disease doesn’t care about the fact that it’s Christmas. It is still present within the population and will still continue to be transmitted during this period of time.”
Dr Sarah Filson
“I think it’s the moment that you feel so anxious that you need to seek outside help, whether that is to ring 111, to ring the GP or to call 999.”
Dr Clare Gerada
“No medicine is without any risk at all but the risk of contracting Covid-19 and having a series consequence of that is so much higher than any potential risk from a vaccine.”
Professor Robin Shattock
“Everyone’s just got to be a good citizen and a good family member. You don’t want to be the person who gave your family Covid at Christmas.”
Dr Chris van Tulleken
An extensive marketing and social media campaign was run to promote the video to members of the public and the video is still available to watch on YouTube.
The project, which represented a major first for the RSM, was made possible by generous support from Dangoor Education.