COVID-19 – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: COVID-19

But I was wearing double masks, facebook for 4 months?

August 7, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I may or may not have been exposed to COVID-19. I may or may not have COVID-19. I’m in the same boat as many through the world. I’ve been wearing double mask, faceshield, and washing hands at every patient encounter. We haven’t really gone much of anywhere other than work and grocery store. I have been careful.

But life happens and the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly making it’s way through our population. I’m isolated in our bedroom waiting with only the puppy visiting, and waiting for my Health Care Worker expediated test results which should be tonight. I’m taking this opportunity to review the recent Pediatric COVID-19 lectures. It doesn’t really help to worry, so I’ll just study.

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“This too shall pass!” said the toy figurine on the beach.

August 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It was a nice weekend. I was on-call for Chief Boss of Pediatrics, as our real Chief Boss is on vacation. No one called me. Actually I did receive one call, and I answered it relatively quickly and emailed the new pediatrician the link to the workflow. I had emailed everyone prior to the weekend, “Hello Everyone! We are a well oiled peds admin team, and we play an excellent passing game and try not to drop the ball. We are each covering our areas while XXX is on vacation. This weekend if you need Peds Admin help I am on for all of us from 7/31 at 5pm to 8/3 8am. My strengths are staffing, HR issues, clinical questions for outpatient level care and keeping us in budget. I will try to be as helpful as I can regarding COVID workflows. As many of you know I’m not the best at looking to see if membership services approves certain things, but I can certainly try! So thank you for all you do and I hope people who are not working can try to rest this weekend.” Signed my real first name. I thought it was a nicely worded email, and not as sarcastic as they used to be. No one emailed. I also did not send any work emails this weekend, which I think is a good thing. As I was telling my high school friends when we met for a Zoom reunion, I am trying to set a good example.

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Other people are sewing hundreds of masks and making sure others have masks to wear. You decide that you won’t wear one? Yeah, you are a baby.

June 28, 2020

by drplasticpicker

My name is Dr. Plastic Picker and I am so mad at the world right now. I am mad at anti-maskers. I am mad at our national leadership. I am mad at every adult on Facebook that shared COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Yes, this is America and you have free speech. But you are also an adult, and as an adult you have to watch what you say as your words have consequences. All those words and Facebook memes have sowed doubt into our country and has fueled the spread of COVID-19. We are entering another wave of this pandemic.

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Arrival that lightened the mood at home. Our tween daughter was esctatic.

June 6, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It was a heavier mood in clinic today. Mostly babies and a smattering of tweens-teens in for the well child checks and vaccines. I asked everyone through double masks and faceshield how they were doing. Most of our clinic families were staying home and avoiding the demonstrations. Since our clinic serves the diverse community of the South Bay, there was a sense of darkness that hung over us. We talked in quiet and sad voices about the state of racial politics in the United States, and one father who is black said these demonstrations are making his life more difficult. Another excuse he said for police to pull him over and harass him. But I was able to welcome a beautiful newborn baby boy to our practice, who is a beautiful amalgamation of many races including Apache. And in that beautiful baby boy I see hope. Like the half-Vulcan half-Human child of T’Pol and Trip in Star Trek Enterprise, we must celebrate IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. T’Pol in one of the final episodes was confronted by Terra Prime, the xenophobic human terrorist movement. It’s leader asked T’Pol whether she was worried that interspecies breeding would destroy the Vulcan race. T’Pol with her elegant Vulcan poise replied fiercely that Vulcans were not what they were 1 million years ago, and the only constant in change. In her words, I find hope. The same hope I see in the face of the beautiful baby today that represents IDIC (infinite diversity in infinite combinations) in my clinic.

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From the internet. Discord from My Little Pony. This is your enemy.

June 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s 617AM and this morning I will pick up my 200th bag of ocean bound plastic. I started this journey 10 months ago and the world today is a stark place. I began gathering the 200th bag yesterday and filled it with some mostly paper litter, but will need to finish it this morning. Dr. Plastic Picker is ambitious. For my 200th bag I chose a large kitchen garbage bag. I think everyone on Instagram will really like a big bag for the 200th one.

As I’ve mentioned to you, my patients in clinic and my own children, I do a lot of thinking when I’m picking up plastic. I started litter picking and ocean beach cleaning after emotional exhaustion from my work which is doctoring children. But nature healed me and the simple act of cleaning up our neighborhood helped me. When I pick up trash, I let my mind wander and I often think of you – my patients and my own children. Dr. Plastic Picker has been a pediatrician and a mother for too long. I found that rather than trying to escape work worries, I was able to think more clearly about all the forces that hurt children. And as a doctor, I naturally want to fight against those forces. One of those forces is Big Oil and Big Plastic that is trying to flood the environment with plastic waste.

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Did you know Vulcans live to 200?

May 30, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is the last day of May and I think I’ve come to the natural conclusion of my time with Trip and T’pol in Star Trek Enterprise. I wrote a blogpost close to my heart regarding how being immersed in their romance helped me get through the last three months of COVID-19 quarantine https://drplasticpicker.com/the-star-trek-enterprise-romance-of-tpol-and-trip-im-going-to-give-them-the-ending-they-deserve/. I watched some of the fan montage videos and read more fanfiction that was on-line yesterday. I rewatched some of the key scenes from the first three seasons, and rewatched my favorite scene several times yesterday. The series helped me get through the last three months but at some point it is time to end this chapter. Sometimes the second or third time around you are experiencing just echos of the intense first moments, feelings.

Is this why people have extramarital affairs, sometimes without reasons continue to have many many children, or ask to change offices again? Are we always trying to recapture that intense first moment?

I am bag 196 today of ocean bound plastic gathered https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/. There is an entire litter picking/beach clean up Instagram world, about 800 that I am connected with, who “follow” each other. One of the beach cleaners just north of me found a set of dentures, and it was on her bucket list of things to find. Another person in LA mentioned that I was so close to 200. It’s an off-kilter group which I’ve come to enjoy being part of.

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One of the happiest moments of my life yesterday. I laughed so joyously. Mr. Plasitc Picker loves me and understands me.

May 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m not sure how you have been dealing with the COVID-19 quarantine, but I have been watching Star Trek. I mean A LOT of Star Trek. I grew up watching reruns of the original Star Trek. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer, spoke to me. Even then, the action scenes were corny and the alien world settings unrealistic – but the storylines and the pseudophilosophical delvings into space and time and logic, touched something in my teenage heart. Then Star Trek the Next Generation ran 1987-1994, right during my middle school and high school years, I watched that too. I became a big fan of Captain Jean Luc Picard and his Shakepearan take on a Starship Captain. But there was not a great Vulcan on the show, so I have always been more of an Original Star Trek fan and of course Spock.

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Brownies we paired with the movie Onward. Our daughter used a new recipe with avocado. It was a different texture and was decent. It’s always fun to try new things.

May 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Nothing profound this morning. It’s 552AM on a Saturday, and I am grateful for my fresh cup of coffee. The Upcycled Presidential Bird House is still bringing us great joy and the birds are singing outside https://drplasticpicker.com/five-plastic-free-things-that-weve-accomplished-during-stayhome-covid-19-quarantine/. I’m beginning to identify the different species and their bird songs are distinct. I never realized hummingbirds have different songs. I thought they didn’t have a song since they always seen pre-COVID-19 busy franatically beating their wings. But during this quarantine I’ve seen a hummingbird rest on a tree and I have learned to identify their distinct singing.

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Sad little elephant I found on the beach this morning. Will wash it in the hot water cycle.

March 12, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I did my first COVID-19 testing swabs yesterday. When the testing tent personnel see a small child and need help, the pediatrician on call comes out. That was me yesterday. It was the first time I’ve worn the precious N-95 mask and gowned in full PPE. These were just pre-admission COVID-19 swabs on kids with complex medical issues, so these children are a lower risk category. But I felt helpful. One toddler was my own patient, and it felt good to wave to the mother and to know that I was a familiar set of eyes behind the faceshield. The other patient belonged to another pediatrician and had many complex medical issues. It was a very large truck and the adult nurse wanted me to do the swab through the window. Please remember I’m not even 5’2″, this was a very large truck, and the child was a tiny little thing smaller than her age due to chronic medical issues. It helps that I have been in charge of things for a while, and I know what I know well and know what I don’t know. I suggested to the nurse, “There is no way I’m going to be able to get this swab into her nose. I need to open that door. I’m too short and my arms are not that long.” So I opened the door and asked mom to hold her, and positioned my body to prevent her from falling out of the truck. And then gently used the precious swab to touch the back of her pharnyx both sides, and then did a nasopharyngeal swab in the left nostril. Done. She cried just a little bit and was fine. Mother was filming on her iPhone. Everyone does that these days. I didn’t think it was the time to ask her to stop filming (I think its against official policy). But everyone films these days and I’m sure it is just to document the little girls journey. I waved into the iPhone camera. Then mom put the phone down to give her child a hug.

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Wow. Up to 444 reactions and 41 comments.

May 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Dr. Plastic Picker in real life is an outpatient general pediatrician. Like many of my colleagues I am part of several COVID-19 MD Facebook groups, I think three now. Two months into this pandemic, I now try to review our weekly pediatric infectious disease lectures as a vetted source of information rather than these Facebook groups. They are actually really good. But early on the COVID-19 MD Facebook Groups had more trending information. I think we were all obsessively reading the posts as real time information was coming out to Italy, New York, Seattle and San Francisco. At this point, the activity on the Facebook groups has slowed down as there is more clinical understanding of this disease. Most people are asking for practical advice. I am visiting them more for camraderie. Above is my main contribution to the Facebook groups. It was amazing that it generated so many reactions and comments.

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