Survived my first week in the ramp up to covid surge. We’re expecting, according to local epidemiologists, 1000 hospitalized patients in the Coachella Valley in the next 7-14 days. We hope they’re right, because maybe, maybe, we can handle that. A new field hospital is being set up in Indio for non-covid patients (good luck sorting that out as 1/4 to 1/3 of covid people are asymptomatic).
I slept well last night for the first time all week. Thank goodness. Not all the positive self-talk, relaxing music, or meditation has been able to quell the rising anxiety of risk. To me, my family, my friends, my patients, and all the people, yes all, in the world. Even those not taking this seriously. Part of medicine has always been taking care of people whose life choices we providers cannot understand.
I can mostly control my thoughts when awake, but there has been no letting go in sleep this week. I am banking sleep for the near future.
Today’s links are personal stories from others, as I labor to write my own. There has been so much well-wishing coming from those I know–and even those I don’t. I thank you, every single person in health care thanks you. But there are so many more across the country and the world who are at even more risk than we. They have no protective gear. Some of them too must go to work to support us. And some forced to stay home are facing poverty the likes of which we have not known here since the great depression. We providers are very aware across the globe of the importance of keeping the numbers of infected patients to a slow enough spread that we can medically handle them safely–for their survival as well as our own. PPE is in short supply everywhere. Generosity and stupidity in approximately equal measure, with maybe generosity winning. Please help us to help you by staying in. It is absolutely working in California–the first state to lock down. My hope is that with generosity we can support all of us economically with food and shelter, while we endeavor to sustain our lives as well. One without the other is no good either way.
I hope my words will help not only help inform us, but help connect us through these challenging times.
From NYT–hardship in America:
NYT a trucker’s perspective on isolation. Particularly resonant as Rob just spent 30 hours driving 2000 miles across country in 2 days to be with me. He slept in the car, packed his own food, walked the dog on lonesome roads, and gelled after every interaction with a gas pump, lavatory and waste container . I am so grateful for his presence. And the psycho-puppy, Sugar Baby, who, with time, is growing into her name. Just stroking her velvet coat transports me like nothing else. Her warm back pressed against mine through the night, and Rob’s hand holding mine were truly miracle drugs for sleep, and elixirs of life.
Please take care my friends.