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Hard Times

November 21, 2020
by Mark David Siegel

"Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, honey

Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind, sugar

Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind no more"

-David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Hi everyone,

Let’s face facts. COVID is back and a cold, dark winter is drawing near. These are hard times.

In Connecticut, case numbers are rising and hospitals are filling up. Some of us are worried about sick loved ones and some of us are sick ourselves; some of us are still struggling after months of illness. With the holidays approaching, many of us will miss seeing our families. As the temperatures drop, it will be hard to resist congregating indoors, though we know we shouldn’t. Can we summon the strength to flatten the curve one more time?

But better days are in sight. The President-elect has assembled an expert task force to fight the virus. Two vaccines are poised for FDA approval and millions of doses should start arriving by late December. Mass vaccination is expected to start by Spring. With eight months of clinical experience behind us and new treatments available, our patients are doing better. We work in a premier medical center with exceptional clinicians and scientists. We have the ventilators and PPE we need.

With the pandemic’s end on the way, we need to double our efforts to stay safe. We need to wear masks and face shields every time we see a patient, and we need to wear respirators for all codes and intubations. We need to spread out for meals and wear masks throughout the day. Outside work, we need to avoid indoor restaurants and gyms. We need to socialize outdoors, keep our distance, and limit the size of our groups. When friends and colleagues slip up, we need to remind them to stay safe, and we need to welcome reminders ourselves. We need to boost each other up, especially now.

The months ahead will be hard as we wait for the pandemic to fade, but we don’t have to let hard times rule us. Let’s celebrate our accomplishments and embrace the challenges ahead. If we do our jobs and take care of each other, we’ll make it to the end.

Stay well and stay safe everyone, and enjoy your Sunday,


PS: Don’t forget to tell me what you’re thankful for, so I can share it in Thursday’s Program Director’s Note.

PPS: For listening and reading


Submitted by Mark David Siegel on November 22, 2020