It’s Saturday today, the first day that I feel somewhat at peace since the pandemic kicked off. I’ve woken up slowly, swept the yard, and have sat outside with a brew. It feels nice to slow down.
This last week has been very fast pace. Alongside many other final year medical students, I started working in a local hospital trust. My job role has changed multiple times as the COVID-19 situation evolves, with new contracts and new expectations. PPE measures changed three times across the week, wards adapted into ‘coronavirus cohorts’ overnight. I’ve witnesses my first coronavirus death and have been shocked and saddened at how quickly this disease progresses, and angry and frustrated that families and friends can barely say goodbye, given the new visitor regulations in hospitals.
And yet, I considerate it such a privilege to be able to care for people at this time; collecting blood samples, reviewing test results, talking to patients. Most of them are lonely and frightened, it is such a blessing to be able to chat and care for them. Sadly, as the week progressed, I saw more patients who were no longer suitable for active treatments. Although these moments were heart-wrenchingly sad, I took comfort in knowing I could at least continue to be a human presence. I could listen to relatives on the phone, be physically present for patients when loved ones could not, and feel the sadness we all feel when human life is lost. I believe this is something.
Most of the world seems to be without hope at this time, and even now as I read the news, my heart sinks as the UK death rate shoots up to over 4000 people. Amidst all this uncertainty, I have been forced to reflect on what things in life are truly guaranteed. Things we took for granted; jobs, good health, well-stocked supermarkets and social lives, have crumpled away for many of us, for the vulnerable and working-class people, even more so. In light of this, I am thankful, more than ever, for my faith in Jesus. Although I have so many questions for God right now, (many of which are filled with intense confusion and sadness, and at times anger) I am certain that God will not abandon us, nor is he removed from this situation. Because of His love for us, God sent his son Jesus, into the world in human form. Jesus knew physical, emotional and spiritual pain. He was crucified on a Roman Cross. He took all the pain that we humans had caused and took it on himself. He loved us, when we didn’t love him. Because of this, I do not believe God is absent from this pandemic and I can be certain of God’s enduring love at this time.
I hope good will come out of this. I hope as a nation we will step out of lockdown with hearts full of compassion and gratitude. I hope we will recognise the importance of community and grow in our appreciation for our undervalued key workers, such as nurses, teachers, cleaners, and supermarket staff. I hope we will advocate for better employment rights and fight for better NHS funding. I hope we learn that slowing climate change requires radical intervention but is in fact possible. I am sure we will grow fonder of family, simplicity and time.
But for now, I intend to drink coffee, read and rest, as I prepare myself for the week ahead. SSB Liverpool, UK