translated from Spanish: Diary of a doctor day 3: «We imagine that everything can be worse in hours, days»

The pandemic days are long. The many calls, patients, talks, but in turn short. We are prepared for certainty. Health teams (even more doctors) train in certainty. Between protocols, books and scientific articles. Today that uncertainty that pre-warming that moment before the appointment you so expected that tension before the interview of the laburo you are looking for, that feeling is constant. It becomes unbearable.

Many colleagues write their chronicles. Everyone is looking for the best way to wear it. Eugenia writes on her Facebook: «Exaggerated or sub-breed?» I don’t know about that. I can’t answer that. We all wonder the same thing. As I left my house, I found a drawing that read: «Thank you for taking care of the coronavirus. Don’t worry, doctor, we stayed home.» Tato and Emi sign. I’m sure it’ll be old. Neighbors like the ones who meet at home every day at 9 p.m. and applaud. I don’t go out for the sake of it, because I don’t know what to do because I don’t think they should applaud or thank, but I understand the gesture, the love.

That image, the one in the drawing, is contrasted with that of the ambulances waiting at the hospital door. One moves our patient from Madrid, the one on a ventilator, but there are four.

The day will continue with images. Many of them seen through masks, empty hallways, waiting rooms with tips that no one receives. Health teams continue to form. Training is ongoing. I look down the laryngoscope. I locate the vocal cords of a doll that plays a simulator for training. I put the tube and keep that image. Yesterday’s tense deals seem more relaxed. We’re not relaxed anymore. It is that we realize that we must all come down, begin to understand each other’s anguish, fear, and anxiety, and join us.

I meet colleagues from different specialties practicing intubation. Seeing how we should run a respirator. I’m scared today. Not the coronavirus, but not living up to that moment. I’m afraid the inputs won’t reach, the beds won’t reach, the efforts won’t reach. My pharmacy partner’s eyes become mine. We are all faced with something we cannot foresee. We must foresee what we imagine, but we don’t see today.
We’re full of mixed feelings. In the middle the clock runs. Patients are coming. We imagine that everything can be worse in hours, days. But that’s imagination. It’s a relief. It’s planning. In the meantime, we’re surrounded by images.

Original source in Spanish

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