March 20, 2020 at 4:11 pm #23569
I know, I know…. another forum post about COVID-19. I wasn’t planning on writing about it anymore, because I know readers are likely tired of hearing or talking about it. That said, the reality is; this pandemic is at the forefront of what any of us can think about right now. However, I want to challenge many of you to reframe all of the negativity that is coming from this widespread and unfortunately, fatal virus, and see if you can find some positive within it.
Yesterday, a friend sent me an article which showed the canal in Venice, Italy which had clear waters. For the first time in 60 years, a dolphin was spotted swimming in those waters. If you find some of the satellite images from space right now, there is a drastic difference in how the world looks in those pictures as well. I can’t help but wonder the benefit our Earth will gain from this terrible pandemic. Do I believe the loss of life is worth it for the Earth to “heal” a little? No of course not. However, I am overwhelmed with this virus and all the damage it is causing so for my own mental health, I am needing to look for some good.
I have plans to write a column about this in the coming days actually. That is because I’ve been shown much kindness from the community of friends and family surrounding me – even if that is just a text to say, “I’m thinking of you as someone who is at high-risk of this disease” It feels hard to find in the moment, but there is some good out there. My co-columnist Christie Patient beat me to this type of column, which you can read HERE.
If you’re needing a break from the negativity, write to me and share any ‘silver linings’ or positivity that you’ve noticed throughout this pandemic. Perhaps we can write a collective column and spread some positivity to others who may be in need.
With all of you in thought and mind,
March 21, 2020 at 8:39 am #23583Carol DyckParticipant
What beautiful words you wrote and what inspiration it gives everyone to think about how the environment is “resting” for a short time during this horrid pandemic. I read that birds were heard singing and chirping in cities in China where they haven’t been heard for years. Yes, I truly believe ‘good’ will come from this and hopefully the world will learn that we have to give it a ‘rest’ once in a while, but hopefully in other ways than what we’re going through right now.
March 21, 2020 at 9:18 am #23591
Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts on this topic — I really appreciate your kind words! Of course any pandemic that results in a loss of life is devastating, but in these times of so much negative information, I am trying to think of what good could come from this. We were heading down a dark path with the way we were treating our planet, and I can’t help but hope our Earth is healing a little bit, or, resting as you say. Hearing of marine life being seen again, clear satellite images from space and birds chirping gives me hope that maybe, just maybe our planet is going to recover a little bit during this scary time for all of us. I do hope that we learn from this and figure out less scary ways to help our Earth rest in future, you’re absolutely right. I hope you’re doing okay Carol, thanks for connecting. Charlene.
March 24, 2020 at 9:19 am #23611Karen MartinParticipant
I am going to jump in here with a pretty trivial and personal “silver lining.” I have been very lucky that fragrances have never bothered me, but I had close friends who had serious allergies with whom I worked so I fell out of the habit of wearing the perfumes I dearly love. I have a variety that represent the seasons to me and always liked switching them around. It dawned on me that with my not going anywhere that other people would be affected by them, I can again choose what I want to wear each day! I suppose this may sound selfish, but I know that when I am happy I am a nicer person to be around, even with social distancing. 🙂 Karen
March 24, 2020 at 10:24 am #23618Mark KoziolParticipant
Hello Karen, I think you are a good person for the simple reason you have empathy for others when you are living with a devastating disease. I’m pleased you are in a jovial mood. I do think this helps us with maintaining our stress levels, and by the way we all deserve to be a little selfish. Have a great day, mark.
March 24, 2020 at 12:41 pm #23619Sara TannerParticipant
So while I’m lucky enough to be working from home & “social distancing” with my husband that has IPF , we’re getting creative with our time together at home. He is having Sports withdrawal! Ha Hooked up that Xbox that we never use & are doing stretching & NASCAR racing. ? We’ve scheduled dedicated movie time together utilizing our Netflix, Amazon etc. memberships. He can’t continue his Pulmonary rehab right now due to it being at our local hospital, so gracious friends loaned us a treadmill & bike for him to use. He really enjoyed getting up & out three days a week. I could tell a difference in his frame of mind & stamina after a week of missing. We’re cranking up I Heart radio with our old favorite songs& laughing at each other when we get cranky. We’re actually talking more & he’s not mindlessly flipping channels. These are scary times, so try hard to stay as active as possible mentally & physically at home & be thankful for those you are spending it with . Hope everyone stays healthy!!
March 24, 2020 at 3:10 pm #23625Regina BolyardParticipant
One outstanding benefit for me has been connecting with friends using Zoom. Prior to this pandemic, even my very dear friends did not seem to grasp the pain and loneliness of being isolated. Now I see that many of them are feeling the stress, and their concerns for each other is almost tangible. The love and happiness that I see in their faces and hear in their voices is very touching and encouraging.
March 24, 2020 at 6:26 pm #23633David OtaParticipant
1. Wearing a mask in public is fashion forward
2. The ‘old timer’ IPF Patients are Masters Level Social Isolationists
3. Working from home is no longer a “Reasonable Accommodation” it’s just Tuesday
4. You had N95 masks already
5. Being afraid of flu season is now a shared experience
There are so many things wrong with this list that I cringe reading it. I lost my fight with IPF 4 years ago, and now I have a compromised immune system due to the Lung Transplant Drugs. My life has been nothing but a continuous stream of changes for almost 10 years. Change is hard, IPF forces change, COVID-19 forces more.
Through it all, I try to smile and laugh at the spectacle of life, knowing it may end at anytime. But that was my life before IPF, it was just easier to ignore. Since IPF, I really try and enjoy the things in my life I can, knowing they can be taken away. I try and remember to thank my wife for the large and small things she does everyday to make our life easier. My Silver Lining in IPF and now COVID-19 is to appreciate what I still have.
Now, I have to go find more toilet paper 🙂
March 24, 2020 at 7:06 pm #23638
I love this Karen! Thank you @casey for helping me think of the ‘small things’ that might mean a great deal to all of us amidst this crisis. Hanging onto anything right now is important, and I am glad you are finding some joy in your day again with choosing the fragrances you enjoy. Good for you. Thanks for sharing 🙂
March 24, 2020 at 7:09 pm #23639
Thank you so much for sharing this with us — inspiring to hear how people are getting creative amidst a lot of time together right now. Hooking up a gaming system like an Xbox or Wii is a great idea for some exercise. Have you found anything really good worth sharing on Netflix yet? If so, circle back and let us know… I am always up for new recommendations! Continue laughing, enjoying music and moving your body, all things that are very important, although I know this is such a hard time for many of us with IPF. Thank you for sharing – my spirit is lifted a little more because of your post!
March 24, 2020 at 7:11 pm #23640
Thanks so much for sharing – isn’t Zoom great? Once I get home again, I look forward to using Zoom to conference call with a few of my crafting friends to create together. Sure missing them! It’s hard to be grateful that others “get it” now, the difficulty of pain and loneliness of being isolated and scared of catching a virus, but somehow there is some comfort in knowing others understand what we go through regularly. It’s nice to hear those concerns are pulling people closer together – love and happiness – cannot be killed by COVID-19. Thank you for writing 🙂
Thinking of you,
March 24, 2020 at 7:14 pm #23641
Thanks so much for this list – while I wish it wasn’t ‘normal’ either, I take some comfort in the fact that now there is a bit of a better community understanding among the silver linings you’ve lifted. Understanding drives compassion and I can only hope to see others giving out a little more compassion now and when this is over. This is especially true for those of us, who, as you say are indeed master level social isolators.
Thank you for sharing those silver linings, and your perspective of gratitude despite IPF. These things are important, and I admire your attitude. Thanks for writing and hang in there!
March 27, 2020 at 11:52 am #23732Donald Salzberg MDParticipant
I have seen more hysterical videos, jokes, sayings etc. Humor is so important. My patients love her for my Rodney Dangerfield impressions or appropriate (clean) jokes. I have always felt it’s important for patients to see me as affable, approachable, accessible (the 3 As) and a good listener. I’ve been calling patients on the phone (some sent me a photo) and explain and reassure patients all is ok. We all want hope and reassurance.
On a side note , all of us IPF folk are petrified of what will happen to our compromised lung function if we contract the Corona virus. Keep in mind that some patients are presenting with COVID with only GI symptoms (diarrhea; Nausea; vomiting) WITHOUT pulmonary symptoms. So DO NOT IGNORE worsening of GI issues that can indicate COVID-19.
Taking a walk
No office reports
CONNECTING with lots of friends i have had no time to do because of my doctor thing!!
no surgery—no complications (a rare occurrence)
The world has changed permanently. Like 9-11. Strangely a pandemic has happened every 100 years (1720, 1820, 1920, 2020). As an eye doc 20/20 is usually a good thing May we all get through this with kindness, love, caring and better preparedness and not with fear and anger and blame and depression.
And as Rodney said when he awakens every AM, he said “I look up at the sky and say Good Morning heaviness.”
March 28, 2020 at 10:03 am #23739
Thanks so much for contributing your thoughts to this thread! I think it is important to focus on some good amidst the chaos, and I couldn’t agree with you more regarding humour. That is really important during these tough times! I’m glad you focus on the needs of your patients so deeply, and consider how you want them to see you. Shows a really personable side of medicine, in addition to the professional.
I have also spent a lot more time on zoom/video calls with friends and family members. It has been nice, but I do miss the face-to-face contact, no doubt there. Love the silver linings you mentioned – having time for things we never really did can be a gift, if we let it. Also, thank you for the reminder about GI symptoms and the potential indications of COVID. Take good care, and thanks for writing. Happy Saturday!
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