This will be the last entry in my COVID-19 Journal.
It is not that I won’t write about the Pandemic again, but, for me, this phase of my service to keep people safe from COVID-19 is ending. On June 30, I will return to the Youth Program fulltime.
This is a picture of the corridor leading to the Surge Unit in my hospital. I walk from my office into this corridor at least a dozen times a day right now. I have worked in this very space once before, when the hospital first opened and the Youth Unit was located here. I cannot remember that at all and so I know that, within a few months, this space as it has been for the past four months will also be forgotten.
However, I know that I will never forget the people I have worked with.
When I think about leaving them, two thoughts come to mind. One thought is the words of a song, Seasons of Love from the Broadway musical Rent, in which the cast considers how to measure a year:
“In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife…
How about love?
Measure in love.”
I have been singing these words in my head for a few days now and will likely be doing so next Tuesday, when I leave this unit for the last time as its physician.
The other thought that comes to mind is a Portuguese word: saudade. This word can only be roughly translated into English, for there is no equivalent word in English for this sentiment. Saudade is a feeling, specifically “the feeling of missing you”. It is the heartache you feel when love ends. It is the feeling you get when you think of your mother, no longer living, when you run your hand over the stiches of mittens she knit for you. It is the anguish you have as you watch your daughter weep on the evening you leave her in England to travel home. And, now, it is the feeing I have as I realize that, despite my relief, I will no longer be working in this special team, a team that has helped me to measure my own season of love.
In these past few months, I have come to terms with a few things, including my age. This morning I gave an interview to CBC on the anxiety youth are experiencing because of the pandemic. The reporter asked for a photograph and I told her, as everyone laughed, that the only photos I have show me with brown hair.
My hair is no longer brown.