Unsung heroes (in the time of global pandemic)

In this time of unprecedented global crisis we’re facing – the Coronavirus pandemic – it happen that I’m living with a friend, who is a medical doctor – a surgeon. My lady doctor is simply kind-hearted and most wonderful surgeon I’ve known. Her kind heart and beautiful mind give her the healing hands to the children she touches. And that what I usually tell her.

In the beginning of the epidemic, when we only saw fatalities locally in China, my lady doctor often made joke that you (me) are in a highly risk environment because I (my friend) bring home lots of viruses and bacteria from the hospital. Not knowing about our joke, meanwhile, when my family and friends know that I’m staying with a doctor, they feel kind of at ease. (You know, that’s kind of feeling – a doctor should know how to handle all kinds of disease).

A funny thing at home is that we often have fights like this: whenever I explain to my dear doctor that she should do this and do that for her health, she would, in a very tired mood after a long working day, look at me with a sleepy face, and say: “Are you trying to lecture a doctor about her own healthcare, I am a doctor okay?”. Then I say: “Of course, I’m a doctor too (not that kind of medical doctor though :D), I’m even teacher of medical doctor.” Well, that’s kind of joke and fight when we two doctors are in the house.

Today, when I came home my doctor told me, while reading her book: “I volunteer to go to the quarantine centre for Coronavirus-infected patients if the situation gets worse here in the city. So if I go, you have to stay home alone.”

(In Vietnam, we don’t have, and hopefully will never have, fatality due to Coronavirus, and I myself feel pretty safe and proud of that fact, compared to many other countries)

I did not know immediately what to say to my lady doctor. But I know at that very moment, I do feel worry. For I know how extremely hard working  already she is as a surgeon in a place as constantly crowded as public hospitals in Vietnam.

I asked her: “Are you sure about that?” She told me, again in a sleepy mood, but absolutely carefree: “That’s normal, it’s just a virus, it is just like another day job of mine.”

I told her: “Yes, I totally understand, we’re also having thousands of medical students volunteer to go into this battle. I stay home alone or not is not a problem.”…then I just sighed… not knowing how to explain my feeling to her

A little later then, I told her : “This might not be relevant but let me tell you how I immediately feel when you told me that news…I simply feel like what if we’re in a real war like the wars in the past we had, I think I understand, or maybe not, the pain and tears of all the mothers who sent their children to the front….to die. I don’t know how to explain to you, but that is what I feel”

Again, my lady doctor acclaimed: “Why you’re so serious about it? It’s totally normal to any doctor. It’s only a virus. I’m not going to die.”

I repeated: “I understand that. Just telling you my feeling. This is also a life and death matter.”

Time to bed,…

Now then, I think I understand a bit more about the fear deep inside me.

Hats off to you, my dear doctor and all the doctors, health care givers out there who offer yourself in this global battle. You’re doing God’s work. God bless you!

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