It has been a tough few days.

I received a call to go down to pray with someone with coronavirus who was at the end of his life. Mask, gown, gloves.

And I received a phone call from relatives who wanted to get messages to their Dad who was in hospital. They emailed me what they wanted to say and I dutifully went up to the ward. Mask gown and gloves.

I read out these heartfelt personal messages to him which caused tears to stream down his face. And then I was called to a ward to see an older lady having severe delusions about the robots.

Masked and gowned I went and sat with her in the hope of bringing some calm and peace into what, for her, was a terrifying situation.

I know that we are being bombarded by statistics at the moment. So many thousands have Covid-19. So many thouands have died.

But I can tell you for certain, from what I have witnessed, staff here are not thinking in these terms.

Rather they are thinking of Fred, the husband, father, grandfather, and lover of gardening; or Vera, the 90-year-old who worked at Bletchley Park and does The Times crossword every day.

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Of course the numbers are important.

But it is the individual in front of you who counts for so much more; their family, hobbies, life.

If we lose sight of that, then we have lost sight of humanity itself; the very essence of what being a human being means.

So it is never just one more Covid-19 positive patient; it is always a human being.

It is never just one more coronavirus death; but the death of a unique human being who made their contribution.

There has, I think, rarely been a tougher time to work in the NHS.

But cometh the hour, cometh the person. And so I pay tribute to my colleagues here.

Porters, nurses, cleaners, doctors, electricians, managers, security, pharmacists and far too many others to name.

All working together to preserve human dignity against a foe who is trying to make us just a number. You can rest assured, that in our hospitals at least, that mind-set will never prevail.