Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Covid-19: Less haste, more safety

Let’s stop talking about covid-safe and covid-secure—it’s covid-mitigated

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 18 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3616
  1. Catherine E Urch, consultant in palliative medicine and divisional director of surgery and cancer1,
  2. Andrew J T George, chair2
  1. 1Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK
  2. 2Imperial College Health Partners
  1. catherine.urch{at}

We have been in countless meetings that have included discussions about making the workplace covid-secure or covid-safe (or even covid-friendly).1 This language is problematic as “safe” implies that we can make places 100% safe for staff, which will never be possible, and “secure” indicates a very high degree of certainty requiring excessive measures.

This language can drive irrational behaviour. Covid-secure transport to hospital, for example, requires patients not to use taxis …

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