COVID-19: Isolation

I love my job. I love being a veterinarian and saving lives. I love meeting a new puppy or kitten and getting it set on a road to success as a family pet. I love finding out what is causing a health issue and fixing it. I love educating someone so their pet has a better outcome. I love being present for a family and patient when it is time to say good-bye for the last time. I don’t love some of the other stuff that comes with all of this.

On Tuesday, I was working in a veterinary emergency clinic. A client came in, and I started the exam and initial treatment of his pet. I went in to speak with the client after my initial assessment and let him know what was going on. He authorized additional treatment. During this time, it was explained to him that most of the work (including the initial exam) was being done in the treatment area to decrease risks of disease spread from humans to humans. In case you didn’t know, there is this thing called COVID-19 that is sweeping the nation (and the world). He became more and more agitated while he was in the room and then he started wondering the clinic and asking where his dog was. He was also a person that produced a lot of saliva and sprayed it all over when speaking to people. He tried to get into the locked back area of the clinic (this is locked at all times for safety and security passes are required to get through). I went to speak with him and he escalated even more. He demanded that we stop everything and give him his dog back. Which made me very sad as we had not been able to provide any treatment for his pet. We gave him his dog back and he said, “I have had an upper respiratory infection and a fever. Now you are all infected!” He then left.

On Thursday, I developed a cough. Once I had a thermometer, I learned I had a fever. By the time I got in touch with my doctor’s office, they agreed that I should remain in isolation. They would not order any testing as there aren’t enough tests available and the assumption is anyone with signs has COVID-19. If I had severe difficulty breathing, then I was to call 911.

             COVID-19 Isolation Day 2

I am now on day 2 of isolation.

I am sad and upset that this person potentially exposed me to something. I am in isolation at a hotel 2 hours from home, because if I do have COVID-19, I can’t risk spreading it to anyone else, especially my husband. I won’t carry it to another community. I don’t love that I was put in this situation. I don’t love that I wasn’t able to help my patient. I don’t love that I am angry at this client. I don’t love that there is not enough PPE for everyone that needs it. I don’t love that there are not enough tests to know if I am infected at this time.

The world is in chaos right now. The chaos will change the world. It will change each and everyone one of us. We will adapt. We will change. Things will never quite be the same.

Please be kind. Please stay home. Please contact your vet before you go in to find out what you may need to do. Many vets are going to telemedicine triage right now. They may charge a fee for the consult and let you know what you can do at home or if you need to come in to them or go to the ER. Many vets have done this for free for years and years. Many people will be upset that there may now be a charge. Those vets are trying to keep their doors open so that if you do need to go in, they are there. They are trying to keep you, their staff, and themselves safe in this pandemic.

Please choose love.

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