“He ached with weariness, but it became part of him; he scarcely noticed now that he was weary, he might always have been thus, it was so familiar to him.”Tanith Lee
Last night I was woken by the flashing of the screen on my phone. A friend in New York was sending me messages, expecting that I would be asleep. He was messaging me for the comfort of communicating with someone, and having one other person know his thoughts and feelings.
I felt an urgent need to reach out so I called him, and we talked. But I didn’t read his messages until later. With his permission (I just changed his name to protect his privacy) I’ve put some of what he wrote below. I think you should read it too. He deserves to be heard and witnessed.
CK is a doctor. Right now he is working in a COVID-19 ward. It’s all he’s done for the past month. He did his early training as an Emergency Room doctor years ago and then did additional training and now works in another field as a specialist surgeon. He volunteered to go back into the ER and ICU when the Coronavirus outbreak worsened in his home city. He’s single, and lives alone.
Nic, hey. CK here. Just got off nightshift. Will try and do your meditation. Thanks for sending it. NYC is quieter than I have ever seen it. Lack of noise is gonna make it hard to sleep today. Never missed that white noise of traffic until now. Shame you never got here before all this hit. Who knows how long it will be before it will be safe for someone like you to travel again? At least you are safe where you are. I’m glad for that.
Sorry. The meditation doesn’t work. Can’t get work out of my mind. We’re not getting on top of things. We just don’t know enough. I keep losing people I thought would be okay. I’m starting to not be okay. It’s getting harder to get up and go back in there each shift. But I must. Worried I am starting to fall apart a little. Worried I’ll end up on the wrong end of this damned disease. Would appreciate chatting when you can. Some time in next few days? I never used to be scared like this.
Dumb. I just spent a mindless hour trawling Facebook. It’s a name-your-own-conspiracy-fest. Why did I do that? Tired I guess. Apparently it’s easy to cure COVID. You just need hydroxychloroquine, which we’ve been administering despite the fact that it isn’t making any difference. Patients are still declining. Dying. So go figure. None of that sh*t those idiots are writing about is based in fact. It’s disheartening. We’re working ourselves into the ground, and it just slams you, this endless flow of BS. I feel like I exist in an alternate reality. Where I live good people are doing their best to fight this and to help people or to research and add to our collective knowledge and to find a cure or a vaccination. So many good people giving their all for this. All around the world ordinary people who are someone’s parent or child or lover or friend or neighbor are dying or being decimated by this virus. How many aren’t even making it through hospital doors? How many are dying at home or on the streets? I can’t stop thinking about all the folk who lost their insurance when they lost their employment. All the migrants who don’t have insurance. All the refugee camps. So many people who can’t get care. It keeps me up when I should be sleeping.
I’m back on Facebook and it’s making me angry. Is what I am living through somehow not real to these people? In their alternate Facebook reality this virus is all a hoax or it was caused by 5G or it can be cured by Vit C or herbs or hydroxychloroquine or it’s only a tactic so Bill Gates can get mind control of the world through some vaccine I don’t know about but that already exists. Meanwhile I am knee-deep in death and my friends and colleagues are grim and grey with despair and heartache and exhaustion as we make decisions no-one should have to make and still people say it’s all a beatup. It’s a sh*tfight that I thought I would never see in our country. WTF Nic WTAF? I’m just so tired and there is no end in sight.
Please, stop for a moment today and think of people like CK who are on the front lines, putting their own well-being at risk to look after us all. Not just doctors but all health-workers, all grocery-store workers and postal staff and delivery drivers to name a few. So many people working hard to help others.
Think of them before you post or repost the latest conspiracy theories.
Check your facts. Be kind. Uplift people.
Be part of something positive.
Much love, Nicole xx