I wish I have something great to share. Living through the global COVID-19 pandemic is creating lots of anxiety and transforming our new normal way of life. We all wish this will be over soon. But the truth is, I think it’s here to stay for at least the next few months.
Most of my personal plans are cancelled or rescheduled. I was looking forward to skiing in Vermont, seeing Blue Rodeo, running my half marathon and camping with my girls in the summer. Just like that, all of these plans are either cancelled, on hold or rescheduled.
We just don’t know what will happen. The projection that came out today is scary. In Ontario, we expect to see at least 3000-15000 deaths in the coming months due to COVID-19.
At work, I have started wearing PPE to see patients. We have restructured things so that I either have virtual meetings with them, or in the case of warfarin clinic, I try to meet them at the parking lot so we can practice social distancing as much as possible.
Our patient encounter often begins with a brief silence. Then I would greet my patients, asking how they are doing. Many patients are relieved to see me. They have many questions about COVID-19. After answering their questions, we would go on with the routine of our clinic encounter. The main difference is that my patients would end with saying “Thank you for what you do“, “Thank you for coming out“. They are genuinely grateful that I am here to continue to serve them.
But things do hit home with this COVID-19 pandemic. My husband who is scheduled to be working in the hospital developed a runny nose last week. So they tested him for COVID-19. Fortunately, his result was negative. I had a baby sitter confirmed to come over so I could attend my clinic. But she messaged me saying she couldn’t anymore because she just found out she is a close contact with someone who just tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, we were able to find a replacement quickly.
I am still adjusting to working from home. A clinical question that normally takes me few minutes to answer, may take hours to finish. That is because I am constantly interrupted by my kids who are also genuinely bored. I am not equipped to support them much with school. I try to limit their screen time but it isn’t going really well. Oh well.
I do feel grateful to be working for a supportive team environment. I am grateful that I still have a job. But the uncertainty of the situation is difficult to bear.
I know I have to be as positive as possible. We do our best. WE are all in this together. But it still hurts, knowing we will see many deaths in the coming months.
Let’s hope we are wrong.