April 15, 2020
We are in the middle of unprecedented times, when much of the world is in quarantine and COVID-19 is a menacing danger. I am sitting at home in Southern California, and most of my department are not doing any heroics. Most outpatient pediatrics is doing virtual visits. As Dr. Plastic Picker, I don’t know when I can return to the beach to start picking up plastic again. As Pediatricians, we don’t know when we will return to seeing face to face patients or what medicine will be like after this is all over. We are blessed that for the most part children are doing okay. Rates of respiratory illnesses are down because kids are not swapping germs anymore, a side effect of quarantining. Even with New York City still in the midst of a true crisis and the rest of the country is anxiously watching to see if the curve truly flattening – I still have hope.
It’s easy for me to have hope, because I have not been asked to do much. I have tried to help as much as I can but it seems woefully inadequate in comparison to the sacrifice others are making. I have helped distribute a few thousand masks, tried to make sure my little corner of the medical world is flattening the curve, and continued to have the environment on my mind. But I have hope because from great hardship the world can change. It sometimes takes momentous challenges for us to reach our true potential. Personally for me, the greatest times of personal growth have been after great personal and professional failures. So I am hopeful that we will make a better world post COVID-19.