I thought I had received my inspiration and tears for the day at exactly 11:27am from my friend Jackie.
Her best friend is a physician in Denver. But, more importantly, she is also a mom. Her son Chase is participating in a distance learning art class. He was asked to draw a superhero.
The picture on this post is what he drew. Tears welled in my eyes.
But as the day progressed, I lost sight of where to even begin with my post.
I thought I knew. I had LOTS of ideas.
Maybe I would start off by talking about the TB/BCG vaccine and how just because initial observational studies in populations who receive the BCG vaccine show strong correlation (but NOT causation) with decreased COVID-19 deaths, we should NOT be running out trying to get BCG vaccines. The theory is intriguing, but so was the theory with Plaquenil where the reality isn't so rosy:
Or maybe I'd talk about how splitting vents to treat two or more patients is absolutely stupid in this patient population, and the idea needs to get eradicated from the populations mind. It's hard enough to ventilate one patient on one vent in this population and have them survive. Splitting vents? You may as well wave goodbye to both patients.
Fortunately, the Society for Critical Care Medicine and many other societies agree:
Or maybe I'd talk about how all COVID-19 patients should be housed in airborne-isolation/negative-pressure rooms (rooms where the pressure differential keeps air, and therefore the virus, in the room). But most hospitals in NYC only have a handful of rooms per floor that can do so... with the exception of likely only one that can do far more:
And don't even get me started on those clear plastic intubation boxes with holes 🙄🙄🙄. Absolutely awful, bulky, poor maneuverability, plus a contamination risk. Give me a clear disposable plastic sheet and I'll be ecstatic.
It seemed so easy. And obvious.
Though yesterday weighed on me. When things get this close, this personal, it makes it even harder...
Because I heard the pained cries of a good friend, a physician, who found out her aunt was getting intubated for COVID-19.
I didn't know how to respond except by saying we will make calls to ensure she gets good care. What else could I say? It just sucked.
And then tonight, my resident and friend Brandon (yes, attendings and residents can be friends when a mutual respect exists) put the final nail in the coffin when he told me this:
Two residents, two fucking baby doctors who were just at the start of their career, had died in NYC from COVID-19.
Fuck. Just fuck.
No other words. Besides ugh.
Many are struggling with this dire situation. And sometimes, the person we think is the smartest person in the room doesn't even have the answer.
But maybe we're also too stupid to realize the smartest and wisest person in the room could be a child.
As a pediatric anesthesiologist, I have learned more about how to appreciate life, how to be be hopeful, and how to love, from children, far more than any adult could ever teach me.
This is why children are a gift.
Just like Chase, my friend Jackie's BFFs child, is a gift.
He provides belief. Hope. And for him, all he needs is the gift that is his mom.
This is Chase.
Chase is not panicking or sad.
Chase listens to his mom.
Chase believes people like his mom are heroes and will save the world.
Chase doesn't know what clinging to false hope means because all he needs is belief in his mom.
Chase knows everything will be okay as a result.
Be like Chase.