The war drum begins to beat. We array ourselves on the field of battle, semi-ordered phalanxes waved onwards by our political overlords barely visible on the hill behind us.
A few of us are in full battle gear with glistening helmets, sturdy sharp spears, thick shields and appropriate footwear.
Many are not so lucky. Some are using inverted pots and pans for head protection. A few are making do with pikes and hoes. Others just have sticks. Still more are holding dustbin covers. Several are wearing beach sandles. Whatever we’re clutching the knuckles are white.
Our collective anxiety over imminent engagement is not much reduced witnessing the worried faces of (usually unflappable) anaesthetic and intensivist colleagues as they are pushed forward onto the front rank.
Rightly they fret that the beads of sweat on their brows will soon be replaced by aerosol droplets of virus-laden saliva spewed forth on intubating Vesuvian-like tracheas. We know that we too will find ourselves doing similar risky procedures in time.
The horn sounds. The drum beats louder. We shuffle forward together, peering into the murk.