Today marks the 32nd day that I have been in isolation after having a possible COVID exposure and signs develop. I have not been able to be tested, so have been told repeatedly to just stay in isolation until I have gone 72 hours without any symptoms (no cough, no low grade fever, etc.). It has been hard, but I realize many people have it much worse than I do. I have some money saved in the bank. I have people that check in on me. I know that I am loved. I know that even though I am isolated, I am not truly alone. I have my people near and far – we are still together (thank you internet!!).
A veterinary colleague shared a story from her work today that hit me in the gut. Her patient needed to be euthanized and although the owner couldn’t be physically present for euthanasia due to the current COVID protocols, she let him know he could be present via Facetime or whatever program.
His response broke my heart. He said, “I get it. I’m a respiratory therapist. We’re doing terminal extubations by Zoom right now.”
As a veterinarian, I know I have medical training that would be helpful on the human side (even though humans are the one species I am not licensed to work on). I have signed up to help where I am needed, if and when I am needed. Today, with this conversation, I finally realized what I really want to do on the human health side.
I want to be someone that sits with the COVID patients. Someone that can give general updates to the family (because the doctors and nurses have been so busy it can’t always happen as frequently as families would like). Someone that can just be there for the people so that they are less alone. I know veterinarians snuggle our patients all up when they are hospitalized, but the human side can’t do that. I want to try and help decrease the psychological pain that these people are going through – before and after intubation and extubation. I know that this would also be helpful for non-COVID patients that are hospitalized. Loneliness is real. Hospitalization is scary.
I don’t know if this is possible. I don’t know if someone is already doing this. I know the risk. I know how to maintain proper bio-security measures. I know how to be there.
I don’t know if this is something other people would do. I hope so. I hope that there can be a way to make this happen. If you have contacts, please let me know. Have them contact me.
What would you like to do? What have you done?
How would you like to make a difference? How have you made a difference?
Are you a teacher that is struggling to meet the needs of your students? Have you dropped off their homework or done a car parade? Are you a parent that is now working from home and helping to supervise your children’s’ education while trying to hold it together and still have made masks or treats for others? Are you home alone trying to keep it together; reaching out to your friends and loved ones? Share your stories!
We can’t do this alone. We need to come together, while staying physically distant.
#WeAreTheCavalry #WashYourHands #InThisTogether #YouAreNotAlone #BrianPaskoIsAnAmazingPhotographerAndFriend #BrianPasko