First off OUCH! (From Warren Ellis)
There is a Transit of Venus today – all these special astronomical phenomenon remind me of the eclipse we had in the summer of 1999…
(Cue wobbly flashback video effects)
I was working in A&E at the time of the eclipse and thought that there would be no way I'd get to see it. Like all A&E departments this place had no windows and could be perhaps best described as a “bunker”. Today however the department was empty for the first time in living memory – normally by that time of the day we would be packed full, but today – not a soul. One person had been in earlier with a painful foot, but there wasn't the normal “trolleys in the corridor” effect that was normal for that time of day.
We learnt that day that CT films make excellent sunglasses.
So the whole department stood outside on the “smoker green” staring at the sun slowly disappearing – very spooky, and one of the few strong memories I have from that long ago. I suspect that many of the wards were empty as well; there was a procession of people wearing dressing gowns and holding tight to IV drip stands wandering around the hospital grounds.
As soon as the eclipse finished we immediately had two cardiac arrests brought in by ambulance, it was as if they had waited until after the eclipse before deciding to keel over dead…