2023 Social Media Awards

Thanking all those around the world who used social media to help make sense of the pandemic

Nominee Profile
  • Job title/position Consultant Cardiologist & Long Covid Researcher& Clinician/LC Expert Advisory Group,WHN
  • Organization World Health Network & Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/Newcastle University U.K.
We are all living through a Global Pandemic from a Virus that has killed millions and disabled many many more. Social Media can be a fantastic platform to disseminate rapidly changing developments throughout the Pandemic. There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding Covid infections and the longer term sequelae of Sars-CoV-2 infections - both "Long Covid" and the cardiovascular risks following Covid. As a Cardiologist with Infectious Diseases qualifications I have been working with patients suffering from both Acute Covid and Long Covid since the start of the Pandemic, as well as being a Medical Advocate for the Long Covid Kids Charity and researching Long Covid. I am fortunate enough to be part of an International Long Covid Research Collaboration ("TeamClots") spanning four continents working together to try to find an effective treatment for this disabling condition. Social Media has greatly facilitated in this International collaborative working. The work I've been involved in in my role as a Long Covid Expert Advisor for the World Health Network and the research updates I've been invited to present at the WHO/4SD Covid online briefings have really harnessed the power of Social Media (Twitter space events across multiple time zones, U-tube videos, online seminars and symposiums) in disseminating educational videos and scientific research updates in this rapidly evolving medical field, across multiple social media platforms (Twitter, U-tube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) in many countries. Social Media has enabled my colleagues and I to share our rapidly evolving knowledge and understanding of Covid, Long Covid and the Cardiovascular risks of Covid through research to many quickly and is facilitating them to make informed decisions over Covid precautions, sensible public health measures, and potential investigation and treatment pathways open to them. The sharing of new Covid research papers via social media by others has facilitated my own self-learning in addition to making new connections and establishing new research collaborations. I have been a doctor for 23 years - the last 3 years of which have been a rollercoaster for us all. I have watched with horror at the mass disabling event unfolding in front of us, and individually it could be completely overwhelming to try and tackle, but collectively we can. One of the good things that has emerged out of this Pandemic is how those involved in Long Covid research and clinical care have reached out through Social Media platforms across continents, to form expert networks (medics, scientists and patients with lived experience) with a common goal of trying to better understand the underlying pathophysiology and find new and better treatments to improve outcomes for those whose lives have been devastated by this virus. Social Media has also enabled Long Covid sufferers to come together and support each other. The power of Social Media has helped forge strong links between Long Covid patient support groups and Long Covid research groups. Over the past 2-3 years for me, these initial online connections have grown into working collaborations and have then further grown into strong and lasting friendships. I feel very privileged to be part of this. Social Media has enabled me to meet so many strong and amazingly resilient individuals living with the daily struggles of Long Covid and yet still working so hard to raise awareness to try and protect others despite being so ill themselves. They are truly an inspiration. And so I will continue to do everything I can to help them.

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