As the world steps back, healthcare professionals from around the globe are going above and beyond to serve those in need during this COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Kristofer Smith, naviHealth’s President of Home-Based Medical Care, is one of these dedicated workers, tirelessly answering the call to volunteer for the cause despite not practicing acute care medicine in over a decade. These are his daily stories – uncut and untouched, as told from the front lines.
Day 6 – We are more alike, my friend
For once in these endless past few weeks, the sirens are a celebration. We look out of the fourth floor, east-facing windows and a flag flutters over a typically busy but now empty road. The local fire company has heard that we are caring for COVID patients and they have turned out at 7 p.m. to celebrate our common purpose. I look at their faces, all good men and women, and they earnestly deliver an energetic thank you. The extended ladder truck has our flag high aloft. Spirited notes from a bagpipe livens the evening. Red and yellow lights whirl. Pedestrians stop and break into spontaneous applause.
The days are long, lots of patients don’t do well and we are all risking contracting a frightening illness. Many of us haven’t seen our families in weeks, not wanting to get anyone sick, especially our own. These 3-5 minutes nightly carry us onward. They refill our bucket. These moments also help us reconnect with that which unites us.
These days we all share being frightened, wanting to help, longing for hugs and family dinners. Maybe in these times when we seem to perseverate on that which divides us, we are remembering that we all fundamentally want the same things: to be safe, surrounded by those who love us, doing meaningful work, eating familiar foods and able to embrace each other.
Maybe Maya Angelou was right when she observed: “I note the obvious differences in the human family… but we are more alike my friend than we are unalike.”
Catch up on the entire series of “Trials and Triumphs” featuring Dr. Kristofer Smith.