I joined the THNK Executive Leadership Program in September 2019 so my third module was in January, just as the world was starting to sit up and take notice of this unknown disease spreading in China. My last module was at the start of March – days before the world, or many countries at least, started to shut down.
I work for the Wellcome Trust in London. Wellcome is the world’s second-largest independent charitable foundation and our main work is focussed on supporting research to improve health. We fund and do an enormous amount of work in and around infectious disease and so when COVID-19 was first identified in late 2019 (the name came a little later), we were very concerned.
Since then, I’ve gradually become more involved in our response to it – thinking about how we might best use our funding, what we want to put our voice to and action we are calling for. But in the last seven days, I’ve really been thrown into the effort, working closely with the UK Government and several other national bodies to establish a system in the UK so we can understand what is happening.
There are plenty of articles (of varying accuracy) about what these national testing programmes entail, but for fellow and future THNKers, I wanted to share the inspiration, ideas and “oh yeah!” moments of my last seven days.