“I remember taking the elevator with a colleague on the way into work one day when all this started. She sighed and said, ‘I don’t know why I dread coming to work every day now.’ We reflected on how nothing had changed. Same hours, same people, and even some of the same patients… and yet everything had changed. The ever-constant anticipation – when will it hit? How bad will it be? The PPE, the distancing, and something intangible. We always work long hours with sick patients and yes, PPE is annoying, but it’s not the whole story.
Now two months later, that intangible something is still present. This is not the medicine I fell in love with and I long for normalcy.
But in the midst of this there has also been growth and resilience. We’ve all expanded our roles to [reduce] exposure and to figure out what good patient care looks like during COVID-19. I’ve seen patients and colleagues confronting their fears of the unknown, learning how to support each other from a distance, and figuring out what community looks like when you can’t be face to face.
One of my most precious memories in the past few months was teaching the 90 year-old wife of a patient with dementia how to connect to Zoom on her tablet so she could video call her husband.
The look on this patient’s face when he saw her lit up the world.”