This is Parul. He is a fellow in gastroenterology.
“Leaving home is plagued by the fear of bringing back an unwanted guest. The hospital that once felt like a second home now feels like a war that may never end.
Coming home from the hospital has become almost a stressful military routine. Undress in the foyer of a small condo, multiple showers a day, exhaust Lysol wipes to sanitize [everything], and socially distance myself from the people I love the most. It has almost become more stressful to come home than to face the virus in the hospital on a daily basis.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this pandemic has been taking care of those closest to me.
My elderly frail grandmother was hospitalized with an acute cardiac event and a respiratory illness. She spent days in hospital, not understanding English, without a family member by her side.
She couldn’t understand why we left her alone. How could she? She was sick and craved personal interaction at a time that mattered most to her.
My uncle was also diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He was admitted the eve of the pandemic and rapidly deteriorated. He passed away, alone, without his family by his side. This is reality. What was taken for granted is no longer what we expect. Our social privileges are now replaced by the fear of transmission of this deadly virus to those we love the most.
This time will end. When it does, I hope we don’t forget the hardships, the sacrifices, the losses.”