The COVID-19 journal: Keeping your spirits up

Yesterday, there were currently 94 cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles. Today, there are currently 144. There are still no cases admitted to our hospital. The medical school pulled the students from doing their residency. I find it kind of weird because where else would they go? Gladly, these students are coming back on their own volition to volunteer their time at the hospital. Hearing that lifted my spirits.

Today at my department we did a team huddle about every one to two hours. It was like breaking news to discuss what temporary change has unfolded or perform a quick report within the next hour to send to the big boss. There was even a possibility of our department closing during the outbreak. I was not sure what it would entail. Would it mean we disperse to support other departments? Or does it mean we get furloughed without pay? The latter is something I cannot afford.

We host many events at the hospital inviting the community throughout the year, but they have all been cancelled or postponed. When things get cancelled and everything pulls you in every which direction, it can be hard to keep your spirits up.

How do you cope with dealing with COVID-19?

For me, I found at work, it helps to:

  • Keep a sense of humor
  • E-mail your coworkers a list of link of good news — everyone could use some good news.
  • Enjoy my drive from home to downtown LA. My average time is 30 minutes each way.
  • Since my drive is short, I can sleep in. I can have productive mornings exercising and pack my lunch.
  • I prefer to sit outside during my lunch breaks, but because it’s been raining for the last few days, I get cooped up in the cafeteria. I instead go back to the office to nap or read. Maybe I’ll try some office exercise.

At home:

  • Enjoy the sun. This morning the sun was out and there was no rain for a few hours. I finally took my dogs out for a walk.
  • Journaling my observations about how people behave around COVID-19. The hospital is fairly serene compared to going to the grocery store. On Saturday, I went to ALDI for a few groceries. When I arrived around 5 PM, they closed. The posted closing time is 9 PM but because they ran out of a lot of food, they closed early.

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