I think everyone is now appreciating that this pandemic is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. Life (and medical practice) as we have known it has changed and will likely be forever changed.
Even in the face of this adversity, there are positives that I embrace. The “stay home” movement has afforded me an opportunity to embrace a more relaxed existence, even if for only a while. I am taking more dog walks, remembering I once knew how to cook, finding time for phone calls with friends living afar, and simply having more family time. Work remains chaotic in a different way but not so all consuming, and this feels like a good thing.
There are two things about this time that stand out to me above all else: community and compassion.
I see community in how we have worked our COVID-19 protocols, making our workplaces safer for staff and patients. Through blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter and more, physicians have been able to express their fear and resolve in words far better than I can muster. Your support of your colleagues and your compassion for each other has been wonderful to see.
I see community and compassion in the delivery of food to front line workers, free parking, and surrendering of much needed PPE. The murals and brightly-colored rocks are visible demonstrations of our communities coming together. The funny, heart-warming musical ditties are worthy of sharing – and watching again and again.
Our patients are so appreciative of our quick adoption of telephonic and video visits, our ongoing availability, and our reaching out to them. I hear my patients say daily: “please stay safe” and “thank you for taking care of us.” Our patients remind us that we are valued, even as they face fear and uncertainty themselves.
BC Family Doctors has been working with our partners to support you. I know your clinics are struggling. This pandemic has laid bare the lack of connection between primary care and the rest of the health care system. Without action, the ongoing existence of many family medicine clinics across the province is at risk. We are advocating for sustainable funding to enable clinics to operate and physicians to support their families.
We don’t have everything we need to deal with this pandemic, but we have more than we did a few weeks ago. We have community and compassion; we have each other.
To all my wondrous, talented, supportive colleagues, please continue to be good to yourselves and one another. You deserve the recognition of your amazing contributions. Together, we can do this!
Please email me with your thoughts and concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org.