Enduring the pandemic: How to support your friend on the fro
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Here's an article by Infectious disease doctor caring for patients with COVID-19 in US hospitals.

" When I think about what I am seeing – the horrors of so many intubated patients suffering from multiorgan failure, the number of deaths, some of whom are young veterans—I cry. The daily appreciation and acknowledgment I receive keep me anchored. Some make me smile, while others, unintentionally, exponentiate stress.

I write today to provide personal suggestions on how to support your friend or family member in the health workforce battling COVID-19.

1. Reach out, but with an expectation of short and simple conversation and often without a reply.

Your goal is to let the other person know you are thinking about them and opening the opportunity to chat if they want to. Remember, many workers are feeling overwhelmed and may not respond immediately. The messages I enjoy the most are ones that say something like, “Thinking of you, no need to respond but am proud of you.” Instead of expecting a reply, enjoy the thought that your message probably delivered a slice of happiness and perhaps made a difference in someone’s day.

2. Use informal modes of communication.

With the demanding schedule of pandemic work, phone calls can feel intrusive and possibly laborious, while emails seem impersonal and cumbersome. Instead, try reaching out via text message or Facebook. I know this affords me time to respond whenever I can and eliminates the feeling that you may have reached out at a bad or inconvenient time.

3. Avoid creating more work.

After reaching out, try to shy away from asking pointed hypothetical coronavirus questions or clinical dilemmas. Questions like, “When will this go back to normal?” “When can my grandparents visit my baby?” are tough to answer in general and may cause stress.

4. Don’t assume we saw the news or a publication from 5 minutes ago.

A new health policy, test, or treatment is approved every day. The environment is incredibly dynamic. Questions like “What are your thoughts of this?” may seem benign at first but require the health care worker to investigate further. Instead, you could share an article and simply state, “I saw this was going on and made me think of you, I hope you are OK. I’m here for you if you ever need to talk or get things off your chest.”

5. Know we appreciate you.

Medical professionals are likely to experience fear, anxiety, and a sense of powerlessness. We know how hard it can be to follow distancing protocols, but these protocols are one of the few methods we have to curb cases while we learn more about the disease. Your commitment is saving lives.

We, as medical professionals, are going through trialing times, but simple, thoughtful acts can really help support us."

Jesse O’Shea is an infectious disease fellow. This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Source: https://www.ajc.com/news/opinion/opinion-supporting-those-pandemic-frontlines/EKIt64uSIJs4nqis4JyGxO/
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