A pandemic story

From a doctor, mom, and would-be writer
Doctor's Desk

Fourteen months into the Covid pandemic, I am finally returning to writing. Why so long? Well, it’s like this…

My day job as a doctor took over my life during the pandemic. Crazy long days, split between my regular private practice, where we continued to see our “well” patients, and the Urgent Care where we temporarily shifted to seeing our “sick” patients. As with many medical practices during this crisis, we adopted new technologies to keep everyone safe. ZOOM and telehealth went from being a sci-fi concept to everyday reality. We saw patients for both virtual visits and in-person appointments, did loads of COVID testing and supportive care. When the FDA gave Emergency Use Authorization for monoclonal antibody infusions for treating COVID, we set up an infusion center at our Urgent Care in an effort to offload volume from our local ER and help keep our patients from deteriorating to the point of needing hospitalization. When Pfizer and then Moderna came out with vaccines, we cheered. Then we rolled up our sleeves yet again and added a vaccination clinic to our Urgent Care site, where all of us (doctors, nurses, support staff) volunteered our time to get a massive vaccination effort off the ground.

At night, I’d come home exhausted, but there was no time to rest (or write). I have 3 school-age children, and the year of the pandemic became the year of home schooling. I am lucky my husband was able to work from home and do most of the heavy lifting with our kids. But checking homework? Adjudicating arguments between siblings? Doing that final load of dishes after dinner (and late-night snack)? Stocking the pantry and fridge and making sure we had toilet paper and disinfecting wipes? Collecting and laundering the wet towels and dirty socks and balled-up pajama bottoms that somehow never made it to the laundry hamper? Yep, you guessed it: my job.

In California, as of May 2021, about 36% of our population is fully vaccinated. Our Covid positivity rate has dropped to the lowest it’s been since the start of the pandemic. Patients who’ve sheltered at home are starting to trickle back into our offices. We have new babies in our practice, and are starting to schedule travel consults. Travel consults!

We are lucky. While we have lost patients, neighbors, friends to the scourge of COVID, our little enclave has remained relatively unscathed and intact. My heart goes out to those who continue to suffer and fall elsewhere in the world, where the battle against disease still rages.

In the meantime, I continue to work. My kids are starting to return to school.

And I have managed to carve out a few hours here and there to plot and write about things that are far removed from reality. I’m working on a cozy mystery now, and hope to have something out by the end of this year.

Stay well and stay safe,

Jill