This - is the Covid ward. The halls are barren. The din of traffic, light, LIFE, is remote, distant, almost imperceptible. The quiet and stillness is unnerving.The room I enter is cold. Silent. 1/
This - is the Covid ward. The bed raised to its customary height once a patient has been "discharged", bed sheets folded perfectly. A pillow untouched. Monitor blank. My skin tingles in a moment of sobriety. It’s over. Just like that. 2/
This is the Covid ward, where no promise is real, where LIVES are suspended like precarious feet on a high wire, an act no less arduous than agonizing. This is where answers to suffering are feeble, questions why endless, never to be reconciled 3/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where solitude is neither refuge nor comfort. It is a cruel ugliness. A canvas painted of extreme caution intended to protect and shelter becomes one of crippling isolation, a stigma of the most necessary but painful sort. 4/
This - is the Covid ward. That those who are most frail, vulnerable are deprived of experiencing the love and comfort of those who count most is an irony of the most wicked proportions. 5/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where a fleeting visit to check vital signs or adjust a catheter or clear a half eaten lunch tray is the singular form of human contact each day. 6/
This - is the Covid ward. A LIFE now reduced to a series of arbitrary moments of the most mundane variety, each one more pressing than the one before, a wilting violet in search of the slightest hint of water, the faintest glimmer of light. 7/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where eyes meet through the sterile veneer of face shields and goggles in a moment of closeness no hand shake could ever match.
This - is the Covid ward. This is where tiny smiles peek around the corners of an N95 respirator when you want them to and are returned in kind with a grace that is unimaginably perfect. 9/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where art, history, religion, philosophy and humanity are explained, simplified, unmistakably understood. This is where nothing matters but each other, a shockingly beautiful standard of humility. Here. 10/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where respiratory distress is a witnessed form of torture for anyone seeking to offer comfort. This is where awkward gasps of air hit like body blows, ruthlessly willed to torment LIFE that flails in toxic futility. 11/
This - is the Covid ward. This is where the once tight clasp of a hand fades in your own, a desperately determined plea for survival slowly released, fading into the hollow softness of your palm. 12/
This is where eyes close. This is where “I am sorry” means everything and absolutely nothing at all.

This - is the Covid ward

#CovidLives #FacesofCovid End 13/

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More from @SharkawyMD

6 Nov
Much angst over the recent reports of mutations in mink population of Denmark causing infections in humans. There is NO need to panic at all. Here's a few points to note about the past, present and ?future of Coronaviruses, incl #Covid19 1/
Coronaviruses by nature, have a tendency to infect animals and mutate each time the virus is introduced to a new species. Certain species tend to be more likely to host these viruses & allow mutations (bats), others not so much (dogs, domestic pets) 2/
SARS (bats, civet cats) and MERS (camels) both involved intermediate species which allowed mutations to occur that led to disease when introduced into humans. Doesn't mean that mutations by definition, are all worrisome. Most are NOT 3/
Read 13 tweets
5 Nov
@CPHO_Canada recently recommended using 3-ply masks to provide additional protection against transmission of #Covid19. This is a very reasonable recommendation & should not be cause for alarm. A few points 1/5
Logically, the more layers, the greater the level of filtration and effectiveness of a mask. This does not mean that you MUST buy/wear a specific 3-ply mask in order to reduce #Covid19 viral transmission 2/5
Some simple "add ons" to improve your mask's effectiveness:
- Coffee filter
- A folded tissue paper (bonus: absorbs humidity to ⬇️fogging up glasses)
- toilet paper (3 ply preferred here for sure 😎) 3/5
Read 5 tweets
4 Nov
👇 "Stay the course. Be at home if you can, put on a mask if you can’t. Wash your hands. Support FL workers, local business. Be PATIENT & brave. None of these things will kill you, but not doing them might just kill somebody else"…
"9 months of pandemic protocols have made us more risk tolerant, mostly because (some) people are selfish and their ability to curb their desires is limited. This is not sustainable."
"You see a packed, mask-free college football game, a political assembly & you wouldn’t know there were > 1 M people dead of a disease that spreads via airborne particles & sustained proximity. Magical thinking hardly covers it; this is willful stupidity."
Read 5 tweets
2 Nov
Thread. A lot of misconceptions exist re: "health care capacity" (HCC), what it means on both micro and macro levels. Let's break down how we actually define this and what the implications are for stretching this capacity in a pandemic setting 1/
HCC refers to the ability to maintain adequate medical care to patients without compromising either the quality of that care or unduly depleting important resources for ongoing/future care in the process. These are interrelated 2/
The optimal scenario is operating at the lowest possible capacity so that there is an abundance of resources are available in the event of any surge in medical care needs (like in a really bad flu season or a pandemic, for example) 3/
Read 11 tweets
30 Oct
FACT: More people living in LTC in Ontario have died of #Covid19 in the last week alone (27) than in the last 2 mths. Is this an indication that the virus is less dangerous than it used to be? Less of an impediment to "moving on"? 1/
FACT: Disproportionately more younger people under age 40 are being infected now vs 1st wave. Several reasons:
- almost everyone adherent to PH during shock/fear of 1st wave
- shift to online work
- good weather = outdoor activity 2/
FACT: Easing of restrictions + colder weather + return to "feeling normal" has led to many more young (previously unexposed) people now becoming infected. Many elderly, frail are still relatively "isolated". Note that does NOT mean immune to further risk. 3/
Read 12 tweets
26 Oct
Lots of angst, frustration & pessimism being expressed by those in the business community and others re: the perceived (lack) of fairness of restrictive measures that are imposed by policy makers and its real impact. A few points 1/
A pandemic is NOT "fair" to anyone. That the indifference or disrespect of one healthy or wealthy individual can potentially cause harm or cost lives for those who are frail, unhealthy or disenfranchised is not "fair" either but it's reality in a pandemic 2/
In an ideal society, PH messaging is firm, consistent & readily adhered to by the majority of persons bc we are bound by an obligation to do what's best for the community as a whole, not just ourselves. Yes, it means sacrifice, some much more than others 3/
Read 12 tweets

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