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COVID Crisis Post 8: Our Hopes and Tears.

My heart hurts.

We need to remember, before our lives became all-consumed by COVID-19, before our day-to-day got turned into a stale pretzel, a disease threatening the world is not needed to recognize the complexity, wonder, and pain life brings in its rawest state.

We had lives that existed prior to all of this, lives we shared, and still share, with multiple loved ones. There was happiness, there was fear, there was laughter, and there were tears.

All before this.

We are doing our best in the hospital to maintain some semblance of normalcy in this unrecognizable world. We do our best to keep our spirits high.

We look at memes and laugh.

We tease one another.

We offer to help out when others are rightfully scared.

We are a family and support one another.

We are fearful, but we are together. And that makes each day more tolerable than it should be.

But there are tears, too.

Tears due to exhaustion, fear of losing a patient, fear of becoming sick themselves, fear for an unborn child, being overwhelmed. These tears will likely become more frequent in the coming days and weeks. And the reality is, honestly, it isn't even that bad yet. And it's going to get bad. And that's a sobering thought.

Today, I saw tears once again. But these tears were more heart-wrenching than any I've seen yet... and probably will not be surpassed even once this entire ordeal has passed.

These were tears that had nothing to do with the virus. These tears superseded all of it. These tears did not give the virus the time of day because nothing else mattered.

These were tears of loss for a loved one, unimaginable. Tears of regret. Tears for the type of loss one would never wish upon anyone else. The type of loss that could warm the coldest of hearts.

The type of loss that creates even more tears.

We are physicians. We are nurses. We are physician assistants. We are technologists. We are cleaning staff. We are many things, and sometimes we wear multiple hats.

But most importantly of all, we are human.

We made a choice to do what we do, to serve humanity. But we can not and will not give up our humanity in exchange.

It's this humanity that allows us to persevere, to carry on, even with the heaviest heart, while in the midst of the greatest health threat we will likely ever see during our lifetime.

COVID-19 is scary. We will continue to fight.

But sometimes, it just doesn't matter. And that's okay.

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