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#1:When people ask you if you're ok, and you nod "yes," what do you really want to say?


The pandemic is showing us how we can be better to each other, how we can be better to ourselves. This is our first posting of answers to an anonymous questionnaire that was sent to frontline healthcare workers in multiple departments at multiple hospitals. The responses are anonymous in order to free healthcare workers of any pressure to speak or act in a certain way while they truly feel another way.


Quarantine and isolation are more than physical distance for healthcare workers. They entail distance from feelings—one's own and those of others. These responses are a means for you, the frontline healthcare workers, to find one another, to see someone else feels the way you do—that there’s no right way to feel during this crisis.


The questionnaire link is below. It is and will continue to be active. Fill it out now, and even fill it out again later as your perspectives change. Remember, the responses are anonymous. It’s a safe place to share what you’ve been thinking, feeling, and seeing during the pandemic. Some responses are serious, and others are a refreshing bolt of silliness.


We will post each week. And, please share this questionnaire with anyone who has cared for a patient during this pandemic.

*Click below for the questionnaire*


The "How Are You (Honestly)?"

Pandemic Questionnaire






#1: When people ask you if you're ok, and you nod yes, what do you really want to say?

Honestly, I am over it. I wear what I am supposed to wear at work and I see the next patient. We are the lucky ones who still have a job and are essential enough to get to go to work and interact with others. The people who are stuck at home with no work, no paycheck and no plan are the ones who have it much harder than I.


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Just wanna rip lips....fish lips


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I want to say 'hell, no'. I am frustrated. Depressed. Completely distracted. It is so unnerving to be on an 8 hour shift in a mask and goggles. It is even more unnerving to walk around a pharmacy or grocery store in a mask, social distancing, then driving home to wipe/decontaminate everything. Politics aside, this pandemic is taking a shit on the economy, the effects of which may last a decade or even a generation. Trying to navigate distance learning for my kids while conducting office work remotely is challenging and it is bringing out all of my unhealthy habits related to food and lack of activity.


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I'm a simmering version of ok. I really am ok, but will it last?


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I'm actually doing pretty well


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I AM OK, but I want this to be over and I hope I stay OK


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I wish people understood how anxious I am.


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This is fucking awful.


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I really am fine. This is what I was made for.


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I'm really fucking tired. This no daycare thing, mom-ing 24/7, and working a ton is really freaking hard.


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I'm now a full time Doctor whose salary (which is already low) is being cut, plus a full time mom/nanny/house keeper/fixer and finder of all things. I feel like I'm being promoted and demoted at the same time.


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yes


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Sometimes


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Fuck no!


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I'm bored, and I miss seeing my coresidents, I miss operating


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If by OK you mean am I going to work knowing there is the potential of my contracting a disease that can not only kill me but if I ‘get lucky’ only put me in the ICU on a ventilator for 2 to 4 weeks? Yeah, I’m ok


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Exhausted, overwhelmed, despondent


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I would like to be somewhere else right now. Why couldn't I have been born rich so I could just live on vacation?


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I'm semi overwhelmed but fortunate!!


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I'm bored and tired of walking on eggshells.


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"I usually say,"oh you know, just fighting existential dread all the time" or "the usual."


I want to say life is either pain or the absence of pain, and neither is better than the other. Just different.


This too will pass. My dad explained this in a metaphor from his time in the Vietnam War: "There is a dread, a heaviness in your heart that never goes away. Even when nothing is currently happening you know that your life could end in an instant with no warning. Also if your life ended nothing would really change for better or worse in the world, you were just a cog in a machine. The people who did not adjust to this usually forgot something important and were focused on the wrong things. The most important thing to remember is, it will end. Focus on the task at hand. It sucks now, and it will get worse and better and worse again and it doesn't matter. But you can't lose sight of the fact that it will end. Everything might be different when it does, but it will end.” [My dad] might not be here when it does, but it will end.


I hope everyone uses whatever piece of happiness they need to kindle a fire of hope. For my dad it is that it cannot go on forever, which makes him hopeful about a future. For me it is that I have an active role in shaping that future.”


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I do say doing ok, considering, which is a very low bar.


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I'm somehow more tired than I had been when I was working more hours. The sense of unknown is wearing on me and I don't know where to put my anxiety.


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I’m irritated because I’m getting called off shifts that I would rather be working. The financial worries are in the back of my mind but in the forefront is the need to be productive and helpful…to do the job I am called to do. I want to be stay busy...that will make me feel “ok” even with all that is going on.


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I'm not OK. I'm scared. I am worried about getting it. I'm worried about bringing it to my spouse, who has medical problems. (I'm no spring chicken, either.) My spouse lost their job. We physicians just got a pay cut. Which seems incredibly unfair. I'm worried about my kids, who are losing out on so many things, like all kids now. I worry about my parents, who I can't go to visit, and they're old and feeble. I worry about our country. And everyone in it.

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From the editors at triage,

Thank You for reading and Thank You for sharing.

Stay Safe.

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