The Gift Of Time In A Pandemic: Through the Eyes of a Physician Mom

The Gift Of Time In A Pandemic: Through the Eyes of a Physician Mom


So Much To Do. So Little Time. Life During the Pandemic New Normal Through the Eyes of a Physician Mom

It's past midnight, I lay awake beside my little one, gently caressing his forehead, as he nestles into gentle slumber.  Sleepless, anxious, I begin to contemplate these days in the Life of the New Normal as the world is faced with a pandemic.

 

I somehow wish there were more hours in a day.

 

The kids’ bedtimes have become different:  sans nuzzling, kissing, close cuddles, no touching faces.  Just a quick, rushed storytime, or catch up, if at all, for often it’s way past ‘usual bedtimes’. We parents are but novices in the art of homeschooling, which in its light brings a somewhat structure-less day. Perhaps it was to ease the burden of ‘agendas’ we humans had so strictly enforced upon ourselves.  For many an ‘essential worker parent’ it’s guilt mixed with hope, that upon leaving for work, our kids would faithfully fend for themselves at the cost of dwindling parental discipline and perhaps complete their lessons (in between electronic distractions) as had been planned hastily the night before.

 

Wish there were more hours in a day.

 

As many around me wonder how to pass their time, I wonder how to stretch my minutes. So much to do, so little Time. Time to sit with patience and teach our little ones, perhaps how nature intended of all its species to teach their young. Time to cook enriching meals, or play lazy board games and rest our tired minds. Time to binge some entertainment, self care, home organization, workouts, gardening, reconnecting with nature, itself.  Life has become different...perhaps Mother Nature intended to reboot and cleanse itself off of our selfish abuse and overuse of its bounties. Perhaps the Earth wished it could rotate a little slower.

 

Wish I could stay home and re-boot with the rest of humanity.

But Duty calls and Sleep evades me as I then wish I could stretch my day more, to gorge down this information overload, hoping to help my patients and community, hoping to create awareness of prevention better than cure, to preserve life. I try to stretch myself beyond the hospital walIs and seek to empathize with an emotionally hurt, sometimes ignorant and economically broken society, fearful of the unknown, but words fail me. I sigh and check my inbox and visualize unopened emails of ever changing pandemic guidelines, policies from world and state authorities, updates from hospitals and neighborhood societies, all flash in quick succession. I quickly flag them and move on to the next, only to find they have been revised day after day. Shamefully ignoring pending specialty medical education resource updates that now seem  somewhat ‘frivolous’ and given a backseat in the context of the burgeoning tasks a pandemic brings in its wake. Medicine has taken a backseat. Patients with non pandemic illnesses have taken a backseat and they sit in waiting, as suddenly priority procedures seem ‘elective’. Patients put on hold their screenings, surgeries, imaging, stroke time windows,flaring chronic illnesses.  All of humanity waiting with bated breath for this even higher emperor of maladies to release its grip off the world.

I feel the urge to learn and relearn, just like my peers. But I am dizzy with information overload and perhaps under-load for the truth seems blurry. It feels as though Truth is in hiding from those it matters most to, from those who bravely show up to protect humans and humanity.

Hoping to escape and frantically be in touch with some ‘normalcy’, I scroll through social media, but solace evades me. More information with tinges of misinformation. While my peers and I seek to make life and death decisions by day, these pictures, images, priorities,”challenges” posted on social media bring up an ethical disconnect. These all seem distant, as though they occurred in another birth, in another lifetime. Along with my peers, often confronted with whom to admit, or whom to keep away from the scourge of a hospital stay, all the while simultaneously ‘hand-holding’ frontline colleagues navigating this unforgiving virus. Everyone judiciously attempting to ‘treat’ while economizing on equipment, keeping foresight on who might benefit from a future artificial breathing device or not. Tearfully prognosticating beyond our ethics, I suddenly feel dismembered from the ‘social’ world outside the hospital walls. Hastily, I refocus my mind to the task at hand, so as not to lose touch with this new reality. It’s like I am chasing to measure the girth of an ever expanding belly of a giant while going around in ever enlarging circles.

 

Wish there were more hours in a day.

Exhausted, I begin to hear the birds stir and chirp at the crack of dawn and make my way back to my own bed.  As if in telepathy, my son mumbles in his sleep, “Mom, will they find a cure?”  I caress his forehead back to sleep.

 

Wish there were more hours in a day, my little one.

Hope sustains the world, as research is underway.  For today, let us be thankful we see the light of another day and the Gift of Time that it presents 

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