Today was our first day back after vacation. I am using the word vacation rather loosely since I still delivered babies and gave all my OB patients my cell phone number. I mean, I did this willingly since I know that they are all very anxious lately with all of this COVID scariness. I felt that I owed it to them. I also cleaned like a madwoman for the last week, exercised like crazy, and cooked like a 1000 home cooked meals. So, it wasn’t really the break that I truly needed, but I have the whole rest of my life to take breaks. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Anyway, back to the first day back. The whole environment was different. We were all really trying hard to pretend that it wasn’t, but the fear and tension were in the air. Everyone was masked. We nervously joked. The nervous laughter just didn’t feel the same. Patients were nervous too. You could tell when they walked in, also wearing masks. We worried too much about what other places were doing and how they were handling the pandemic. I proceeded with doing my usual daily Facebook updates to let patients know about any changes and give general advice and reassurance…only to be greeted with a stranger’s post response asking me why we were essential in the first place and why we got to be open? What? Really? We are in healthcare. We take care of pregnant patients and gynecology patients with pelvic issues, infections, cancer, and a multitude of other health issues, most of which are just not amenable to telehealth. I can’t express enough how much this comment got to me. Before I could stop myself, I started second-guessing my decision-making and why we were open and my nervousness rubbed of on the already nervous staff. We are already worked up enough without someone trying to make us feel like we are trying to get away with something as opposed to just doing our job. I know that it sounds ridiculous that we could allow one comment to cause so much nerve-wracking damage, but that is just how things are right now. People that are working right now, ourselves included, are struggling to keep it together for themselves and for their clients/patients. We are trying to balance our fears and our work ethic to do what is best for everybody. The extra negativity is neither desired nor welcome. We just don’t need it right now. So, let me clear this up once and for all. We are essential. We cannot use a computer screen to examine a vagina. And last but not least, patients cannot do their own c sections. I hope that clears things up for everybody. Have a great day.