I hate to say this, but you were right.
We hadn’t come across something such as yourself, at least in our lifetime. Young, old, retired, or working—you were an entirely new beast to us. You had the world turned on its head in a matter of months and began to swoop into our lives in the deadliest way.
You are so small, yet your ability for discreetness and complete invisibility had us all stumped.
You came into our lives and into the lives of our patients without notice. You stealthily arrived in the cold, the dead of night, slowly picking and plucking away, while you savored in our ignorance. And one-by-one, we ultimately fell to your feet.
We, doctors, sat there and couldn’t begin to imagine what was yet to come. We were not prepared for this; no one was. We were fearful for our most vulnerable patients, our friends, families, colleagues, and all health-care workers. You began to snatch away hopes, dreams, and futures from even the best of us as you started to unravel. You took them away from us, but importantly from our patients and our loved ones. You attacked what was most dear to our hearts as you toyed with our psyches, instilling turmoil into our everyday lives while you continued to stomp all over without remorse.
We started to visualize, first-hand, the trajectory of your wrath. A privilege and a curse, so to speak. You had exceeded the bounds of our ability to diagnose and treat because you were that good. You waited for the right time to show yourself because you knew it would be too late. How was it that even the best of our medicines couldn’t defeat you or slow you down? How is that with even our armor, we had no chance against you.
You took away the fight our patients had because you know no bounds. You left us in shock when even our heathiest and youngest of patients were requiring life-saving measures as you pranced on your virility. You’ve attempted to take away our humanity by succumbing our patients to utter loneliness as their bodies try to fight you off.
Faces-bruised from our masks, heads-down, and eyes-watery from the exhaustion, fear, and sadness, we continue to fight you. Unable to comfort each other, our patients, and our loved ones; we remain devoid of essential human contact. You even took it a step further while you burden us with decisions that otherwise weren’t meant for us to take while some of us have even given up our own lives.
We took an oath to fight the likes of you to the very end because we know that ultimately we will find your kryptonite. One thing you do not know, coronavirus, is that in order to get through one of us, you’ll need to get through all of us. Through the weeks, I have truly witnessed unparalleled bravery and resourcefulness in all of us as the world comes together. We are strong, stubborn, and relentless in our fight against you. The future is our light, and we will get there in one force and in harmony. I thank all my comrades on the frontlines as you guys will and always will be my heroes!
Rashmi Advani is a gastroenterology fellow.
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