NHS Western Isles chief’s flashing Christmas jumpers brighten Covid updates
A health chief has been raising spirits as he delivers updates on the pandemic with his eclectic selection of flashing Christmas jumpers.
NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson has rotated an impressive selection of festive knitwear throughout December in video messages on Twitter and Facebook as he gives details of the latest coronavirus cases in the islands.
The designs have included a polar bear wearing antlers with flashing lights, a Santa wearing sunglasses and a snowboarding reindeer.
His seasonal attire, as he delivers updates in front of a snowy backdrop, keeping a serious expression despite the flashing lights, has drawn praise from social media users.
Commenting on a post in which Mr Jamieson wore a jumper decorated with the word Jingle and flashing lights, one tweeted: “Thanks for the update and oh my that jumper is fab (again)” while another said: “Thank you for keeping us well informed. Sparkling jumper, love it.”
Another jumper featuring reindeer and a flashing Santa hat drew the comment “Keep up the festive jumpers!” while one person welcomed a different festive sweater, writing “Love the jumper at least it cheers us up!” and another wrote “Thank you for the updates, your festive jumpers brighten one’s day”.
Throughout November Mr Jamieson delivered updates wearing a plain shirt, but switched to a Christmas jumper on December 1.
One Facebook user questioned whether it was appropriate for an NHS chief to deliver serious updates while wearing a Christmas jumper with flashing lights.
However their concerns were quickly dismissed by others, with comments such as “personally I like to see a little brightness amongst all the gloom right now” and “We love the jumpers Gordon! Brings a bit of festive fun into a time when some find it grim and hard!”
Mr Jamieson said: “It was clear from the outset of the pandemic how important it was going to be to individuals, families and communities to have the right information to help them cope, adjust and deal with the daily challenges we face from this virus.
“Our communities and staff in health and social care have stood alongside us every step of the way, with high levels of compliance with precautions and restrictions and high levels of vaccination uptake.
“In terms of the nightly updates, it’s usually the last thing I do as each day draws to a close.
“I felt that, hopefully, people knowing what is going on in their area on a real-time basis would go some way to help people cope.
“At Christmas 2020 I never imagined that I would be donning once again the festive jumpers to try and bring a little light into these most challenging of times.
“However that is the intention, and if the jumpers make someone smile or feel less anxious, then I’m content.”