It is a beautiful early April day in Ottawa, not the kind of day you think about dying, but I am thinking about dying.

Specifically, I am thinking of the news out of New York State about doctors and nurses dying. I have seen the tributes to these doctors and nurses on television. I have heard the stories of the horrors in New York State told by weeping doctors and angry nurses. I have heard the Governor pleading for assistance on CNN as his younger brother interviews him.

As I sit in my comfortable home office, drinking my evening tea, I hope that my province and my country are better prepared. I hope that physical distancing will work.

The warm liquid trickling down my throat, the spicy, milky taste of chai still present in my mouth, are a balm at the end of my day. I am preparing an inpatient unit in my hospital for a new purpose and I am feeling grateful for this peace and tranquility after a hectic day. I know better than to be complacent. I do not count on my manageable situation lasting.

I know that somewhere in New York State there is a doctor like me. There is a doctor who, a few weeks ago, was enjoying their evening tea in the same comfort as I have now. Like me, they knew that their odds of dying were much increased this year over last – especially if they had chosen a task to look after people directly, as I now have. I know that somewhere in New York, there is a doctor like me who is dying.

If it is possible to send out comfort across the 100 kilometres from here to New York State (that’s 60 miles in American), then I hope my immense good will toward my colleague can carry it. I hope that the doctors who are dying know that we who pick up their task hold their example as our guide.

I hope that, like them, I could leave the world with this beautiful April day in my sight.

(I copied this from Google maps to remind myself how close I live to New York State how close I live to the devastation.)

4 thoughts on “My COVID-19 Journal – Day 18

  1. Neilda says:

    You are a warrior and I admire you more with each day I know you. ❤️

  2. Christine says:

    I read your post and tears run down my face because of the choices that you and other doctors are having to make and the costs attached to them. I accompany you as you describe the feelings of calm and the grounding experience of your cup of tea in these moments, on a beautiful spring day, when you are waiting, preparing, anticipating, and ready. I am not a doctor and I can’t say that I know what it is to be one, and at the same time, you help me to understand by sharing these thoughts, feelings, experiences. I thank you for what you are doing, what you are preparing to do, what you will do, and for these posts. I pray that when this is over, that I will sit with you and enjoy a cup of tea, knit a bit, and talk about mundane things.

    Be well, stay safe, and thank you, Gail!

    1. drgailbeck says:

      Christine, I cannot wait for mundane! Please stay safe and well in the next few months.

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