“In my lifetime, I have encountered those who have seemingly endured far greater states of human privation than I could ever imagine (though I try to eschew establishing comparative equivalencies [or non-equivalencies] among human suffering as much as possible because such an impossibly herculean task never ends well). And what I have come to realize is that the nexus of all of these extraordinary stories of tragic afflictions being overcome was the individual’s remarkable propensity for gratitude and their mental aptitude to reorient, reframe, and reappraise all that was bad … into all that is good.
Unlike biological antibodies that fight microbial marauders just by our very nature of existing until the illness passes, the acquisition of emotional antibodies is a far less passive process. We have to be proactive in our efforts to construct and build meaning around the negative impact of the trials around us, and integrate all that we ascertain into the person that we are … and the person that we become—our identity.”
Jay Wong is a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. He received his undergraduate degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from Yale University. He can be reached at his self-titled site, Jay Wong, and on Twitter @JayWongMedicine, Instagram @JayWongMedicine, and Facebook.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, “A vaccine alone will not be enough to recover from the impact of COVID-19: Emotional antibodies against it are needed as well.”
Hosted by Kevin Pho, MD, The Podcast by KevinMD shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from.