Okay I get it. This is real. For a while I thought it was a farce; a dystopian narrative like in a movie or a book that are so popular nowadays. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
I never thought I’d live through a time like this when everyday is worse than the day before and there’s no end in sight, at least not for the foreseeable future. My training never prepared me for this. But fortunately, I’m a rational being and I’m not scared easily. Plus, my work gives me succor because I feel I’m making a difference.
The very nature of my profession (I’m a physician) has taught me to be calm, and do my job. The problem though is the uncertainty. What was ‘the norm’ yesterday is taboo today and who knows what tomorrow will bring. This is a new disease and a new virus. There’s no actual cure though there are multiple potential cocktails being flaunted and used. They haven’t been diligently studied or tested but have brought vital hope.
My thoughts change everyday. It seems surreal now. A few weeks ago I remember talking to a physician colleague about ‘this new infection’ rather casually. We were sharing news, talking about epidemiology, but all in such a way that it wouldn’t happen here. Then came the news of the first couple of cases in the area, and the ER prepared to tackle it with a hazmat suit.
Initially, we were only acting on high suspicion and contact tracing, but soon it changed. Now almost every patient is under investigation (PUI). And we are not wearing hazmat suits anymore, rather we are recycling our masks and PPEs. Anyway it’s here now and thinking about why and whom to blame for it is too late, we need to think of the future and prepare. But then we’ve had warnings in the past, multiple in fact, that haven’t been heeded. Will it happen now? I hope so but only time will tell.
When they announced daily temperature screenings at my hospital I started experiencing a new very real anxiety that despite all the precautions I could get sick too. I’m worried not for my health but for my family’s at home, especially for my 73 yr old mom who stays with me.
Yet there have been some surprising revelations too. Of how everyone has come through. Especially the patients who aren’t allowed any visitors particularly given the long hospital stays and how sick they are.They have shown an extraordinary degree of resilience and pragmatism even under the worst of circumstances. It’s like this disaster has brought us all together.
Looking forward now to the future and what it holds. I’m not sure if we’ll have a definite cure. What we need is a vaccine. We need to raise the immunity of the community. That would be the only answer.
Meanwhile I’m putting on a brave face, to hide my anxieties but also to allay the fears of those around me. I practice safe distancing not just outside but at home as well which has been very tough.
I have finally started to justify my Netflix subscription. I meditate, introspect, read, rationalize (the more informed, the better prepared).
And of course, I wash, wash, wash my hands.
Stay home, Stay safe!