From The Front Lines, Written By Dr. Jason Shadkin

Dr. Jason Shadkin is a Jewish ICU Physician working at Valley Hospital. As he faced the horrors caused by COVID-19, he penned the following inner conversation and struggle as he grapples with the fallout of the virus.

Last night I had a dream…. I dreamt I was walking on the beach with the Covid. I noticed one set of footprints….Mine.

The soulless Covid was floating towards me… He stopped and he said…..

COVID: I have killed 178,000 people world wide in 3 months. More than both atomic bombs combined……

Me : But over 715,000 have recovered and are now immune to you.

COVID: I’m attacking you when you are at your best. When your tending to your loved ones, when a hug can prove to be fatal. I’m making your love toxic.

Me: Your making us better….. Our love for each other is palpable without touching…. Our love has never been stronger…..

COVID: Your faces are marked with lines from your masks… I’m making it harder for you to work.

Me: Your making us stronger…. I barely even notice the mask anymore….. I signed up for more shifts……

Covid looked at me…. Realized he needed to step it up a bit…..

COVID: I’m piercing you with your deepest and dearest blood. I’m destroying your economy one day at a time.

Me: Your teaching us that money isn’t everything.

COVID: Your nurses come off shift crying…… I’m depriving them of their dignity……

Me: Their dignity is strengthened in their tears…. They always come back tomorrow and their smiles are ever more so beautiful even if I can only see it in their eyes……

COVID: But I make you cry, Jason. Your terrified of Joshua not remembering who you are….. of not seeing your children grow up….and your daughter getting married. …..

Me: But courage is fear and still doing it anyway…..If you take me, my children will know their father died honorably. They will read this hypothetical conversation and my strength will flow through them……

Covid had to pull out the big guns……

COVID: I took a 50 year old from you this week.

I admit I was staggered… Took a breath and responded….

Me: And I sent a 92 year old woman home…We discharge more than you make us admit. The majority make it home….

COVID: The same God you thank for saving you….. is the same god that is killing you….How can you see God in the world around you??? I’ve closed your churches, synagogues and mosques……..

Me: I see God in the redness in our faces and in the tears in our eyes. I see God in the relationships I have forged that I never would have known. I’ve seen the best of the human spirit and God envelopes us in his holiness as we overcome our fears…..comforting our patients and each other …. I have never seen the dividing lines between the good guys and the bad guys more clear……

Suddenly Covid didn’t have anything to say…. He looked like a bully who was stood up to….. so I continued…..

In a year from now, you will be a nuisance at best. Man kind will still be alive and well….

And Suddenly I awoken……

I threw on my scrubs because the battle rages on……………

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