March 5, 2021
One year later and this pandemic rages on. These days I’m more and more taught, my muscles reflecting my mind as they ache and pain. Work gets more frightening each day as those I work with get sick. Now I get phone calls for contact tracing (“did you work closely with so-and-so last week? Did you take your mask off at all during your shift?”) and more of my “cold zone” patients end up hot. The stress rises and sometimes peaks; I erupt volcanically with tears, raising my voice to my family at any little offense when really the problems lie outside our home.
When I come home to a full bed as I did tonight, two kids, a puppy and hubby all snuggled and at peace, it reminds me why we chose this path of true isolation. I remember why my kids aren’t in school, why I pulled out of the hot zones back in May, why we remain so strictly alone. This is my family, these are my loves, pieces of my soul. Their health, my health, are paramount to all of our mental health. Keeping them all safe is my responsibility; worrying that I could bring this raging beast home to them is the most scary thing of all. So I work in the cold zone, sacrificing some of my favourite parts of emergency medicine, to keep them safe. I sit with the kids all day, distance learning grade 5 and kindergarten, so that they will be educated and stimulated even if not in the physical classroom. I drive hours twice a week to bring my girl horseback riding, and another day each week to go ski, because they need the distractions and the outdoors.
I’ve come to understand that this time is not for me. It’s not about me. It’s about ensuring my children make it through to the other side of covid intact, happy, strong and sweet. They are the most important pieces of my puzzle, and their health is all that matters.