Covid- 19 Journals, March 2020
1. Up to Date
I know I haven’t posted anything since the break but 2020 really has been moving at warp speed. When I came back to school I started my surgery clerkship and it’s not like there weren’t things to write about, notable things happening but I think I was a little too nervous about doing well. Surgery was a rotation I was how story waiting for to help solidify specialty interest and it was sure to be challenging in the same way internal medicine was.... so I wanted to get as much out of it as i could and I’m glad I did. All that means is I wrote less and “did” more... but there were notable things happening, notable physicians that I met/worked with, and some truly remarkable patient encounters.
I loved the rotation.... and it was quick, I mean really really fast like before i knew it... I was taking the exam and moving to the next. One day in particular I remember being in the OR, about week 4 in the rotation and talking about how Covid-19 started and that the US got its first case...
I started my pediatrics rotation, celebrated a birthday, and after two weeks in clinic, medical students were released to self quarantine...
It’s week 5 of 8 now (for pediatrics). I'm not sure I could have gone this entire rotation without talking about this experience. I’m sure I’m not the only student who felt compelled to share in how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting them. I’m not sure why but a part of me wanted to be able to submit my three journal entries without talking about it at all. I believe that was more or less my way of being hopeful that this would not go on as long as it has or escalate to the point it did in the states... a sort of ignorant or naive optimism I guess. But it has, as time passed and the decision to cancel clinical rotations on site came.... concern and anxiety increased.
I’ll admit the first couple of days after we stopped reporting to clinic I was paralyzed, unable to really process or understand the implications at the time. I soon “woke up” and got myself oriented to a new schedule... starting off light and adding time as I acclimated. This week in particular has been much better for me as far as focus and productivity. I’ve mapped out my current doing rotations assignments and review in the morning and tackling busy work like emails, vsas paperwork, and such over lunch and in the evening....
I like to save my sanity projects for the afternoon while the sun is up so I can open my balcony doors for light and wind. I’ve been writing and painting to keep my spirit lifted and maintain expression during all this... I also try to talk to at least a couple of friends or family members each day. I’ve even had a poetry reading with some friends in Lubbock over video chat.. As I’m writing this we’ve been informed our quarantine as students has been extended, our institution has a student that has tested positive for covid-19, and shelter in place orders have been placed in Lubbock and Amarillo as cases have increased.
It is a truly difficult time emotionally for so many and I’m doing my best to stay hopeful and perpetuate hope....
2. Good News
I received word of my first two publications during the current Covid chaos. One scientific paper, collaborative with a resident and classmate under my mentoring physician. I'm no longer pursuing orthopedics but it's exciting to be a part of something like this and knowing it was put in a reputable journal. The second, I'm really excited and proud to call my own. One of my blog pieces, a personal story of a healthcare experience back in September of last year was published. You can find it here under "OB/GYN Journals" called "9/22" but I retitled it "Basic Life Support" for my submission and it is now available to view in Mosaic in Medicine... a medical journal with a great mission and ethical compass that I'm so grateful accepted my personal story.
I'm happy to have writing and other forms of art as an outlet during this period of anxiety and uncertainty, and to get news like this really brightens the day, lifts the spirits.
The Third Voice