You must ask ‘… questions when your patient is having trouble breathing and you know that an ambulance is near.

You try for it not to be the first or second question — they will be about their symptoms — but it has to come. When they answer ‘no, as they do often, it is impossible to say, ‘Why not?

It is redundant to discuss, debate or whatever else you call it. It is already too late. This is part of the job. However, it’s also one of the most difficult things in the current situation.

When I have to deal with non-Covid patients, I fear that I might take an alternative approach. They are not always too old.

If I’m speaking to them in person or remotely — as is often the case — I look at their vaccination status, and then I really do jump on them. Nicely, obviously.

So I said, “Can I get your Covid vaccination?” This is the easiest thing you’ll ever do. The website takes only a few seconds. 

If they don’t say yes, I will investigate what might be preventing them from doing so. This is what I feel exhausted from.

Dr David Lloyd (pictured) is a GP who supports mandatory vaccination, at least for adults ¿ arguing that there should be a fine for those who refuse to comply

Dr David Lloyd (pictured) is a GP who supports mandatory vaccination, at least for adults — arguing that there should be a fine for those who refuse to comply

Yes, it is controversial, but I am a GP who supports mandatory vaccination, at least for adults — and what’s more, there should be a fine for those who refuse to comply.

As someone who was on the frontline, and who also happens to be in the rare position of being split my work between Covid/non-Covid patients, I believe it’s time for the UK take a more aggressive stance than European countries.

We have no choice but to vaccinate everyone. The anti-vaxxers threaten our recovery.

Now is the time.

We have always been slow at every stage and been surprised by how fast it has all come together. Now, we’re on the fourth wave. We don’t know how many variations we might see.

Some people say that requiring vaccinations is excessive. This isn’t British. It is an obstacle to democracy.

I have read of Austria — where the country is now in another lockdown, as the laws go through — being called a dictatorship. I do not agree. Evidence is closer to home that mandatory vaccination does work.

France’s law requires that parents ensure children have vaccinated, even if they were born before the Covid era. [against a number of infections, such as whooping cough, influenza and meningitis C]They must be present at school before they can receive child benefit. Children benefit does not apply if the parents are absent.

Is France now undemocratic? It doesn’t. This is a matter for public health and not politics.

This issue is one that I am strongly inclined towards. It comes from my experience with the whooping-cough vaccine scare. 

Andrew Wakefield instigated the MMR scandal. I was there to witness scaremongering cause untold destruction.

Doctors have a responsibility to be able to understand the science. A picture of a Pfizer graph is on my smartphone. To show my patients, I take a picture of a Pfizer graph. 

“I say: “Look! This line displays the number of unvaccinated deaths, while this one depicts them in vaccinated ones. It could mean the difference between life or death. The graph should be displayed on the cover of every national newspaper.

Along with the scientific knowledge, I also have my personal experiences of living in unfamiliar waters. It was not something I expected that I would find myself at the forefront of a pandemic. 

My retirement date was March 31st, last year after 42 years of being a General Practitioner. Because I needed to, I changed my plans.

The day before I was to retire, my covid hub started in the community. I assessed and treated patients who were suspected of having Covid and made arrangements for when they would need to be admitted to the hospital.

It’s something I continue to do. Yesterday was spent treating patients and spending the afternoon at Covid Hub.

As someone who has been on the frontline, Dr Lloyd said he strongly believes the time has come for the UK to take a stronger line, as European countries are doing (stock image)

Lloyd, who was on the frontline of war, said that he believes it is time for Britain to stand up stronger, just like European countries (stock photo).

Straddling both worlds — Covid and non-Covid — gives me an unusual perspective, so I do feel I can go in a bit heavier with people when it comes to conversations about whether to have the vaccine.

As the ambulance draws up, I am able to share my personal experiences with them of telling relatives that they cannot travel together. It is time to say goodbye.

At the peak of the pandemic, it was like this. It was far from what I had expected to say about my job to my grandchildren.

Even though the rates aren’t at the levels they were, intensive care units (ICU) across the country (and my son is a registrar in A&E, so I get daily updates) are still full — and full of unvaccinated Covid patients. 

In the meantime, we try to bring our healthcare system back into normal. Patients who have been waiting to receive hip and knee replacements are more fragile than those waiting for routine procedures.

It is a frustrating time for the medical community trying to stay together. It’s been 20 months now and it is getting tiring. The front-line workers are tired. 

According to the latest statistics, 8% of GPs will retire within the year. Early retirement is becoming a norm for nurses. A fourth wave of nurses is a difficult concept to accept.

Patients sometimes ask me if they won’t get immunized for themselves. Will they also do it for their grandmothers and mothers? We need to open society again so that we can return to normal.

My unvaccinated patients claim they haven’t had the vaccine. It’s not just one cause, and that is part of what is preventing the message from getting across.

Many of my Afro-Caribbean patients have referred to the Tuskegee incident, Mississippi. In that scandal, African-American men were placed under a racist, unprofessional medical investigation which lasted years. These stories and their suspicions have been handed down.

A second group states: “Goodness me. The fact that this vaccine was developed so rapidly is worrying.” They talk about an experimental vaccine. This vaccine isn’t experimental. It has been developed over millions and billions of hours.

This last group can be tricky: those who are opposed to having something in their bodies.

Although it’s possible to have meaningful conversations with others, it is a difficult task. Their words of thanksgiving, “Thank you doctor, but I will go home to do my research.” are always the most heartbreaking. Then they go on Facebook, or anti-vaxxer web sites.

Problem is, this has become an issue of politics. This was quite interesting to see in the U.S.A. with red states and blue state having different Covid rate depending on your political leanings.

Here, it’s more difficult to assess, but it would have been great to have had the Prime Minister and Keir Starmer making a joint statement about vaccination — drumming home it was not about politics, but about life and death.

This message isn’t getting across. At the weekend I saw barely a single mask when I visited Trafalgar Square. As if it was over, people were lining up in beer gardens.

The clock continues to tick and it isn’t over.