Dear Patients,

This is undoubtedly a challenging time in many ways. 

There are even more questions than answers, despite a deluge of information from the media. Everyone’s lives have been interrupted — each individual’s routine has melded into a universal one: the equivalent of being grounded as a kid. We have fewer liberties right now, and even though we may understand why, it can still feel frustrating to have less freedom. 

I have experienced some of the frustrations but sublimated in different ways — like trying to buy PPE for our staff. Telemed with two kids and two standard poodle puppies downstairs. I’ve also worried about my patients — some of them who are older, some who are more ill, and others simply vulnerable for a myriad of reasons. How would we get some of them their monthly medications? How can we ensure they are eating or have enough food?

Change is hard, and times such as now test our adaptability “muscles”. It might be a painful process, but these are also the opportunities that truly teach us what we really need in life to be satisfied and what else is excess. 

I am also reminded of one of the most salient examples of human resilience — one I learned as a prison doctor in the SHU (23-hr lockdown) units. Isolation is a powerful impetus for building community — even when it seems impossible.