Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Thoughts Before Work
I sit here waiting for my first patient of the day, desk fan set up, coffee ingested. The iPad is set up for video visits and charging cords snake over the desk. A freshly charged phone is at hand for the inevitable telephone visits for our older patients and the telephone number for the translator service is within reach. All set to go.
My parents' 60th wedding anniversary is this week (my sister reminded me yesterday; I ordered a cake for pickup and she has taken care of the flowers). We will have a little Zoom meeting to celebrate after Dad gets back from his visit to the cardiologist. Yesterday I was on the receiving end of a telephone appointment - for my parents, not for me. With the primary care doctor on the phone I reviewed their medications, blood pressures and symptoms. I also have to talk to them about completing an advance directive form (not the most pleasant conversation I've ever had).
This is a weird way to live. I veer between doing nothing and being booked with patients all day long. Later this week I plan to go back into the office to see patients in-person for the first time since February. I suppose you could call this a working retirement. I have to pay for my own benefits now, and that comes expensive; but the ability to say "no" to work when I feel like it makes it all worth it.
Here in the US there is a growing drumbeat of resistance against the ongoing lockdown orders. I have no objection to wearing a mask, but I am concerned about all the small businesses that are at their last gasp because they aren't being allowed to open. This stressful atmosphere, added to the fact that this is an election year, combine to create a fertile support system for conspiracy theories and accusations. I'm about ready to give up Twitter, because I just get angry every time I log on and start reading. I do wonder whether there was a similar atmosphere in the time of the Spanish flu, post WWI, a time of even greater social upheaval. My mother once told me that her father was prevented from enlisting in the Army due to the flu, but she has very few details. It's too bad; I would have liked to know more.
At any rate, it's time to start work. It's been good to start blogging again; it gives me time to get my thoughts down without the constant background static that comes with other social media. It does have a calming effect.