As COVID-19 began to infiltrate Boston Hospital in March 2020, I was a fourth-year medical student and completed the last clinical rotation.When coming back The efficacy of wearing a mask is still under debate, I was instructed to follow up patients who entered the emergency room because their complaint was not essentially the respiratory system. On my way to each shift, I saw the temporary testing area grow up like a pregnant belly in the hospital lobby, with more and more official opaque windows covering all the activities inside. One night, when she wiped the monitor, mouse, and keyboard with a variety of disinfectant wipes, the chief resident told the hospital staff: “Patients suspected of COVID will only see a doctor.” This is a new ritual that marks a shift in shifts. .
Every day in the emergency room feels like dancing with the inevitable. As more and more medical schools cancel courses, every time I encounter a patient, I feel that this may be my last time as a student. For a woman who almost fainted during her menstrual period, did I consider all the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding? Did I miss the key question to ask a patient with sudden back pain? However, without being distracted by the pandemic, it is impossible to focus solely on these clinical issues. Covering up these fears of graduating without learning everything is a question that almost everyone in the hospital is worried about: Will I get the coronavirus? Will I pass it on to the one I love? For me, what is more selfish is-what does this mean for my wedding in June?
When my rotation was finally cancelled later that month, no one was happier than my dog. (My fiancée is close behind.) Every time I get home after a shift, his hairy face will emerge from the crack in the front door as soon as the front door is opened, his tail is wagging, and my feet jerk, I take off my clothes and jump in. Shower room. When the ceremony ended with the suspension of the medical school shift, our puppy was happy to let his two humans go home for more time than we have ever had before. My partner, Doctor of Medicine. The student, who has just taken the qualification exam, started her field research-due to the pandemic, this work is now shelved indefinitely. With our newfound time, we find ourselves walking the dog while learning how to properly maintain social distance. It is during these walks that we work hard to study the subtle details of bicultural weddings that are becoming extremely complicated.
Since each of us has a mother’s pediatrician — each of us inherited another person — there are many opinions on how to best celebrate the union of their children. What used to be a non-denominational wedding gradually evolved into a complex balancing act, respecting my partner’s Pacific Northwest and Protestant roots and my own Sri Lankan/Buddhist traditions. When we want a friend to preside over a single ceremony, we are sometimes provided with three different priests to oversee two different religious ceremonies.Which ritual will be the question Official The ritual did not imply as much as direct inquiry. Taking the time to research various color schemes, home accommodations and dressing is enough to make us wonder who the wedding is for.
When my fiancee and I were exhausted and were already looking out, the pandemic came. At every controversial crossroads in wedding planning, the pressure on qualification examinations and residency applications is increasing. When walking with the dog, we would joke that the madness of our family would drive us to get married in the city court on a whim. But with the ongoing lockdown and the increase in cases in March, we see that the possibility of our marriage in June is getting less and less. In these outdoor hikes, a weeks-long option became a reality because we worked hard to keep the puppy six feet away from passersby. Do we have to wait until the pandemic is over, don’t know when it will end? Or do we get married now and hope to have parties in the future?
What prompted our decision was that when my partner started having nightmares, I was hospitalized for COVID-19, including several days of ICU respiratory support, and my family was weighing whether to remove me from the ventilator. When I was about to graduate and intern, there was a steady stream of medical staff and patients who died of the virus. My partner insisted that we would consider this situation. “I want to make these decisions. I think it means we need to get married — now.”
So we did it. On a cold Boston morning, we walked to City Hall and filled out our marriage certificate application before the impromptu wedding a few days later. To check the weather for this week, we set the date to be the Tuesday with the least chance of rain. We sent a hasty email to our guests announcing that the virtual ceremony could be streamed online. The godfather of my fiancee generously agreed to officiate the wedding outside his home, and the three of us spent most of Monday night writing vows and ceremonial parades. When we rested on Tuesday morning, we were very tired but very excited.
The choice of choosing this milestone from a few months of planning and 200 guests to a small ceremony broadcast on unstable Wi-Fi is absurd, and this may be best illustrated when we are looking for flowers: we can find The best is the cactus from CVS. Fortunately, this was the only obstacle that day (some neighbors collected daffodils from the local church). There are only a few people present who are far from social. Although our family and relatives are miles away online, we are very happy-we are very happy that we somehow got rid of the pressure of complicated wedding planning, and COVID-19 Anxiety and destruction intensified this pressure and entered a day where we can move forward.In his parade speech, my partner’s godfather quoted a recent one article Arundhati Roy pointed out, “Historically, epidemics have forced humans to break with the past and reimagine their world. This is no different. It is a gateway, a gateway between one world and another.”
In the days after the wedding, we tirelessly mentioned that portal, hoping that by taking these trembling steps, we acknowledge the chaos and disproportionate losses left by the coronavirus — but not allow the pandemic to stop us completely. Hesitating throughout the process, we pray that we are doing the right thing.
When I finally contracted COVID in November, my partner had been pregnant for almost 30 weeks. During the first few months of my hospitalization, I had a particularly heavy hospitalization day. I felt pain and fever. I was checked up the next day. When I was recalled with a positive result, I was crying alone when I was self-isolating on the air mattress that would become our newborn nursery. My partner and dog were on the other side of the bedroom wall, trying my best to stay away from me.
We are lucky.There is data that COVID may cause Pregnant women have greater risks and complications, My partner can remain virus-free. Through our resources, information, and network privileges, we took her out of our apartment while I was completing the quarantine. My courses are benign and self-limiting, and I am far from needing a ventilator. Ten days after my symptoms started, I was allowed to return to the ward.
What lingers is not shortness of breath or muscle fatigue, but the weight of the decisions we make. From the climax of our casual wedding, we looked forward to what the future might look like. Entering more than 30 years old, we are about to usher in a double-medical family, and we see that a flexible window is beginning to close. The pre-pandemic plan was to try to have children as soon as possible after marriage, taking advantage of the fact that only one of us was living in a difficult period of life at a time. As COVID-19 becomes more common, we paused and reviewed this timeline.
Can we really do this? should Do we do this? At the time, the pandemic showed no signs of ending, and we were not sure whether the wait would be months or years. In the absence of official national guidelines to delay or pursue conception, Experts recently suggested Our knowledge of COVID-19 may not guarantee a formal, comprehensive recommendation on whether or not to become pregnant during this period. If we can be cautious, responsible and rational, then at least it is not unreasonable to start trying? If we overcome the tribulations of the family amidst this turmoil and get married, even though the uncertainty of the pandemic still exists, maybe we can take the next step in life together?
As many people expected, we don’t know how difficult it will be. Going to the hospital with me every day to protect my partner has become more and more nerve-wracking. Every subtle cough has aroused people’s attention. When we pass by neighbors who are not wearing masks, or when we forget to wash our hands when we enter the house, we suddenly panic. All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of pregnant women, including when dating, it is difficult not to show up in my partner’s ultrasound and test-although waiting for the dog to bark in a parked car makes me feel a little connected. When our main communication becomes virtual rather than face-to-face, it becomes more difficult to manage our family’s expectations — which have become accustomed to participation —. Our landlord decided to suddenly renovate a unit in our multi-family house, which also increased our pressure.
But so far, the most painful thing is knowing that I have exposed my wife and unborn child to the maze of COVID-19 and its complicated pathology and sequelae. During her third trimester, the weeks we spent apart were devoted to a virtual examination of her symptoms, anxiously waiting for the test results, and ticking on the days of isolation until we could be together again. When her last nasal swab was negative, we felt more relaxed and tired than ever.
When we counted down the days before we saw our son, my partner and I were not sure we would do it again. As far as we know, he arrived in early February, intact-perfect in our eyes, if the way he arrived is not perfect. Although we are excited and grateful for being parents, we have learned that it is much easier to say “I do” during a pandemic than it is to work hard to build a family during a pandemic. When so many people have lost so many things, adding another person to our lives will have some guilt. As the tide of the pandemic continues to ebb, flow and evolve, we hope that the exit of this portal will be in sight. When people all over the world begin to think about how the coronavirus tilts their respective world axes – and thinking about the decisions, indecision and non-choices made in the shadow of the pandemic – we will continue to weigh every action and move forward cautiously Advancing, now moving forward at a baby’s pace. time.
This is an opinion and analysis article; opinions expressed Author or author Not necessarily those Scientific american.