We were learning as we went. I always find the criticism of the decisions that were made by government and health officers unfair—you know, we should have done this and not that.
We had no textbook on this. We were just using what we knew about disease and trying to translate it to a new disease that there was no rule book for and which turned out to be very different.
When HIV first kicked off, I was around in those days, and that was the same. Everyone was terrified of HIV, and we didn’t know how risky—or how not risky—it was, and so we used to do the same sort of precautions that we did for COVID. And then, as you learn more about the disease, you realise you don’t need to do this or that.
COVID has been the same. I look back now at how fanatical we were in the beginning—we used to have spotters helping us with PPE—but we now know what we do need to do, and what we don’t.