My family members are all in their various homes, working on isolation strategies for “the long run”, or as they see it 10 days, maybe 20. My husband is sorting through documents and watching all 5 seasons of Gotham. My son is rewatching Game of Thrones.
I am still going out to work, of course, and still focused on staying well. There are no fun series for me unless you count the daily updates from the Chief of Staff. Oh, and every medical organization I belong to is in touch at least once daily. I feel well-informed, but there is a lot to do to get ready for the next phase of COVID-19.
My life is so limited that I was thrilled yesterday to get a new 1-metre-in-diametre round table for my office – however, I have sanitized it so often that I am worried I will ruin the finish. Also, someone bought me lunch today. These are the high points in the tedium unless you count what I see as I walk through the corridors, looking in on one office after another.
The social workers have developed a schedule to work from home, staying connected with patients to provide support over the next few months – and everyone here knows this emergency is likely to last for a few months. The administrative assistants are going to rotate: one week in the building and one week at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. My physician colleagues and I are rotating for the same reason. The nurses have continued to review what they need to know: fever protocols, the correct way to wear personal protective equipment and the use of other tools some of them have not used in years. We are all making sure we know how to use Zoom and the Ontario Telehealth Network together, reviewing how to guarantee patient privacy.
The two administrators I work with are like generals, coordinating and strategizing – and calming. People are worried. As I walk through the corridors, I see determination and devotion. The people I work with – all those in health care – are enjoying the tedium. They have a sense of what comes next and we all prefer tedium.
I am reminded of this passage from Shakespeare’s Henry V where the chorus describes the vastly outnumbered and ill-equipped English. They “sit patiently and inly ruminate the morning’s danger.” I know, and everyone I work with knows – all health workers know – we are too few and possibly not well enough equipped to manage what is coming. Right now, we “sit patiently and inly ruminate”.
But we are getting ready, and do not underestimate us.
(My hospital badge – likely to be needed many days in the next few months.)