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Health professionals, how are you psychologically after 10 months (maybe more) of fighting COVID?

I take the phone calls at night for hospitals, doctors offices, peds offices and nursing homes. I am tired… I am sad… I just want people to be safe and take care of themselves… wear a mask… get tested if they are sick and their doctor is telling them too… but most importantly:

Stop going out in public if you are positive and know it!

I personally have had two scares. My room mate had had one because he is a server. I am in the US and can’t afford to miss work and I just missed 3 days.

I’m a nyc resident physician, things are a hundred times better HERE now, compared the the initial outbreak, which was absolutely and utterly horrifying on levels I can’t really explain.

I’m so sick of it, I’m a very calm person, but I find that I get very angry very easily with anything or anybody that doesn’t take it seriously.

We still have plenty of patients who don’t understand v this or that, which is fine, I LOVE educating patients and junior physicians and students, I’ll talk their ear off with a joke and a smile, but deniers or people who think it’s political or think they don’t need to respect our work regulations, I’m more curt with.

What we went through at the beginning, was just, so so bad. I never thought I would see anything like that in a developed country.

I’ll speak on behalf of a family member. . .

Burnt out and completely exhausted. In-addition to the normal challenges, you add on the constantly evolving fight vs COVID. As with anything novel, it’s understandable that protocols and guidelines continue to evolve as we learn more of the virus. But that’s not enough. The virus has become politicized and healthcare workers are now left to battle deniers and doubters in-addition to everything else.

Patients who demand their kids be seen for symptoms but who don’t want their kids COVID tested because they want to maintain eligibility for youth sports.

Patients who insist that they still want to go on vacation despite a sick kid.

Patients who refuse to quarantine despite known exposure to positive people.

Patients who insist that it will all disappear on November 3rd.

Families who’ve tested positive being ostracized and bullied by the community for causing other families within the community to have to quarantine.

Patients who have the nerve to call the on-call nurses to yell at the them and berate them for giving in on the hoax.

It’s disheartening and has really shown how selfish and short-sighted humans can be.

My wife and I are both medical doctors. She’s been in ITU and I’ve been on general internal medicine throughout the pandemic.

Things are OK. The first wave was really tough and just hard to comprehend for anyone living outside of it. I work in a major hospital in our capital city and every single ward other than 2 ‘clean’ wards (for blood cancer and cystic fibrosis patients) was at capacity with covid. We even had beds in cleaning closets.

Practicing medicine in full PPE is hard. Calling relatives to tell that they have lost their love one rather than telling them face to face is painful. Guiding patients gently out of this world is in full PPE when they can’t have any visitors is incredible hard. Removing non-invasive ventilation when the patient is fully cognisant and sitting with them until they pass away is the hardest.

There have been moments that have counted – fulfilling a patient’s final wish to have a glass of cold champagne as we took of his ventilation mask and waited for him to pass; the bonds formed with colleagues during tough times; the outpouring of local support that meant we didn’t feel so alone in the hospital.

The thing my wife and I are both struggling with now is the rejection from family and friends. We still work in the hospital so we are considered ‘dirty’. Even when restrictions allow it people don’t want us in their houses or mixing with them. And they don’t seem to understand that we need that support now more than ever. My family don’t want to see me near Christmas in case I ‘infect them’. I’m seeing them for an afternoon walk one day in early December and that’s it. My wife’s family haven’t wanted her in the house. We’re very lucky to have each other and a warm, comfortable home with each other but the rejection stings. And going into a long dark winter I can only see it getting worse.