Category: Community Life

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Action at a Distance

By an unfortunate artifact of scheduling, I worked 18 shifts in the last 22 days. Not all my patients had Covid but quite a few did. And in trying to think about what to write here, I am realizing that there is simply nothing left to say. It is like the…

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Shaken

I went to pick up a disposable blue gown today as I have countless times this week, month, year, decade. In doing such a mindless and ordinary task, this time for “ordinary” diseases, I was suddenly hit by a series of flashbacks: delicately laying masks on a single paper towel, triple checking my gown ties and face shield before entering a room, standing watch outside patient rooms to coach staff in donning and doffing…

I froze in place for a few seconds and felt my pulse race. A few seconds of deep breathing and of anticipating the chest tightness… and the feeling of being overwhelmed slowly faded away, leaving only the usual alarms and beeping and dinging that characterize any typical hospital floor. It was brief and silent and I went on with my work day.

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Covid, Community, and Me

…the experiences of this past year have changed me profoundly and in ways I still do not yet understand. It means some days I can feel my brain nod along to the evidence and statistics that, through immunization, my risk of getting it again and becoming severely ill are virtually nil, and yet still reflexively reach for the mask and sanitizer in my pocket. It means some days I am happy to shake your hand and others I may involuntarily pause or stand a few feet further than I need to, frozen by an anxiety that is often unpredictable and bewildering. It means some days I am all smiles and laughter and some days I am expressionless and tired. It means some days I am overwhelmed by painful memories and some days I am seeking to create new and joyful ones. It means that I am sorry if there are times my actions and mood catch you by surprise; I am usually more surprised than you…

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A Nice View

“You have a nice view.” I say that often to patients at our hospital because it really is a beautiful view. Built in the late 1800s, the hospital has some perspectives which overlook the Brandywine creek and its bank of trees. But the view I am always talking about is…

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Epilogue/Prologue

It has been nearly two years since I last wrote here. Long lapses in writing are common, typically due to the crowding out caused by a mundane sort of busyness. This lapse has been different if not intentional. It is one thing to say, “2020!” with the sort of half-shrug…

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Fatherhood

It was hard to hear him over the rhythmic humming of the ventilation, so I leaned in as his other classmates filtered out of the room. “How do you be a dad?” As a pediatrician, most of the questions I am asked are technical ones. What is this rash? How do you change the…

Wilmington shooting map as per 6-2-18 since beginning of record keeping in 2011 by News Journal. 1

That Unique Desolation

This post has been dormant since March 29, 2016, but its title and its content have persistently been on my mind since. The other day at some social gathering someone asked me what my hobbies were and, after thinking for a moment, said that it was studying firearm violence. They laughed awkwardly…

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In Memoriam

Dwight and I sat in his small apartment and talked about our memories from Pine Street, the neighborhood we had first become friends and neighbors. He was grinning in a mischievous way and I knew something good was coming. “When I first met you, you were juggling outside, and I thought,” he paused to…