The immense kindness and humanity surfacing from the pandemic

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions during the last few weeks. I started in the hospital when our cases were starting to creep up.

The fear.

The anguish.

The uncertainty.

The anger.

The sadness.

The crazy dreams.

The donning.

The doffing.

The decontamination process.

The week, I signed three death certificates (non-COVID), and I sent two patients to ICU (one COVID). Needless to say, I came home every night feeling sad and powerless, knowing this COVID-19 beast has us pretty defenseless.

We are trying some therapies, but nothing is showing dramatic or rapid improvement enough to gain FDA approval.

The patient I sent to ICU stayed there for over two weeks and was finally released. I was privileged to have a telephone follow-up appointment with her. She was extremely thankful to the rest of the hospital staff and me. She choked up and started crying, and naturally, I started crying too. Relieved she lived to tell the tale. Scared for how many will not make it. Grateful to be appreciated.

As we settle into the new “normal,” I realize that I cannot control coronavirus. I cannot control what the government does or doesn’t do. I cannot control the people who want to mingle around in public or open businesses up early.

What I can control is who I am during this crisis. I can control what I want to take away from this. I can figure out how to adjust my purpose, so I can continue to serve my community.

Aren’t you seeing immense kindness and humanity surfacing from this crisis? I certainly am, and I cannot express the depth of my gratitude.

So on the tails of an emotional few weeks, I am grateful for a somewhat “simple” life with fewer distractions. I am grateful for all the FaceTimes and Zooms with family and friends. Human connection is so incredibly important during a time of crisis. I’m grateful to serve my community. I’m grateful to the patients and community who are finally realizing that most physicians truly give their blood, sweat, and tears to our craft and our patients. I’ve never been more proud to be a member of this amazing and inspiring community.

Please continue staying home and staying safe. This, too, shall pass.

Uzma Khan is a hospitalist who blogs at Me and My Stethoscope and can be reached on Facebook.

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