Post Publication Independent Review of

"Medicine: before COVID-19, and after"

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Post Publication Independent Review of "Medicine: before COVID-19, and after"

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Post Publication Independent Review of

Medicine: before COVID-19, and after

Margaret McCartney

Published: March 31, 2020 DOI:


Though this research article is titled "Medicine: before COVID-19, and after", it does touch upon some aspects hitherto not reported in any research article. This research article makes an interesting read, compared to the monotony of COVID-19 handling processes & protocols found in many research articles that dealt with COVID-19. Perhaps, this research article may be a call for an awakening too, at National & Global Levels. Consequently, this post publication review has a Prologue and an Epilogue too, out of respect for the views expressed by the Authors.

Review Comments:

1. Quote "Global pandemics reach us all. As a species, it seems that we are slightly stunned by our lack of autonomy over this pandemic. Celebrities and billionaires are not immune, despite reports of their escape to yachts, private islands, private testing, and an endless supply of hazmat suits. But, of course, the poor always come off worst, and there is no reason to think this will be an exception." End of Quote.

The authors call for an introspection, coz, when everyone is at risk and none is immune, what is the point in being self-centred? Perhaps, it would be good if people reduce their self-centredness and embrace the whole of humanity and the animal kingdom, so that every life may have a fair chance to live.

2. Quote "There is another side, of course. People are organising, street by street, to make sure that self-isolators are safe and fed. Medical students are offering to look after children to let their health-care worker parents get to work. Maybe “Big Society” is really little society, doorstep to windowsill. Red tape has been evaporated in some places as homeless people have been offered free accommodation. Some supermarkets are opening earlier to let vulnerable people or health-care staff get necessary food. People have applauded their health-care workers." End of Quote.

The less fortunate (compared to Celebrities and Billionaires) seem to have attempted to help give every life a fair chance to live.

3. Quote "And perhaps people are becoming more aware of the environmental risks of human behaviour. The absence of people doing non-essential manufacturing and travel has resulted in a sharp drop in pollution. The possible expected reduction of pollution-related disease might make us question what life should look like once we are over the worst. We are guests on this planet. If only we took climate change as seriously and acted as swiftly. Could we imagine lockdowns to protect the planet? But slow deaths do not make headlines like frighteningly fast, pandemic ones." End of Quote.

The authors have a valid point here. If we could have a periodic lockdown, Nature and the World might heal periodically, thereby blessing mankind with better living conditions on the Planet. This is a call that the Governments of Nations have to take. Let us hope that atleast one Govt. in the World, might lead by planning a periodic annual lockdown to help heal the planet, which might consequently provide better living conditions for mankind.

4. Quote "Now many people in the UK are looking admiringly to the NHS, respectfully asking experts for advice, and paying homage to professionalism." End of Quote.

Atleast until this pandemic passes, Experts & Professionals may be looked upon with respect and their advice heeded. Wouldnt the world be a better place to live, if Experts & Professionals are given the same respect all the time, instead of giving respect only in life-threatening situations?

5. Quote "I have noted how many patients, at the end of consultations, ask us to stay safe. Last week, after an overwhelmingly busy day, making multiple, pressured decisions with far less information than I would have liked, this consideration almost made me cry." End of Quote.

Humanity seems to blossom on the Planet??? Unexpected gratitude from unexpected or unable to be expected quarters may make the human tender.

6. Quote "There is perhaps an opportunity for us to capture, now. It might be one route to banish systemic tendencies to create overtreatment." End of Quote

Quote "Divisions between departments seem to have been subsumed with common purpose, good will, and urgency. We have also been talking more with colleagues. Freed from routine work that atomises my colleagues to separate screens behind closed doors, we have been talking, debating, and discussing more often and in one place. Staff have been willing to work extra shifts. The trick will be to realise this and make sure we respect the meaning of it, and keep it. A resurgence in trust in professionalism seems to have given us permission to finally disregard low-value bureaucratic work. Instead, the priority is organising to give the best care we can to the people who need it most." End of Quote.

Quote " That it has taken a global crisis, which is killing patients and health-care staff, and which will have profound psychological sequelae, to make this happen, is catastrophic, and an unpayable price. This is likely to be a divide in the global history of medicine. I can only hope that professional collegiality and solidarity will get us through." End of Quote.

There seems to be some unexpected good happening in multiple facets (though it could have happened as an offshoot of the COVID-19 containment and treatment processes), and it might be in the good interests of the people of the World to let the good happenings continue.


Let mankind continue to exhibit humanity, collegiality and solidarity, helping everyone to have a fair chance to live. Let this pandemic help us to learn that no amount of riches nor fame can make us immune to diseases like COVID-19, and everyone has the same risk of fatality whether it be a human born with a silver spoon, or a homeless human on the street. When all of us can have the same risk and none can have better immunity against diseases like COVID-19, why not human beings learn to be more humane, share resources with fellow human beings, animals and other life forms, and let everyone have a fair chance of life, consequently improving life for the self also? Will any Govt. or Nation take the lead and help to make life better for all, or will none bother about it once the COVID-19 pandemic is past? Or human beings will be more humane only under life-threatening disease conditions like COVID-19? Will there be any National Leader who will take it upon himself/herself, and emerge as a new beacon of hope for the entire planet? Or will there be teams of National Leaders, who will help sustain the goodness & humanity that has emerged during the times of COVID-19 to continue forever? Time alone can answer these questions, while hope can be sustained that goodness & humanity (found enhanced during COVID-19) will continue, past the COVID-19 too.

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