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Three-Year Reflections

For many of us, a “return to normal” or at least a “new normal” has begun – while others of us continue to feel constrained, upended, unmoored. Wherever you are in your pandemic journey, taking time to pause and reflect allows space to process, grieve, repair and reinvent – and to celebrate growth and metamorphosis.

Sharing our experiences with each other increases our connectedness and well-being, and strengthens our community.

Share your 55-word story here

Stories from members of our UW Medicine community are posted below with permission.


During the pandemic
Everyone was beautiful
Their lovely eyes above the masks
Crooked noses, crooked teeth, crooked smiles
Hiding from the plague.
Now our faces emerge
Slowly, doubtfully
And my tired colleagues have aged three years (thirty years? What is time)
In one day.

by Anonymous, Nurse


On Fire

My first day of internship
I am plunged into the frontlines of a pandemic
First gel… then gloves…
Masks, gowns
CAPRS, PAPRS, N95s galore
But, there’s more-
A tripledemic
A 10 hour wait
Just to be seen
No beds
No high flow
Another page, another code
I collapse on my bed
Another day, another woe

by Sara Khan, Pediatric Resident


Too much, too soon, too fast

My pulse quickens as the professor suggests the pandemic as a project topic. No, no. There is nothing to be learned from that time, I reason.
“Do you ever feel like you have unresolved covid trauma?” A swift text sent to a comrade on the bus ride home that afternoon. January 2023.
The trudge persists.

by Shelley West, Nurse



Someone else called out today.
It’s routine by now, carry on your way.
Put out fires left and right,
I don’t really get to sleep at night.
If I manage, it’s just a blink,
They say the masks are coming off,
I know I still won’t be able to breathe.

by Anonymous, Support Staff



Pandemics as bookends in a long career
Deja vu
The same fears
The same inequities
The same lessons?
Staring at death too long can blind you
Like looking directly at the sun.
Back to basics
Hold hands
Moisten lips
A drink from a straw
A touch
A whisper
You’re not alone; it’s ok

by DD Lindsley, RN


Hugs — The Best Gift You Can Give

I will never forget the first hug I received in more than a year (besides from my fiancé).  It was from my buddy (my teammate at work) and we just stood in the street hugging and crying, and eventually laughing.  I appreciate every hug a little more now.

by Vanessa Lipton, Support Staff



Three years ago, I was told I was a hero,
I went to work. I did my Job.
People still died.
We were heroes.
A battle fought at every level,
And now they say it’s over.
People are still dying.
Are we still heroes?

by Edward J Febish, Support Staff



I try not to think too hard about the patient that died alone when visitors weren’t allowed; it hurts too much to think about. I miss consistently seeing my patients’ faces, and having them see mine. I’m hoping the job begins to feel more human again.

by Anonymous, Nurse



Don’t remember the last 3 years. My relationship dissolved. Time passed. I showed up at work. I hated my job. People were unhappy. Patients coughed. I felt nothing, or felt too much. Going to the sea helped. Picking up shells, hearing birds. Our coastline sustained me. Grains of sand, passing through me and over me.

by Anonymous, Attending Physician



they say it’s over now. how many uncounted dead? how many millions disabled? I don’t know who to trust anymore. if you’re high risk, stay isolated. we are being left behind. the cogs must keep turning. our lives matter less than the profit we produce. did we learn nothing? will we work ourselves to death?

by Anonymous, Support Staff


Caring for the People who take care of the People

Actions implemented by UWMC throughout the pandemic highlighted the organization’s initiatives to ensure its employees were as well cared for as its patients. Appropriate PPE, availability of vaccines, daily attestations, use of sick time, avoidance of layoffs, stable compensation, and a week of discretionary leave substantiated your mission of being the Employer of Choice.

by Brian Buchanan, CRNA


Push On

Graduate school. Not ideal.
I pushed on.
Reached success, graduated, and switched jobs.
I pushed on.
Overwhelmed then grief reared its ugly head.
Took a silent downward spiral. Picked myself up.
I pushed on.
Another role, no comfort zone.
I pushed on.
The whirlwind is ending. Balance is restoring.
Remember, push on.

by Anonymous, Support Staff


The Past Informs my Present

Within 2 weeks of the global pandemic’s start,
I’d lost my immune-compromised friend Mike, 79, and his neighbor Kevin, 58.
In my mid-twenties I’d faced the AIDS epidemic which took my first boyfriend.
I knew if I could survive the slings and arrows of that wretched time,
I’d have the resilience to withstand COVID’S onslaught.

by Jack Hilovsky, Program Operations Specialist



Using the cell phone we provided, you would sometimes call me at 2am from your isolation room in the nursing home, a thousand miles away.  “I’m here momma, I can hear you. I’m here”, I would yell into the darkness, in vain.
But they lost your hearing aids long ago.
Now that you’re gone, I imagine the reverse. “I hear you; I see you,” you impart, from your new corner of our universe, “and even though I know you can’t hear me, I’m not going to hang up”.

by Anonymous, Support Staff


The beat goes on

Lub dub, the vanishing years.
No trace of paralyzing palpitations.
Lub dub, Watch alert—respiration elevated—my breath screams through noise cancelling ear buds and still fogs my glasses. Lub dub, where’s the evidence that our heart stopped and our breath held?
2 billion motoric beats in a lifetime. Is that a whisper? Lub dub.

by Anonymous, Attending Physician


April Fool’s Joke

2020 started when a stranger thanked me for washing my hands well.
Now, I wonder if anyone else is counting to 30.
I still have friends in lockdown.
One has a heart condition, others are old.
April 3rd Washington takes off its mask.
Feels premature.
2 days earlier it would be an April fool’s joke.

by Amy Davis, Human Resources



Nobody knew what to do. We just moved along, and now moved on, and that still feels endlessly transitory and wrong. Families shuffle around here, kids confused, confusion being all there’s been. I went to a bar last week. I never would’ve done that before, but behind the mask, nobody knows what to do.

by Anonymous, Research Staff

Their Reunion

“Two months; I miss her”. His battered body, another day inpatient. The sudden light in his eyes as I hear “DAD!” behind me. Sobs and laughter. “Enjoy your visit,” I whisper, and flee. My own father, so recently, so unexpectedly gone. Hiding sorrows in Harborview hallways. Shared joy commingled with private grief.

by Lindsay Haselden, Resident/Fellow


Pandemic Baby

You turned three this week.

Born to terrified faces,
Masked in uncertainty.

Meet your grandbaby,
Look, don’t touch.

You learned to speak slowly
from strange square mouths
making motionless sounds.

Your laughter, conquering our hidden frowns.

Old science, finally moved forward
At breakneck speed
While my sweet, pandemic baby
grows up similarly.

Happy birthday, baby

by LC, Researcher



“Real heroes don’t wear capes” they say.
But trauma weaves a cloak of compassion fatigue.
Weighs heavy while flogged by the rhetoric of deniers.
Heroic, but not super-human, nor made of steel.  There is a breaking point.
At first, heroes assembled for the greater good.
Now? Now they show up for each-other.

by Malyn White, Support Staff


From Mail Lady To Lab Lady

I switched careers in the middle of a pandemic and am dang proud of it. I went from carrying America’s mail on my shoulders literally to becoming a clinical lab Technician, little old me afraid of needles to poking people for a living with needles lol. This pandemic has brought my family closer and I got a new sense of self when I came to join UWMC. We are stronger than we know!

by Connie Arvie, Clinical Lab Techician 1


A new city and a transformed support system

Moving to Seattle in 2019 as an incoming resident in recovery from addiction, my grand plans for social integration through in-person didactics and local 12-step meetings were upended. Thank goodness for virtual IDAA meetings and UW’s Peer2Peer program! Connecting with other doctors in recovery and my Peer were armor against burn-out. I am incredibly grateful.

by Maureen Murphy-Ryan, MD Resident/Fellow


Kyrie Eleison 

One long day starting with an uncertain sunrise
An ominous air at dusk portended the night that lay in front of us
Some slept better than others, some didn’t sleep at all

Those who made it through
Take that deep breath and know
We are alive

by Drew Hunter, Attending Physician


The Wound

Band-aid ripped from gaping wound.
Not a time to heal.
Do what we can. Grief encompassing crisis.
Intersections of inequities undeniable.
“Healthcare heroes” with breaking hearts. Villians while tenderest sacrificed.
Now, stagnation in me.
Loss measured in the well of wisdom gone.
We go on. Trusting lessons will come.
Part of me is lost forever.

by Meredith, ARNP, Nurse Practioner


The fumes

2020=isolating, banding together, keeping each other safe.  2021= shots in arms, but so hard, babies go to NICU, moms on the vent.  2022=boosters, refusers, staff leaving for other hospitals and careers.  Now, but not the end, coasting on fumes, pointing fingers of frustration, trying to figure out how to care for each other again.

by Alyssa Stephenson-Famy, Attending Physician



The days were hard. We struggled, we fought, we cried.
And with each illness, each death, and every single sick person,
someone helped, someone hoped, and some healed.

And here we are now.
And here I am, with a hardness that I never knew I had.
Forever changed; sustained by strength and hope.

by Amy Johnson, Support Staff



I helped David say, “Goodbye,” to his wife on an iPad.  He couldn’t see my face, but I will never forget his.  Now, I hold my wife tighter. Give extra kisses. Encouraging words. Compliments. Laughter. Memories. Lifting that iPad taught me to lower my own and love those around me as deeply as possible.

by Nikki, Nurse



When this pandemic began, we witness health crisis in physical and mental. Seeing people in the bus and in the work place. People isolated, social conditions disrupted. Life had entered a degradation of mental health as whole. Our needs to live, to understand one another. Back to normalcy, we hope. We live again and hope.

by Anonymous, Support Staff


Working Student, Now Tired Professional

Three years: Class. The professor predicts future, the 100-year virus.
Three years: Home waiting… Are classes cancelled? Do I have work?
Three years: Classes hybrid. Essential. Off to work.
Two years: Divide grows. Mask. Don it, sheep! Doff it, selfish!
Two years: Others work from home. Essential. Off to work.
Now: Working. Numb, Burned out.

by Sami Goodman, Medical Laboratory Scientist


She Haunts Me

I still hear her screams and see her when I close my eyes.
She lunges for me. My heart is pounding. Everything is a blur.
The next time I see her she is on a ventilator.
She is suffering tremendously. I just wanted to help.
I’ll never forget her.

by Brad Jergens, Support Staff


This has been death’s season

This has been death’s season,
pandemia mythologies
were always lingering:
shadows of plague,
polio imprisonments,
gasping in the iron lung.
Stepfalls approaching,
waiting for vital signs.
Losing, lost, gone.
Is it over with?
Can we come out now?
Did we learn anything?
Can it happen again?
Hope to say hello
And stop saying good bye …

by Stephen Edwin Lundgren, Support Staff



It’s a lonely trek into the hospital with colleagues allowed to work from home, yet I am required to come in.  The city bus is empty; the outside is dark and cold.  Wear a mask?  Don’t wear a mask.  Canceled surgeries and spreadsheets.  Scared to walk the halls.
My 92-year-old friend died in isolation.

by Betsy Davidson, PCC


Long Covid

You sit in bed; chest hurts, brain shrouded in fog.
Seven months later and the fatigue precludes your return to the bedside.
You miss being a nurse so badly.
Family, friends, doctors keep waiting for your health to improve, but it never does.
They say the pandemic is ending, but it never will for you.

by Lisa Perdue, Support Staff


Learning Curve

No masks, then negative pressure rooms, dofficer, ppe, hot zones, masks for all.  Mask and ppe supplies under lock and key.  Job security treating covid, furloughs for clinics. One visitor, facetime for family, covid patients dying alone.  Gifted food from community.  Staff helping with vaccine clinic and boosters.  Optimism.  Relaxed ppe, hope, return to normal-ish.

by Anonymous, Support Staff

55-Word Stories from 2020


I am caring for a sick man.
His husband isn’t allowed in.
Sars-cov2 doesn’t accept any visitors.
I wish I knew him better.
Uncertainly I ask, “What is his favorite food?”
“Red or orange jello.”
Six weeks later, I haven’t found an obituary.
And I still can’t remember, if he liked red or orange jello.

by Bhargavi Chekuri, Resident/Fellow


Then, Now, Later

Frustrated with ignorance.
Anger toward liars.
Impatient with waiting.
Joy diminished from isolation.
European vacation cancelled.
So my treehouse rises from the ashes of those other dreams since evaporated.
It will be a retreat, to be shared when we are whole.

by Tom Booze, Nurse



Zoom. Computer screen. iPad to the side.
Don’t forget your blue-blocking lenses.
“Clinical experiences have been suspended
– indefinitely”

That’s probably for the best.

But how can I help?
How can I help if I am stuck behind this screen?
Are we even really a part of things?
It’s hard to feel like learning anything.

by Tiffani Lautenslager, Medical Student


Poem for an Empire in its last stages (NB: revolutionaries wanted!)

Fat cats fast-track upwards great wealth,
Starve those whose sweat produced it first,
Insist “you all get back to work,
The market must sustain its burst!”

Cosmetic change to Washington,
Daily we’re numbed to the list of dead.
Blank checks for execs who’ve unbound greed.
While we forego last rites or bread.

Revolution is coming.

by Vivek Jain, Resident/Fellow


Still Haunted

I’m an ER RN, in a different hospital system, near Mexico where the surge was brutal.
I read your thoughts typed here, they console in a way. My hospital has done nothing for our mental health, nothing to acknowledge what we’ve done.
I’m still scared.
We all are.
It was so horrible.
The first surge has passed. I’m doing better, but dreading the winter, the second wave.

Sometimes I wake up coughing. Sometimes I fall asleep nervous.
Sometimes I’m worried I’m drinking too much.

by Anonymous, Nurse



Countless patients with advanced cancer have told me they feel robbed of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are unable to complete their bucket-list items such as travel. They are isolated from family and friends they may never see again. Their pain is palpable, and there is little I can do to comfort them.

by Kathy Plakovic, Nurse Practitioner


Essential Thank You

Someone at the grocery store stopped me today and thanked me for my service to the community by going to work during this pandemic.
My service?
I never thought of myself as “essential” or important.
I never thought of myself as “serving” others by going to work.
Going to work is just something people do.

I’m thankful to be recognized. It feels nice to be told I’m important.

But I hope that other essential workers (bus drivers and grocery store workers and custodians and retail workers) are being thanked too. I hope that everyone who is working is being treated with the kindness and appreciation I have experienced as a healthcare worker.

Others are essential and others are serving too.

by Anonymous, Nurse


Thoughts of an MS3

I normally feel a little useless in the hospital. I feel particularly useless completing my internal medicine rotation from the comfort of my couch, watching my baby play on the ground. I’m torn between wanting to help and enjoying the extra time at home. Back to cuddles and coronary artery disease.

by Hannah Glasgow, Medical Student


The Siren Call

A siren blares nearby and my first reaction is relief and comfort that a person in distress is getting to the ED, a fire is being quenched, a person in need of help is getting that help. I am white. It is not the sound of terror that it is for black and brown people.

by Lu Marchand, Attending Physician



inside the PAPR a lifeless wind assaults my ears limply
You lay there disconnected, reduced by a thief.
I struggle with these cheap gloves , I’m covered
I’m covered. I am deliberate and ridiculous.
Is this a dream? I will fly or wake up breathless.
Your minute volume finite . Soon inevitable silence.
We are so reduced.

by Anonymous, Critical Care RN


Warnings and Ignorings

Going to work at 5 in the morning
Knowing the whole world is in mourning
My partner and I continue working
While COVID-19 threatens, lurking
Understanding what’s right, my mask I am donning
People are not taking seriously the warning
The long road ahead still is going

by Anonymous, Patient Services Specialist


orange u tired?

sometimes, or more often than not…I wish people would just quiet down about politics, religion, the who’s and the what’s.

just silence yourself for a second and breathe deep.

if we are seattle strong, then be it.
if we are in this together, then act like it.
if we really care about the earth then leave it a better place than it was before.

by Anonymous, Lab Staff


It’s Sometimes Hard

It’s sometimes hard,
To accept an offered mask, offered food, and offered sympathy;
I am “essential”,
But not useful.

It’s sometimes hard,
To see my colleagues struggle, patients struggle, the world struggle;
I am “essential”,
But I cannot ease their burden.

It’s sometimes hard,
To not feel like a fraud, to believe I can make a difference,
I am “essential”,
I am Here,
But I do not believe I am helping.

By Anonymous


The New Normal

Catching a peek of my love snoozing lightly, I prance into our bedroom after being away for 14 hours.
He turns to me eyes half lidded shut with a half grin, half annoyed look.
We eat breakfast together.
I lay nestled in my fetal cocoon listening to my husband’s meetings, sometimes muted with his music playing in the background. The dull laptop dings soothe me to sleep as I try to phase out the sounds of alarms from the night.

He does dishes, prepares and packs my dinner for the night shift, gathers my work bag, fills my water bottle and coffee mug. We have our tea and snack together.

The clock approaches 6:30, and I must go.

May eternal happiness and light be with you my love, my hero, my non front line husband for your support during these trying times.

By Nisha, Nurse


The Corona

“Are you gonna get the Corona?”
For seven years old, viruses are magical and terrifying.
Around the world, people are sick and dying.

Will you get sick at work? Dr. Seuss-like aliens not seen to eyes. Infectious spheres with spikes like unicorns. Dancing around me each day I carefully put on and take off PPE.

By Hannah Johanson, Nurse


In Awe of the Draw

print orders
pick up tubes

don PPE
enter the room
draw the blood
feel forgotten when
waiting to be guided out.
respirator: hard to breathe
fogged up shield: hard to see
exit the room
deepen your breath

drop off samples at the lab
rinse and repeat
for the next timed draw.

By Anonymous, Medical Technologist



inside the PAPR a lifeless wind assaults my ears limply
You lay there disconnected, reduced by a thief.
I struggle with these cheap gloves , I’m covered
I’m covered . I am deliberate and ridiculous.
Is this a dream? .i will fly or wake up breathless.
Your minute volume finite . Soon inevitable silence.
We are so reduced.

By Anonymous, Critical Care RN


Silent Witness

She says “I love you”; he responds “I’ve had a good life.” I stand, silent witness, holding the screen for my dying patient. Tears fall but I can’t brush them away behind my face shield. I never knew the most important thing I would do as an ICU nurse would be to hold an iPad.

By Nicole Schoen, Nurse



A meeting was called my Manager said that all Managers were to leave and work from home until further notice,leaving the Employees to stay and keep our 24/7 hour Emergency Mental Health Department staffed. We can’t use any sick time just vacation time to get off. We are considered Essential,it must mean Expendable.

Registration, Support Staff

By Dorothea Farmer, Registration


Trying for a cathartic shower

Trying for a cathartic shower
Tears mixing with shower water
Mascara streaks
Crouching in the corner


It’s nice to be alone
The hot water feels good
And washes away the virus
Down the drain

By Anonymous, Attending Physician



i missed when the world changed. lost in a tiny human’s brightening eyes and brand new never before seen smiles and consumed by her helplessness, i am still in the before. the world i know is not the world she will know and the uncertainty of what i will come back to is breathtaking. i don’t know how to prepare. i worry for my colleagues, mourn for our patients and community, and am guiltily grateful to get to stay in the before for a few more weeks – the glimpses of the now seem like a terrible dream.

By Anonymous, Hospitalist



I am grateful that my family is able to stay home.
We are together and all working or going to school at home.
I am grateful that I can still continue my education.
Online holds many challenges, luckily my instructors are amazing.
I am grateful that I am healthy and able to practice social distancing.

By Star Sakis, Physician Assistant, Student


Information Overload

I read today about information overload, cutting down on news apps etc. yesterday I felt defeated and exhausted by Information overload right here in HMC clinic. everyday something different, everyday something new to learn. Our leaders need to understand that during stress people often feel overwhelmed with new information or new things to be learned. I have to say I looked to my leaders for support I felt it lacking or not genuine.

By Anonymous, Patient Care Coordinator



Feeling removed… relocated just as the crisis and social distancing emerged. Left good friends behind. No meetings here to meet people. Are we doing enough for the frontline risk-takers from our support department?

Learning the amazing culture of my new work home. There is purpose here; worthwhile work; and everyone is making a difference.

By Bonnie Beardsley, Support Staff



My partner, my friends

Mostly Artists which means mostly Service Workers
Laid off, they lack funds but are abundant in time
Time for virtual happy hours and pop-up performances, laughter and creating new rituals
I am Essential, working long and proud
I have my job
What I lack is my community-of-heart
I’m lucky, but lonely

By PG, Support Staff


Air Supply

“All out of love” sounds from the hilltop.
My son, plucking dandelions, poking freshly drowned earthworms, looks up from the grass. A figure appears: masked, hooded, with reflective goggles and a speaker in hand. It waves.
“Monster!” my son points and runs away.
He has learned to fear our neighbors. Keeps everybody safe, for now.

By Kalyan Banda, Attending Physician


I can hear you

In transcription it is not a direct communication but we have always appreciated hearing “have a nice day” or “thanks for your help” because it means you know a person is there listening to you. I become real for you.

Reading these stories, it helps me to hear you better, as I recognize names and appreciate the feelings shared and work that you do that doesn’t always show up in the dictation. Thank you for becoming real to me.

By Lori Wilkinson, Transcription



We’re days away from the “surge,” and the hospital is a ghost town – existing wards closed, and extra ones planned. We have bed capacity for COVID-19. But what about our other patients? Are you no longer getting chest pain? No longer needing detox? No longer sick at dialysis? Where are you? Are you okay?

By Allyson Goldberg, Attending Physician



My daughter hangs upside-down in a tree.
I wait for the fall.
I wait, like last week in hospital,
eerily devoid of visitors,
for Covid patients.
Will they overwhelm,
or will we “flatten the curve”?
I wait while balancing roles —
parent, doctor, teacher —
and hope we have saved lives.
She lands feet first.

By Kimberly Collins, Attending Physician


New Morning Rituals at a Level I Trauma Center

The MASH tent has been erected outside our front door.

Our daily Discharge Team prayer circle
Where, for the last year, and
Up until the last month-

We held hands and gave gratitude for our lives, asked for guidance in our actions, prayed for kindness despite our weariness, and the wisdom to remove barriers to discharge,

This prayer circle has mutated along with the virus.
“Essential Staff” cannot hug,
Or hold hands
During prayer
But we can still gather.

By Pamela Brucks, MN, RN


Running Short

It sat partially covered & unassuming. My resident and I both noticed it right away. The recycled bottle of hand sanitizer that our pharmacy had remixed and relabeled with prescription information. The fear that we had run out. The proof that we could make our own.

By Jennifer M Erickson, DO



I would like to thank nurses, who spend more time bedside than I do. For your wellbeing, too, I obsess over my orders. You collect our precious (cough-inducing) tests, and you’ve called more bereaved families. Despite your fear, your compassionate professionalism – today, like any day – inspires me and makes me grateful. Thank you.

By Anonymous, Attending Physician


Moving Community Support

I worked a voluntary shift screening patients at the ED entrance. The experience was extremely rewarding. I was moved, seeing people come to Harborview to support the medical community by bringing N95 masks, gloves, and cans of disinfectant, knowing that those supplies will be used to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients. Community members, THANK YOU!

By Richard Chartier, Front Desk PSS


Fear Osmosis

Flutters of urgency
motion without permission.
New found modes of communication
surrounding us.
Words buzzing ear to ear
carrying weight of emotion,
permeating bodies like the air we breathe.

Listen dear one,
there is light.
It never left.
You have the power of discernment
Don’t give in to the theft
of fear
my dear.

By Kristine Manuel, Clinical Lab Scientist


Like a Movie

It’s everywhere
COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball
Taking over our thoughts & actions.
I wish I could do more…But there is still hope in me knowing I work in a place full of innovation and compassion.
Sometimes this all feels like a sci-fiction movie, I just hope that, that one miracle comes in to play sooner than later.

By Anonymous, Medical Assistant



Spring’s arrived– popping purple crocuses, bright yellow daffodils, and puffy pink cherry blossoms, a welcome transition from dreary winter’s rain. Although overshadowed by swirling uncertainty of the global pandemic, these spring flowers remind me that life will blossom again in the wake of this destructive virus. A sign of hope.

By Anonymous, Attending Physician



Let’s be patient…
Practicing medicine amidst social distress.
Supervising trainees.
Let’s extend grace…
We will be post-call (I was).
We will be managing clinical challenges (like I am).
We will make mistakes during our virtual lectures (like I did).
We will be stressed, tired, and sleep deprived (like I am).
Please, let’s be kind…

By Roberto Montenegro, Attending Physician


Zombie Virus

“I’m most afraid the coronavirus will become a zombie virus.” My son. I’m realizing I’ve failed to teach him much of what I’ve learned in school. Right now I’m non-essential. I don’t get to do medicine. But I can use my time to do what I do with patients – teach and comfort. Just at home.

By Anonymous, Medical Student


Behind the Mask

The nurse warns me that the 4 year old isn’t wearing a mask
The child says it’s hot and she can’t breathe
It’s too big anyway
Her parents are wearing masks and grave expressions
Breathlessly waiting for the test result
But good news?! She has Influenza, not Coronavirus
In these strange times, they’re relieved
They can’t see me smile, it’s hard for me to breathe in this mask too
Does my breath always smell like this?
I think we all need to breathe…better

By John Schreuder, Attending Physician



Anxiety, stress, fear builds up as my work week starts
Still we do our best to take care of our patients with compassion and empathy
Knowing we got each other’s back is comforting enough
Breathe of relief at the end of the shift
Gorgeous Seattle sunset and fresh air awaits outside
Hope floats…

By Zinnia, Nurse



So thankful for yoga right now. I practice yoga as a way to come back into my body. To experience my body again as something other than a carrier of disease, something harmful to those around me. My body is so tired with the weight of this work. Yoga restores my buoyancy for a while.

By Loren, Social Worker


Home from Work

Teenage son says, “Hi, Mom. Wait. You’re in your bathrobe?!”
“We’re changing out of scrubs in the garage because of COVID-19. Um, you’re in a bathrobe, too?”
“Can’t go anywhere….. Why get dressed?”
We hear a car. Then, the door from garage to kitchen opens.
“Dad! You’re naked!?”
“Close your eyes, everyone! Heading to shower!”

By Sarah Merrifield, Attending Physician



“Don’t touch me” he yells, “ma’am don’t touch me”. I need to fix it. The thing that’s bothering him. I’m gowned, he can’t see my intent. Only my eyes. Do they convey I’m smiling? “Hey I’m here. I’m in this suit and I’m listening. I’m going to help you”. He’s scared. “I’m sorry” he said. His eyes shift to me in the midst of his painful storm. There we go, I think-contact. “What’s your name again?” He asks. I wonder if he can see the tear in my eye. The tear in holding back.

By Anonymous, Nurse



10 years today at UWMC. Doors are all closed, visitors are gone, meetings are cancelled, some of my favorite colleagues are suddenly retiring early, everyone is as germaphobe as me, I am so tired after shifts (double the normal), it is scary to go in, the air in Seattle has been still and it is eerie and quiet like the calm before the storm at the hospital. But, I have not looked for other gigs since I started and I am proud to be where there is compassion, dedication and expertise! I am enjoying one day off, then back at it!

By Anonymous, Nurse


The Worst and the Best

COVID-19 has brought out the worst and the best in us.
Some have sold stocks on dire news that only they know. They still smile into the cameras.
Then, there are neighbors who bring over hot dinners in a basket for those coming home from the hospital exhausted.
Fresh baked cookies, too.
I’m grateful.

By Josh Benditt, Attending Physician


Outside Over There

“The plan is for me to visit on her birthday. I am planning on a cake, some gifts. She has cancer. My parents are elderly but are with her. They have more time, but are at risk. Now, I have to make a decision.”

Background: As many of us grapple with this situation at UW and deal with the impact to our daily lives in Seattle, we are also thinking about family, often times across the globe, who are affected as well.

By Anonymous, Support Staff


Is this not also “health”?

I have been distraught by news stories of individuals who are obligated to continue working despite manifesting symptoms of illness because they would otherwise not receive adequate pay.

As health care providers, is it not our responsibility to advocate for these individuals and stand up to the system that has condoned this behavior from employers?

The only thing I feel like I can do is vote. And deep down, I’m not sure that’s as powerful an action as I grew up thinking it would be.

By Anonymous, Resident/Fellow


A Minor Inconvenience

If only a mountain of Ricola would help.
Many neighbors are old, some oxygen dependent.
I don’t want any of them to get CoVid and be stuck in the hospital.
Because my brother or me were playing too close to the fence.
Can’t put up with this forever.

By Anonymous, Son of a nurse


In Light of Stillness

Fifty-five Words About Living Through Stillness:
Travel the empty roads, lightly filled transit.
The wary at home, wanderers in the streets.
Fog drifts in city streets, blossomed.
What other mists remain, unseen, deadly?
Be alert, of sober mind: death roars, soundless.
Live in the stillness, at heart of day.
Let night not take us away.

By Stephen Edwin Lundgren, Support Staff



Caring for a COVID+ patient, this PPE makes me feel miles of distance between us.
How alone must they feel in this sterile room?
Do handshakes and hands on shoulders feel as comforting with gloves on?
If only they could see me smile underneath my mask.
I hope my eyes show how much I care.

by Daniel Cabrera, Attending Physician



Today in Seattle looks like every other day. So why the hush? Showered, as I always do – drank two mugs of coffee. So what’s the weight? I don’t know yet exactly what we’re waiting for. I’m inhaling, but maybe not deep enough. Is anyone else feeling this? Also – can whoever that is, please mute?

by Jennifer Best, Attending Physician


The student Clinic-Should we stay or should we go?

At what point is the benefit provided less than the risk you can confer to those that you are trying to help? As chair of one of the largest student run clinics, do we stay running and continue to provide help to the elderly and underserved or stop in fear of contracting and transmitting disease?

by Rohan Sehgal, Medical Student


It’s a very small world

Here- sick patients for hours. Flu like symptoms.
Systems are already struggling. My alarms are firing.
Flu? Something else? One infected, none, or all?
We wouldn’t know.
It’s just hours away-by air.
I’m told “we’re fine”
Three weeks later: “Where is Kirkland on that map?”
I am screaming into the wind

by Anonymous, Diagnostic Imaging


I’m Sorry

I’m worried. Your mom is very sick.
I’m sorry. You can’t go in the room.
I’m worried. There’s nothing we can do.
I’m sorry. She has passed away.
I’m worried. This is only the first of many.
I’m sorry. You can’t go in the room.
I’m worried. We don’t know what to do.
I’m sorry.

by Anonymous, Resident/Fellow


Spring Backwards

Soap suds. Wash away the problems of the first patient before tackling the next. Wash in. Wash out. Bow, namaste: in. Elbow bumping out. How do social distancing and healing touch work together?
The brain tumor is shrinking and he is getting better! So happy.
My patient leaps forward to hug me and I recoil.

By Lynne Taylor, Attending Physician


Father and Son

My father lives in Colombia. He is 72 and just recovering from a lung infection. I’m away from home and unable to take care of him. I talk to him everyday and ask him to be cautious. He just replies that I’m the one that needs to be careful. That I should take care of my wife and my child.

By Daniel F Gallego, Resident/Fellow


The Daily Huddle

Texts, phone calls, 1am emails, pressure, anxiety, calm-assuredness, fear, stress, concern, unknown. Every day I watch our deans come together and rise higher and pull each other up to solve crisis after crisis and problem after problem. I am so proud. So very proud of our clinicians and leaders.

By Kellie Engle, Support Staff


Inglorious Admin-ers

Nurses, MAs, EVS, administrators
hustle through the hall
Purposeful energy radiates
they whiz past my open door
A bit of chaos
uncertainty, unknown
but tasks
– Don! Doff! Clean! Care! –
helpful plans
obviously useful

at my desk, I sit.

Guess it’s time to keep reserving rooms, updating personnel files, ordering supplies, requesting funds, notifying volunteers, typing…

By Anonymous, Support Staff

End and Beginning

Another Covid Patient
At the end of life alone
A determined nurse
“I’m going in”
To sit by his side
Chaplain outside prays for them.
In another part of the hospital
A baby is born
The chaplain offers a prayer
Baby’s open eyes watching the chaplain
Thank God for the blessing of new

by Elizabeth S, Chaplain


Whatever it Takes

We never thought it would be our last day of Senior Year
They said Two weeks at max
We collected our books and belongings
Then we were no longer welcomed in the school
We self-taught with the occasional google meet
It was difficult to just sit around all-day
But I knew others had it worse than me
People were dying from COVID-19 and loneliness
I needed to find meaning in this statewide shutdown
So I stepped up and becamed my residents family
Even with masks, goggles, and social distancing
We are “all in this together”
And will do whatever it takes

by Annie Fenner, Nursing Assistant


open mind

Why fight the ask to wear a mask?
I met a middle aged woman today who had a history of rape and abuse and was triggered by wearing a mask.
And so she put off to the doctor for months.
Couldn’t face the anxiety of something covering her face.
But only in the doctor’s office could she share her fear and vulnerability.
The rest of the world only sees her anger.

by Lee McKoin, Medical Student


Thanksgiving worries

My beloved patients
Always we hugged
…or held hands
…or kissed each other on the cheeks
– depending on their culture

No more

Now it is Namaste and air hugs

I’ve known her for 13 years
It was so hard not to hug
We sat together in the exam room for 20 minutes
Both of us masked

Her Covid is now positive
We can’t reach her by phone

I am worried about her
I am worried about myself
I am worried about my children
I am worried about my family
Our first Thanksgiving without mom
How will my dad do on his own?
Will I give them all Covid?

Why am I crying?
Sometimes there is too much worry, too much sadness.

by Anonymous, Attending Physician



So now we are 9 months into this.
I heard tonight from a colleague in another part of the country who is overwhelmed, tired, worried about their family and what they may be bringing back to Thanksgiving.
I’m so grateful for my health, my family’s health, and my amazing team at work. But. I’m also angry about the cavalier attitudes of people in my neighborhood and the maelstrom in our politics.
I have witnessed so many isolated deaths. Listened to hundreds of wailing families on the phone unable to be there for loved ones.
I am Heart Sore and Bereft.

by Meg Mullin, Palliative Care Attending


Student Well-Being is Low-Yield Material

“We care about YOU”

… they tell us as they converse behind closed doors, ignoring our cries, refusing to acknowledge the impact which COVID-19 and #BLM has affected us. I don’t know how my family will pay for our mortgage; they tell me to stay focused, you need to know that TTP is caused by ADAMS13

… they don’t care

by Zachary W, Medical Student


My Mom

Each day I listen quietly. The numbers continue to grow, level off, decline. Saturday there were 76 struggling to live. Friday, three deaths at Harborview and one of those deaths had given me life. I face-timed with her and the nurse said she knows it’s you. She’s stroking your face. We never gave up hope.

by Anonymous, Shared Services


Pregnant with COVID

The sweetest COVID patient, a transfer from ED to PCU.
She repeatedly apologized for “being an inconvenience”.
I performed her continuous fetal monitoring.
Her breathing was concerning 44-46 rpm.
The collaboration between L&D, PCU, ICU, Respiratory and medical staff was stellar with a rapid transfer to the ICU. She is due to deliver in June.

by Lori Brown, RN MSN


Protecting your Staff

You worry
You Plan
You prepare

You educate
You answer questions
You correct

You count gloves and masks
You count goggles and shields
You count gloves and wipes

You Listen
You encourage
You Pray

by Starr Lynch, BSN RNC-OB



Rubbing bruised cheeks, fingertips pruning, plastic clinging
Misguided attempts to wipe sweat dripping into my eyes, over the mask, under the shield, over goggles
Do they have de-fogger for goggles?
Tripping over tubing, wires and random debris littering the floor
…”17-18-19-20″ she counts
I yell, no one appears to hear me, I yell again
“We got a pulse!”

by Anonymous, Nurse


Good, it was just one

I heard there was one death in 24 hours and thought, good it was just one.
Then a co-worker called to say her father died.
I knew the one.
I pray for those who know the many.

By Anonymous, Nurse



all day I hear voices, but no longer see the people behind them
my patients are reduced to soundwaves
I have learned to listen between the words
we talk of quilts, baking, Zoom appointments, too much time at home
they say they’re thankful for our work
but I know they’re scared
I am scared too

By Caitlin, Program Assistant


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

You can’t spell COVID-19 without O.C.D.

By Sheer Grater, Support Staff



Quarantined teens are going batty with boredom. I think fiercely, “Ganbatte!”
Healthcare heroes fight fear and exhaustion, and I quietly think, “Gaman.”

By Maria Luisa Germani, Risk Manager


With Gratitude

She died without us by her side
but she was not alone
because you were there keeping vigil

we are bereft
but our hearts are full of gratitude
because you are there for all of us

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

By Anonymous, Faculty


Riding the Bench

It’s like if someone on the field gets hurt, and the coach looks at the bench, sees you, and says “Actually, let’s just play a man down”. And you say, “yeah, that’s probably for the best…”

By Anonymous, Medical Student


It’s Time

Life journey, next chapter,
It’s time
Full retirement age, planned future
It’s time
66, underlying illness
Fidelity, SS, UWRP, Medicare, Workday
Covid-19 came!!
My friends on the front line, deep in my heart
Retire? Really? Now? But I fear for them
It’s still time,
This hurts, Be safe,
Take great care 5MB staff

By Nancy L Dow, Peer Specialist


Date Night

I have my partner and the city in view. We are dressed up and feeling fancy. Lobster ravioli on the table and candles burning. We are concerned with all that is happening, but for this moment we reserve an opportunity to stay calm. We are smiling and we are happy. Staying home and staying healthy.

By Anonymous, Medical Student



No front line, no lettered title, no receiving
hero’s glory praise
for those at screen.
and again
Messages to doctor? Yes ma’am.
Check profile, right times? Ensure smooth day.
Changes in a blink
Flexibility, compromise, “just handle it”.
Glow of screen illuminate their dark
deafening silence makes their world
darker still

By Anonymous, PSS



Amidst the noise, amidst the surge, Amidst it all – a choice.
A lifted chin from my chest, eyelids flutter open to see the light of this day, a new day. Like the air that fills my lungs and your lungs and the lungs of my ancestors, arising and passing. A new day. A new breath.

By Victor Martins, Support Staff



I am the wife of a soldier, the daughter of a soldier, the sister of a soldier.
I never thought I would see a front line.
Yet here I am. With an invisible enemy.
I see devastation; patients dying alone.
I use my best weapons.
Yet it does not feel like enough.

By Leah Hampson Yoke, Physician Assistant, Infectious Disease


many faces

there’s so many faces. our faces aren’t on the front lines, instead we’re behind you. we’re pushing the boulder and moving the mountain, pivoting this amazing behemoth organization. we work long days into the nights. we cry with you and for you and laugh when we can. such a calling, such a privilege.

By Anonymous



Super excited, counting down the days.60d,45 more days and I can fly to Nevada to see my grandbabies. This only happens a few times a year. Miss them so much my heart hurts. 30d,15d. I can’t risk it, I have to cancel my flight,tears fall. Daughter ” mom please stop working, stay home til this is over, don’t die we need you”. Me I love you darling, the bus is here I have to go to work.

By Cyndy Morgan, Medical Assistant Lead



“Wuhan, Lifecare Center, atypical pneumonia, Covid 19, essential, surge, dofficer, donning, doffing, dofficer officer, interleukin 6, ferritin, Toclizumab, Remdesivir, palliative care, Hydroxychloroquine, Zoom, PPE, Dr. Fauci, attestation, CRP, town hall, prone, facetime, extubated, discharged home, 6 feet, social distancing, flattening the curve”

Are we almost done? Can these words go away?

By Anonymous, ICU RN



At change of shift 3 different classmates on 3 different days tell me they were exposed. Exposed to potential COVID-19 patients without wearing PPE. (This was before we got better at screening.)

I get an everyday cold. I was told everyday of work we miss we must make up. I call out, and come back 3 days later, afraid if I stay out longer I won’t be able to graduate. Afraid I didn’t stay home long enough.

Later I learn we can get tested. I fill out the survey. They call me into the underground site and stick swabs up my nose. The result: “indeterminate… most likely positive.” I stand frozen, afraid, exposed.

By Anonymous, Medical Student


Hunker Down

Hunks and monks please hunker down
Stay in place and out of town
Order take out, stream a show
Coughs and fevers, nasal flow
Hug yourself but not your granny
Clean your house, nooks & crannies
Despite no faith in upper brass
Worry not… this too will pass

By Connor Mamikunian, Medical Student


I will remember

Feeling like a soldier in scrubs
“How are you?” “Well, my medical school roommate is in an ICU in New York . . .”
The tent outside the ER
The patient who did not want to leave the hospital
The young physician whose mother mailed her a chocolate cake
Wondering who supports the chaplain

By Susan Merel, Attending Physician


Impossible Choices

Stay behind, Martin Luther is said to have urged. Your duty is to serve the sick. His pregnant wife by his side, they say. His pregnant wife? This calling of mine now suddenly risks my partner’s existence. Physical distance to protect a physical life? And what then of the toddler, asking after his mama?

By Katie Kenningham, Resident/Fellow



They stand at the screening station.
They do not resist or complain. They do not speak English.
Tomorrow he will have an operation he hopes to survive and may save his life.
His lips, eyes tighten as she embraces his back with tears welling.
They have never been apart before.
He walks down the hallway alone.

By Adele Grant, Nurse



Can we work from home?
Can we work from home?
We are essential. We show up for work.
What is this irritation in my voice?
My boss: We are frontline staff.
My team: There are other ways to show up.
Everyone is angry. Everyone is scared.
And I am caught in the middle.

By Anonymous, Manager



Medical School teaches “I don’t know.”
Cranial Nerves
Cytokine alphabet soup
Cerebral Blood Supply
Second-line treatments
Which antibiotic?
What’s the differential?
What’s the risk?
What should we do next?
Practicing “I don’t know” makes us better

This morning
Watching sunlight on the cedar
From inside
The not knowing feels different.

By Melanie Langa, Medical Student



The weight of what we’re doing feels heavier at home. The fear is more acute when surrounded by those we love. I don’t want to die but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do my job, so each day I wake up and head back to the ICU carrying the weight of a pandemic with me.

By Anonymous, Resident/Fellow


Hand Sanitizer

Ok, it’s gone again. The hand sanitizer. They ripped it off from the clinic exam room.
Outrageous! How could they? I am so mad!
Wait. Hand sanitizer. A symbol of protection. Hope in times of fear. Control in an out of control world.
It’s OK. I get it.
We can wash our hands.

By Elizabeth Gamboa, Nurse



I hope that at the end of this people stop taking for granted being around their loved ones. Everyone. Patients, family, and staff. Now that we are physically isolating ourselves, when will people stop emotionally isolating themselves within their phones, technology, and social media? Look up and enjoy the people around you. You really don’t know when you might not see them again.

By JM, Nurse



Control the spread, protect the frontlines. Treat those already ill, develop a vaccine to prevent the disease. Stimulate the economy, value the lives of those who require resources. There are many coexisting priorities. Who decides what matters? Is it one leader, a domino effect? Could it be our collective voice?

By Anonymous, Medical Student


We hear you, do you hear us?

Medical Assistants.
Financial insecurity, working 2 or 3 jobs to get by.
Cost of living, Seattle: 150%-180% of pre-tax salary.
Wanting our lives on the line and untold flexibility.
Providers complain about the financial impact on them.
Read the room.
This is our norm.
Welcome to our world.
We really are in this together.

By Anonymous, Medical Assistant


Silver Linings and Worry

My commute is fantastic!
Some of us will have the opportunity to consider what is essential to survival and what is not. Can we consider our priorities as a species? Can we re-think how we treating each other, animals and our environment? Can we take a step in a better direction?
I am very worried about everyone, especially those at most risk.

By Anonymous, Technician



Alone. Despite being surrounded. So alone
a blank peace of sterile white paper
Am I numb? Submerged in healthcare
Every day for the past 13 years
Am I not phased by this viral outbreak?
Do I give myself more credit?
for rolling with the punches?
One day at a time? ok. ONE DAY AT A TIME
Month of March in the year 2020, you have changed my spirit
I no longer find time for self care
in the morning
before work…I no longer find time
to meditate myself back to the beautiful basics of life
Love, please find your way back in
Humanity is not to be placed on hold

By Cassidy Laffan, Medical Student


Spinning Wheels

The director doesn’t understand. He is pulled in too many directions. He asks for help, then pushes those willing to help back, with force. He works longer hours and stops telling his team what he’s working on. People ask questions, he tells them to stop bothering him. We are ready to help. Communicate. Delegate. Innovate.

By Anonymous, Support Staff


Not Enough

My words.
They are not enough.
There is not enough time and space.
I feel your energy, your fear.

I serve with patience and calm. I fill the waiting room with love, silently.
I sleep and my dreams are full of tumult.

My fear is quiet, small, and dense.

By Laurie Johnson, Support Staff



They say social distancing but that is an error.
Physical distancing is what it must be.
Socially I am not distant at all!
Those ‘Six Feet’ that I observe are filled with my care for their safety; and my own.
I can still Speak, Hear, See…just because I must not touch I am not helpless.

By Anonymous, Support Staff


In retrospect

Pending, 1 hour. In retrospect, maybe I was a little congested a few days ago? I’ve been tired, but that’s normal, right?
Pending, 24 hours. Running through the patients I’ve seen recently, chronic illnesses, immunosuppression, older age.
Pending, 46 hours. Repeatedly visualizing the inevitable disclosure process. “Sorry, you had a bad doctor.”
48 hours. Negative.

By Kate Butler, Resident/Fellow



I hate that you’re alone. I hate that you can’t see your child. I’m sorry you can’t leave the room. I’m sorry we make you feel dirty because we wear PPE. I know you’re scared. I hope we’re enough to keep your spirits up for transplant. Your heart is coming soon, it has to be.

By Brooke, Nurse



I worry entering the room, THIS room
That my mask, THIS just mask isn’t enough
That I will take this home to my kids
That they will infect others, people will get sick.
I will not die for my job.
I will not die for my patients.
We shouldn’t have to choose.
We should be protected.

By Anonymous, Nurse


Social Visit

I enter through the door that says
A maze of fluorescent light and white noise
Usher me to a new yet familiar world
Purell markers lead me to your room
I knock
On your window
You turn, eyes wide, its deep recesses hold the weight of humanity
We exchange primordial gestures of hope

By Daniel Lam, Attending Physician



Eyes burning, the alcohol hasn’t dried from the goggles after wiping them down between patients. Skin cracked, dry from chlorhexidine hand washing. Heart downcast, worried about family and coworkers.

Soul knowing we are pressed but not crushed, for there is something greater. Our hope is in the eternal, in the unseen, and we press on.

By Anonymous, Resident/Fellow



I received an email from a resident in our system. He was anxious and scared about the new virus that was disrupting so much of the routine of medicine, if you can call it that. He was concerned about his family – and mine. He was honest. He wanted my advice. He signed the letter, “Friend.”

By Anonymous, Attending Pysician



I’m tired. Worn down. Sleep deprived. Overworked. At baseline.

Now. I’m scared. Anxious. Lonely. Without toilet paper and groceries. Because I’m always at work. I’m on the front lines. I am the front line.

It has only just started, but I feel finished.

I would rather quarantine.

Does that mean I am a bad doctor?

By Anonymous, Resident/Fellow


Seattle Haiku

Corona virus
We’re ghosting in Seattle
Northwest will survive

Robert Cormier

By Doug Schaad, Research Faculty


Away from Family

I know that social distancing is the only way for me to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, my grandma is alone in her hospital bed, indefinitely. After a stroke, she’s been bedridden with severe dementia, weakness, and no speech capabilities.

I miss her. She might miss us even more.

by Kevin, Medical Student


Building a plane while flying it

Colleagues tried to close the airport. We still ended up at the gate, begging passengers not to board. When they didn’t listen, duty brought us on with our loved ones, colleagues, patients. Buckling seatbelts. Building as fast we can, knowing the plane will crash. Still with hope: the better we build, the more will survive.

by Jessica Bender, Attending Physician


2,000 miles apart

My parents both live alone, 2,000 miles away. They are both in the highest risk category for COVID-19, and they understand the full horror of an ARDS death. If there is a statewide quarantine, we’ll be trapped apart, alone, waiting, knowing their fate if infected, treasuring every phone call as if it’s the last.

by Anonymous, Medical Student


Love in the time of coronavirus

My patients know that I always offer them a hug or touch. Adjusting to coronavirus has been a challenge – but love finds a way!

Recipe for a hug, covid style:
Right foot bump
Left foot bump
Right elbow bump
Left elbow bump
Smile, laugh
Look into each other’s eyes
We will get through this

by Jane Hitti, Attending Physician


Staying close while we are physically distant

Rather than talking about “social” distancing, we should be talking about “physical” distancing. Ironically, at a time when it is important to physically pull apart, what will get us through this pandemic is socially and professionally pulling together and supporting each other as a community. Luckily we have many ways to do that while maintaining physical distance.

by Anonymous, Attending Physician



We were a duo, my patient and I. I took care of his failing lungs, and we laughed together at his bad jokes even if it made him short of breath. I tried to live up to his trust. Then one day, I was told I couldn’t see him anymore because I was “non-essential.”

By Anonymous, Medical Student



If daycare is closing, how can I still graduate on time? Medical students don’t get sick leave.

It doesn’t seem right to call up my mom, and put her in danger, so that I can shadow a neurologist in clinic.

By Anonymous, Medical Student


The last rest

Readying for bed he whispers “the hospital has 2 cases, will hit the news tomorrow”.
I sleep like it is the last rest for months.
Abandoning a lazy Saturday, waking early, savoring the quiet.
I tell our kids, “Things are different now”.
After brunch, checking his phone, colleagues quarantined, help is needed and he goes.

By Andrea Kalus, Attending Physician


Ice Cream

The problem was a pint of ice cream.
A stuck lid gave way to a fall, a bone broken.
Whisked off to surgery,
Fixed! Perfect recovery, joined for rehab stay by life-long love.
A sneaky sniffle, a cough gives way to breathlessness.
Never saw this coming, no one could imagine
Ice cream was this dangerous.

By Anonymous, Attending Physician


Did I sign up for this?

I signed up for this, right? I signed up to help people. Why, then do I feel so scared when I show up to work these days? Why do I feel unprotected? I’m nervous, and I’m not really sure if I did sign up for this. A Pandemic. But I will still show up.

By Colleen Detweiler, RN