I am tired of listening to the coronavirus, which follows me around 24 hours a day. You may have some relief somewhere, but I can’t escape anywhere. I like to share how I spend my day during this pandemic. I leave my house like a thief because I don’t want my daughter to see me. She keeps a list ready regarding the coronavirus, and I don’t want to answer her questions, “My lady, are we going to live? Should I assign for the summer classes? Why would I sign if everybody going to die?”.
On my way to work, I always go to drive-through café to get a cup of coffee. For the past seven years, the same person serves a coffee to me, so she knows well what I do for a living, and she has her list of questions for me. She never forgets to ask a similar question, “any change? Any good news about the vaccination?” I am tired of telling her, “we will win over the deadly virus one day. I will let you know when the FDA approves prophylactic vaccination. I will be one of their first victims to get it”. Being a first responder, we get priority to get the vaccination.
I don’t check my emails because it is full of COVID 19 information. Some of the emails come directly from my medical group, and some of them come directly from the hospital, which makes total sense. I receive daily COVID emails from the WHO, the CDC, the IDPH, and the medical journals and publications. All the retail and department stores, banks, and the insurance companies also send the reminder, “be safe and stay home.” I was surprised to see the email from a local real estate agent who is ready to sell my house if I am in financial trouble due to losing my job because there are a lot of buyers willing to buy my house. Well, I still have my job.
As I reach work, I must go through the tent so the nurse could check my temperature, which is always high because I enter the tent sipping a hot coffee. The COVID triage nurse doesn’t hesitate to discourage me, “You still have time to run away.”
The security guard grins at me, “you seem excited fighting the battle again, or it is a busy day, and we still getting a lot of COVID patients.”
I enter the doctor’s lounge to pick up my precious brown bag, which is my lifesaver now. My medical director always hates me, but now he is in an excellent relationship with me, “can we chat for a few moments before you start your shift. Give me some input on how we could manage COVID more efficiently”.
Next, I go to pick up extra supplies from charge nurses who love handing me a bunch of paper to review, “Oh, the hospital has created some new policies for managing COVID, so please read carefully.” Have I ever followed any policy yet? So far, I have only followed the coronavirus policy.
Next 10 or 12 hrs of my shift, I spend managing the COVID 19 patients. Most of them fight with me, “why don’t I get tested here? What kind of hospital is this? Why do I need to go to COVID 19 testing center”? They curse me and yell at me. I smile back, “God Bless America. Help me.” Of course, we do the test, but only the patients who are being admitted to the hospital. Most ED rooms are marked with the signs of COVID/Airborne etc. Some patients are very sick, which requires our full intention.
Many just come due to a panic attack because they are afraid to die. They come with shortness of breath due to anxiety, but they think it is a COVID. They don’t mind teaching me a sign and symptoms of COVID. Some come with printout information from Dr. Google. A 27 years woman came to our hospital three times within 24 hours because she had shortness of breath. We did every testing to exclude heart attack or some lung disease and embolism, but she still not happy and wanted me to admit her; otherwise, she will sue me. Why do I need to admit her to the hospital? Why would I take the bed away from a sick person? So, COVID is not in her lungs but has reached into her brain, which we are not qualified to handle it.
The media or the news channel broadcast only COVID 19. There is two COVID triage station outside the ED. The nurses will call me, “Please come to the COVID tent.” The conversation on the nursing station would start about some different topics, but somehow it turns into a COVID.
The local vendors always deliver us a delicious food but never forget to write, “For our frontline fighters. Thanks for fighting with COVID”. After working my shift, I again come to my house and enters like a thief. But I always get caught due to a highly monitoring system in my home. I announce loudly to my daughter, “Don’t come near to me until I take a shower. I may be a carrier”.
I always find my daughter relaxing on my bed when I come out of the shower. She always asks, “Hey Lady, can you check the status of COVID 19 with me?”. If I say no, her answer is already ready, “I think that you already isolated yourself 1.5 years ago, so you are immune”. Of course, I act like Mother India, so I help her to search on WHO, CDC, and the IDPH website. The blogs are also full of COVID articles.
All my shirts need to be dry cleaned, but the shop is closed, and the owner is Chinese who did not forget to put the sign, “Shop is closed due to COVID.” I have ordered the clothes which can be washed at home, but I won’t get reimbursement because of COVID.
I get text messages from the people whom I had not spoken for the past two years. They have a curiosity about COVID but not about my wellness.
Unfortunately, nobody would let Americans enter their countries at least the next 5-6 months. Therefore, I will go to Alaska, and pretend like I am in my beautiful Valley.
Finally, I go to bed. Until now, the COVID has full control over my brain.
Everyone is exhausted. Everybody is tired of dealing with this COVID 19.
“God Bless America and India; of course, the entire planet.”