Truth, I cry daily. Every time I see a nurse or doc on TV complaining about the deplorable conditions they are forced to work in, I cry. I’m crying right now. These people are my tribe. I lived with them, shared bread, celebrated and cried with them for 40 years.
I’m so helpless. I should be in the ER working side by side with them. I took my oath seriously. I can’t be there but my heart and mind is standing next to my colleagues at bedside. Would I be there if I could? It’s insane to expose yourself to Covid-19 by working without adequate protective gear. Working in the conditions described by providers in New York means risking everything; your life, your family’s life, and your career, yet you do it anyway. Why?
You took an oath. You have moral and ethical standards. You cannot stand by and watch a person die without trying to save them. I should be doing the same. Parkinson’s has stolen my physical abilities from me. I still have my mind. How can I help?
I cry a lot. The question haunts me. Would I work under the dangerous conditions that exist today? The answer is yes. But how could I jeopardize my family’s health and wellbeing? How could I face them if I risked my life on a daily basis saving others? What would my children and grandchildren say? What must they have thought every time I left the house, in the middle of a family event, to go to the hospital?
I am a doctor. I must uphold my oath and ethically care for others. In searching for the answers to my questions, I realize that my oath does not commit me to self-harm and potential death. I cannot help others if I am sick. I know that fact to be all too true.
Do you see the dilemma my tribe faces? Do you see why I cry? There are many heroes working in every hospital in this world who have to answer these very questions. Unfortunately, after the war is over, they will have to deal with the physical and emotional injuries suffered in the ERs and ICUs that were at ground zero.
They will also have to deal with the anger that being so undervalued by insurers, hospital administrators and our government instilled in us. Keeping with my recent theme, we have to find something good in all of this. For me, I’d like to see my colleagues referred to by their appropriate titles; DOCTORS AND NURSES, NOT PROVIDERS. THAT FUCKING DEGRADING TERM, PROVIDERS, NEEDS TO GO AWAY FOR EVER.
I THINK MY TRIBE HAS PROVEN ITSELF, THEIR ETHICS AND THEIR MORAL BY SHOWING UP EVERYDAY AND DOING THEIR JOB. THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE. I PRAY YOU SURVIVE THE AFTERMATH.