It has been a long hard month for Victorians with the second lockdown and the steady climb in COVID19 cases. Victoria faces its greatest health challenge and the threat of worsening rates of infection continues, despite the vigilance that most members in our community are displaying in maintain social distancing, hand washing and wearing of masks. It’s tiring living with the constant threat of being exposed through work contact and yet we all want to be there to support our patients. Working in the CBD as a GP, I cover myself head to toe for protection so as not to contract the virus myself, transmit it to my patients and hopefully, to protect my family from it too. My new return-home-from-work ritual, is much like that of most health professionals working in the frontline – shoes off, throw clothes into wash and jump in shower. Then I greet my family and launch into preparing dinner. It’s the new normal and we will all need to accept this for the ensuing months or year.
My working days have never been simple, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult to remain buoyant. Numerous patients are feeling depressed, sad, lonely, uncertain. I counselled a male patient recently whose wife is interstate visiting her dying father. The borders closed, the father is still alive, and both agreed that she should stay with her parents until he passes on. Meanwhile, my patient is working from home, alone in their apartment, facing increasing demands from work to generate clients in this environment and has no one to talk to. As he described his daily routine of exercise, work zoom meetings, evening updates from this wife, who is enjoying relative freedom interstate, I suggested to him that he fix his imagination on something he loved doing as a child. We came up with building model train sets. I suggested he purchase a kit online and engage in a creative outlet that would become his story of COVID 19. Somehow, this resonated with him and he immediately felt better. At our next catch up, he will show me the progress he has made on the COVID 19 project, which I am looking forward to seeing.
Being creative in our solutions, expressing creativity in our lives, call it play; no matter what age we are, play is necessary. And in times like these, remembering the simple things we cherished as children can help us tap into our resourcefulness and resilience. A creation or project that embodies your COVID19 period, can become something you enjoy immersing yourself in. For now, the new normal is this. We need to take the ride together, seek out each other’s company and ask each other, RUOK? We are fortunate to have numerous technological devices to communicate with and just try to remember, that this too shall pass.
My 3 articles this month:
- Department of Health National Primary Care 10 Year Roundtable on LGBTI
- Australians SPHERE COVID 19 fortnightly meetings
- WHV Board Meeting
I have submitted my RACGP 2020 Presidency nomination – elections open 22/8/2020-close 30/8/2020
Visit my website: https://magdalenasimonis.com/video/