Himali is one of our early graduates. She was a prize-winner in the national Asian Short Story Prize, and was this month awarded a Society of Authors Mentorship.
"Our clinic waiting room is like a warzone …"
I work as a general practitioner in the busy Three Kings Accident and Medical clinic on Mt Albert Rd, with a robust, friendly and competent team of doctors, nurses and administration staff.
Dr Himali McInnes
General practice clinics, with public health colleagues and hospital staff are part of the frontline response to Covid-19.Right now our clinic waiting room is frenzied and pulsing with a primal sense of unease. It's sometimes akin to a war zone. The enemy is invisible. We don’t yet have the weapons to fight it effectively. Even normally sanguine, happy-go-lucky staff look harried. We wonder how we'll avoid getting sick and taking illness home to relatives or friends. We wonder how we'll make the right decisions, and keep up with multiple daily updates.
Anxious patients turn up to be seen with mild symptoms of cough, sore throat, and "shortness of breath" - intriguing when objectively they're not short of breath, and likely have the common cold. Dr Caitlyn Gill says the current situation is “a fascinating study in human response to mortality.” On the plus side, she says, “We’re not doing the dinner party for my Mum for her 83rd birthday. I hate cooking!”
Eileen’s fifth novel was launched this month by Penguin Random House. She has won many prizes for her writing. She is a senior consultant at North Shore Hospital.
"I know that I will begin to be exposed to patients who don’t even know they have the virus …"
Last Sunday morning, I went for a run. I went early, as I was due at the hospital for a ward round around 8 am. The air was autumn-crisp and the sun was breaking over the horizon. There was hardly anyone around. It was a moment of serenity in an otherwise very stressful week. The calm before the storm.
On Sunday morning, we had six confirmed cases of Covid-19. By the end of the day, we had eight cases. Towards the end of last week, I had to cancel trips to both Dunedin (for a haematology conference of around 120 people), and Melbourne (for a meeting of around 10 people). At the beginning of last week, my registrar and one of our senior nurse specialists (with 50 other staff) were stood down from work, after being identified as contacts of a potential case at our hospital, putting additional stress on our already very busy team. The patient has since tested negative.
Now Online at any time!
Have a go! This course is intended to introduce you to some of the basic skills and techniques that can make writing so enjoyable. You might already keep a journal, or have written some poetry or short stories, but would like to find out about some of the tools professional writers use to make their work publishable. If so, this course is for you. Graduates receive a 10% discount on our 30 Week Fiction Course. Taught by Creative Hub director John Cranna. More detail ...
Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir Writing Course
ANY TIME ONLINE, or classroom course starts 6-9.00pm, Tuesday 15th Sept 2020, thirty weeks
This course is for those who want to write a novel, short stories, or a memoir / autobiography. We provide a fun and stimulating environment in which you can discover your authentic writing voice. Many graduates of this course have published books, some in London and New York. The 30 week, two semester course starts in Sept 2020 and runs until May 2021 with a break for one-on-one mentoring over the summer. More detail ...