Category Archives: ER doctors

Will their smiles still be seen?

Are you doing your part? 

Watching this pandemic unfold while sitting in China was an eerie experience.  I kept up with the daily death toll, while listening to so many ask “What’s the big deal? The flu kills more people than this each year.” Yes, the flu does kill many but we don’t shut down borders, restrict air travel and activate the National Guard for the flu. 

So much confusion over this new virus and where it came from, how contagious it is and how it continues spreading so rapidly.  Of course not knowing the language and unable to watch Chinese TV and understand it, we (teachers) relied on news from our own countries, USA and New Zealand. Each reporting something different or new.  Chinese colleagues were relaying different information.  Our heads were spinning.

I remember hearing that the Chinese government placed the city of WuHan on lockdown, but told the citizens it was going to be effective the following day.  This gave millions of people time to leave WuHan before the city and it’s people were on lockdown.  Begin the spread. There is a lesson to be learned there.

business locked and closed in Beijing

Once this city was on lockdown, others soon followed. Schools remained closed and still are closed. Stores and businesses began to close. The only establishments that were to remain open were those of necessity, supermarkets and pharmacies. Deliveries of all kind; food, groceries, TaoBao, etc. were stopped.

Heed their actions?

Beijing, a city of 20 million plus people were staying inside.  I could look out my apartment window and see only a few people in the park, here and there. We would go to the park, donned in our “protective wear” to walk, gather information on the virus and count our daily blessings. Upon return to my apartment, I would remove my shoes at the door, wash my coat, gloves and clothes.  I wiped down my front door handle and the floor.  I cleaned my glasses and took a shower.  Every day without fail.  Who knows what could have been lurking on my clothing?

During our walks and toward the 2nd or third week into our self-imposed quarantine in Beijing, we noticed more “smog” or “pollution” in Beijing than normal.  Data at this time suggested an increase in the amount of sulphur dioxide in the air, possibly from the crematorium burning so many bodies each day. We were nearly 1000 miles away from WuHan but seeing the effects in the air quality. This just made me think of how the skies must have looked at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the 1940’s with ovens operating continuously, burning bodies on a daily basis.  What a tragic time in our world’s history!

Now the military in Italy are transporting coffins of people to cremation centers.

We are watching all of this unfold in other countries, yet are we doing everything we can to stop the spread? I felt guilty picking my car up from the shop today. I wore gloves and wiped down the counter, the door handles and pens at the dealership. I stopped by the store to pick up a few things, again feeling guilty,  and saw my friend, Rex, there.  No hugs, just an elbow bump and that was too close for me. 

I have remained Virus free and have made very nerve-wracking decisions to get me to this point and back to the USA. So it is possible, we just have to do our part.

 Travel restrictions should have been put in place for Spring Break Holiday weeks ago in the USA.  I feel lockdowns, restrictions and quarantines should have been in effect prior to this week. California leaders estimate 25.5 million people will contract the virus over the next 8 weeks but even knowing this, people go on about their non essential business of the day. Let’s pull it together and work for the safety of our city, state and country or the spread continues.

The National Guard has already been authorized to provide planning and guidance throughout this situation. So it looks like the State of Oklahoma is preparing for the worse. Until local and federal government leaders provide more uniformity across the country, it will get worse. As in China, some places did this, others did that. The spread continued.

I know it is all new, we weren’t really sure what it was capable of at the onset, but now we are seeing the effects of this virus. It is our civic duty to act with the best interests of our families, friends, doctors, nurses and first responders at heart.  

My son, the doctor and his beautiful ER doctor friends, I hope their smiles and those of all ER physicians can still be seen

Overall, I was in quarantine for 7 weeks.   I survived.  You will, too! so DON’T let it! Find something to do and someone to help. You will feel so much better during this time of insecurity.

Stop the spread….Do it for our real heroes, those who don’t know what they are being exposed to on a daily basis; first responders, health care providers and my son, the doctor. 

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