What do you see? What do you feel?
Sit with it for a minute. Or two.
I was recently presented the image above during a website build-out meeting.
When I first saw the image I thought:
“Wow. Love that.”
But then immediately I was unsettled.
It didn’t feel right.
Something was building in me.
“The world needs us to be strong.”
That was it. That day, I was tired.
Tired of being strong—being strong for people who didn’t seem to care. The patient I saw who had just returned from Mexico, but didn’t mention that on their COVID screening form because the airport screening said they were fine. Mexico. Because that was essential?
Meanwhile I can’t remember the last time I saw my 89 year old mother who lives only ten minutes away.
Here I am—here WE are—putting our lives on pause while some days it feels as though a lot of the world is having a party. One that I’m not invited to until someone contracts COVID and needs our help.
That was a bad day. Some days are like that and I find that I beat myself up because as a physician I’m supposed to be non-judgemental, care for everyone, no questions asked. But—and it’s a big but—it feels like a slap in the face when you go onto Facebook and see photos of “friends” breaking COVID public health recommendations. I am rarely on social media now except for my doctor groups, where thankfully I’ve found community and strength because as a community of health care workers, we get it.
A lifelong friend texted me in November: “You really think COVID is that bad?”
Yes, yes I do. Another friend bites the dust... This has also been a casualty of COVID—my friendship list is dwindling.
Fast forward to the first ever Canadian Women’s Physician Day hosted by the Canadian Women in Medicine organization.
An amazing virtual event with tributes to our women public health colleagues. We had lots of tears. But we came together as a community. Together, we are strong. And yes we need to be strong for each other.
The next day I felt renewed.
I looked at the above picture again and I said, “Yes.” Yes we do and yes we can, together.
So I now see this as my barometer. How am I feeling today? Was there an overriding feeling of entitlement from others today, or people showing support?
I have some amazing patients—one even had coffee delivered to all staff during the height of the early pandemic days. I’ve had people drop notes of cheering us on, thanking us. This is important as we know the negative reviews and critical patients seem to be the squeakiest.
We are changing that with formation. For me, and I hope for you too, formation is a beacon of hope. We are building this community to help support each other because We Got This.
Like a rock formation, we are stronger together.
Founder & CEO