Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. I went back to work on May 4th and I have to tell you, COVID-19 will forever change how people interact with each other. From what I’ve seen so far, there are a lot of sensible people out there, but some people have seriously lost their minds. I will now share some of my experiences below so that you can understand why I made the above statement.
The Conspiracy Theorist:
- The first type is the “I know all about COVID-19 because I have read everything about it” person. When someone said this recently, I didn’t respond, so she continued. “I believe doctors are purposely killing their patients to inflate the number of deaths. I read that doctors are paid $19,000 if they diagnose pneumonia as COVID-19 and are paid $39,000 if they put their patients on a ventilator.” My first reaction was to tell her how ridiculous she sounded, but I decided to ignore her hoping that would shut her up. Oh how was I mistaken. She went on about how “patients were found with holes in their lungs and she believed the doctors purposefully did it and warned me not to get the flu shot because it has SARS in it.” I couldn’t take it anymore, so I just interrupted her and started the exam to shut her up.
- The second type of person says, “My family and I are all healthy and we are not buying into the whole COVID conspiracy so I’m not wearing a mask.” My response to that was pretty easy. I told myself that if she’s not going to comply with our COVID guidelines then she can’t come into our office. She finally agreed to wear one and she was clearly upset. Her demeanor changed when she saw that I was pregnant. After all, how could you be upset with a pregnant doctor trying to protect herself and her baby while doing her job.
- We have a guideline at my office for all patients to come in wearing a mask and gloves (both are provided for them if they don’t have any). Temperature is taken on each patient and they are asked 3 COVID-related questions. They must agree with the guideline before they can be seen for an exam. The complaining usually starts as soon as the get into the office. “Do I have to wear a mask all the time?” “I don’t see why I really have to wear a mask.” “I have been home for more than 5 weeks, I really don’t need to wear a mask.” “Is all this really necessary?” “This is ridiculous!” “Oh God Lord!” “For God sake!”
I can go on and on. I also have to keep reminding patients to make sure that the mask covers their nose and their mouth. I honestly get so irritated. Here I am with my mask, gloves, goggles and disposable lab coat on and I wear it all day long and yet, you are complaining about wearing a mask for 30-60 minutes.
The Judgemental Types:
- Most people who fall into this category generally mean well. There are genuinely concerned about my safety and how they could be risking my health and the health of the baby by coming in for their exam. I have some patients who even rescheduled their exams for a later date just to be safe. Then I have the people who say, “how irresponsible of you to be working at a time like this.” Most people have the decency not to say it to my face, but I could tell from the looks they give me as soon as they see me. I do remember one lady who looked at me weirdly and said, “You’re still working?” I’m not sure why I have to explain my decision to return to work to others. I could have continued to stay home if I wanted to, but I chose to work because I genuinely missed taking care of my patients.
I have other examples, but I’ll wait to share them on a different post. Wishing all the mamas and mamas-to-be a Happy Mother’s Day.