This is Danyaal. He is a family doctor.
“The personal impact of this pandemic has been pretty significant. I have a three year old and a three month old at home. As we’re having this conversation, one daughter is napping in her bedroom, and I’m rocking the other one in my arms. This rarely happens, where they’re both asleep at the same time. It’s hard not to worry about their future, especially now.
My nephew is now three weeks old – I haven’t gotten to meet him. These pieces are a reminder that life is continuing to happen. People are getting married, and babies are being born.
These things that we’re used to celebrate collectively – we’re finding ways to connect with each other despite social distancing, until we can actually physically gather.
It’s been remarkable to see our teams come together and roll with the punches and the new realities – to adapt very quickly and to support each other in doing so. I think that’s really brought out the best in people.
From a systems perspective, there have been a lot of changes that I think we wish we didn’t have to make: cancelling elective surgeries, re-modeling and shrinking ambulatory care.
One of the positive things out of this is the pivot to virtual care, where changes that otherwise might have taken years are happening in weeks or days in some cases.
That being said, it is really the Wild West right now.
I worry a lot about the secondary effects of physical measures we’ve taken. We’re providing a lot of our routine care and primary care remotely. To what extent are issues that patients should come in for not being seen, or being seen late?
I recently had a phone call with an elderly patient who was quite sick and was absolutely terrified of leaving home. He needed multiple check ins and conversations before we were able to convince him that he needed to access care – it led to a non-COVID hospital admission. We must remember we also have to work hard to deal with some of these unintended consequences.
This is a time of great change. It’s hard – but it’s also an opportunity for us to think about what we want to do differently in our healthcare system and in our society.
There are so many inequities in our healthcare system and gaps in our social safety net. It’s our responsibility to close them.”