Mornings in the time of COVID-19

Well it’s a funny old time isn’t it?

Just look at my morning routine now.

I wake up, and the first thing I check is the number of new COVID-19 cases in Australia. I check how cases have increased around the world. I check the South Australia Health website to see if there’s been any credible reports of community transmission.

I check to see what new government policies are in place and how life is changing around us.

I look across to my wife still asleep and give thanks. It crosses my mind about what would happen if I got sick and passed it to her.

But there’s no time to dwell on such thoughts, and I reassure myself with reports from around the world that my risk is significantly lower than others.

It’s going to be a big week. We have already jumped from 700 to almost 1400 cases in about 3 days.

I try to maintain a degree of normality. I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz. Try it. Something about that creativity breathes an agile harmony into a chaotic world. As I sip my coffee this morning before heading off to an uncertain week, I think about what the day will bring.

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I will do my routine visit to my 20-30 patients at the local nursing home and see what the situation is there. They are in a lockdown and I wonder what state of preparedness they are in (I’m already bracing myself).

Afterwards I’ll go to the clinic and I wonder if I’ll have enough swabs if required (last week I was down to my last swab tube), and whether I’ll have to use up one of the last two PPE gowns that I have.

I await letters from the government to see whether they’ll accept my proposal for me to setup a COVID testing clinic at the practice to help unburden the case load of our hospitals.

I feel somewhat apprehensive about possible backlash from other doctors and staff at the practice – I don’t blame them – they may see my plans as placing them at additional risk (and perhaps validly so).

I hope my shipment of 100 gowns arrives today – having had to resort to eBay after all stockists have closed and having received no additional stock from the government due to shortages.

As these thoughts swirl in my head, sometimes intruding on my personal life, I pray that God would give me wisdom and courage for a time like this. Though I am starting to feel the strain of constantly thinking about COVID, COVID, COVID, I also feel the strength of shared humanity, of a globe that is facing a common enemy, of a shared experience of all radically changing our lives for the good of our countries, our cities, our villages, our communities, our families.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”

2 thoughts on “Mornings in the time of COVID-19

  1. Thank you and thank you again to you and fellow doctors for all your sacrifice during this difficult time. May God bless you and continue to protect you, your family and your co-workers! We as a body of Christ are praying for you all over the world. You are protected!

  2. Hi Nathan,

    You are doing an amazing job! I follow a similar morning routine, and it’s frightening to see the amount of cases exponentially increase per day, especially living in Victoria.

    I am very grateful to selfless healthcare workers like you, who really are on the frontline of this pandemic.
    May the Lord protect you and your family. May you keep in steadfast health, including a peaceful mind and spirit. I pray for discernment, wisdom and endurance to reach out to others to show them Jesus’ love during this time of fear and anxiety. This is such an opportune time to share the love of Christ.

    Hebrews 12:1-3 has been such an encouragement to me during these unprecedented times, I hope it can be for you too:

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

    I’ll keep you, your family and colleagues in my prayers.

    Blessings,
    Alexandra

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