2 weeks of COVID-19

It has been a hectic two weeks for me as a physician. I have been staying updated on COVID-19 and trying to see my patients. I had two patients come in for post-hospital visits, and I told them to call and stay out of the office until everything slows down.

I am a constant hand-washer in the office. I have a slight sensitivity to all hand sanitizers, especially our hospital-grade one, so I use soap and water. I use the hand sanitizer on rounds and then race to the sink when it is available. I always wear makeup to prevent myself from touching my face. I have used this precaution as long as I can remember.

We had a virtual meeting yesterday to kick-off our mentoring program and practiced social distancing. I could not talk with my mother for long yesterday, so I called her today.

Me: Hi, mom. How are you?

Mom: Oh, Judy, I am fine. I am not letting this upset me.

Me: Do you have enough groceries?

Mom: Oh, yes, I just have what I need and not the whole shelf.

Me: What?

Mom: Well, I was watching the news, and they interviewed this man outside of the Publix in Hoover. He said people needed to calm down. “Just buy what you need, not the whole shelf. We all need to calm down.”

Me: Are you going to church?

Mom: No, Reverend C closed our church. Your sister sent us the information so we can stream the service from her church. I am not going out. Of course, everyone is thumping on the bible right now. If they just did what it says, we wouldn’t be in this mess. We have had influenza, AIDS, and other plagues, and we didn’t all die. So we all just need to calm down.

Me: Yes, we were talking about the lack of ICU beds and ventilators for those that may need it. I told my friends that you have told me not to put you on a ventilator.

Mom: I never want that. You are right. That is not the way to go.

COVID-19 is a reality, and we have to have real conversations about what is essential in our lives. Buying what we need and thinking of others. Following the rules on handwashing, social distancing, and self-quarantine to keep our family and colleagues healthy. Then, there are crucial questions about end-of-life care we must have with our loved ones. I feel better now. For useful, accurate information:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

 

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