Posted March 14, 2020
Today feels different.
The two-month slow boil to this point truly felt slow. Until now.
I’ve read endless social media posts asking everyone to be safe, take precautions, wash your hands and save masks. There’s an abundance of company emails describing additional cleaning procedures, ordering for take-out only, social distancing at coffee houses and other smart precautions. But the messaging seems irrelevant to those responsibly unable to comply. 6-foot rules, plus stay home, plus limit contact? Impossible.
For many years I worked EM and I think about what it would be like to make the drive to work right now. The mental preparation and physical resilience needed to just step out of the car, to walk through the entrance, to glimpse at the waiting room and head toward the first chart. To read the CC that says, cough, malaise, SOB. I worked long enough to know that none of you will pause when that’s your chart. It’s go time and there is no hesitation.
I’ve also been thinking about the polarization of messaging all around us. In seconds I’ll flip from general news alerts and ubiquitous social media posts (school closures, empty shelves, hand washing demos) only then to posts from MDs, DOs, PAs, and NPs saying, “I saw 30 patients today face to face. I examined their ears, eyes, nose, and mouth because that is my job and they needed me. And I’ll go tomorrow and do the same.” It’s a tale of two worlds, and I think most are unable to realize how valiant yet normal it is to walk in.
There was one other time in my life I can remember this much selflessness in the face of crisis. I was working at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, Queens, NY. It was in the ER on 9/11. The first tower was on fire and every ambulance heading from our borough to lower Manhattan stopped to pick up anyone that could help. And so many from our team jumped on. Today gives me flashbacks to that time in US history when the effort to save and to prevail was all encompassing . . .
Our platform will look different in the upcoming days, weeks and months, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to pivot appropriately. We hope to be a source of positivity, gratitude and colleague support across all specialties.
Lara Francisco, PA-C