The Monday Memo
April 6th, 2020 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Thoughts From an SPT Regarding COVID-19
As paranoid thoughts begin to fill barren grocery shelves, it is safe to say that 2020 has been off to a rough start. Sports seasons canceled, universities shutting down, countries closing their borders. But the ultimate stinger, in my opinion, was the death of Kobe Bryant. The coronavirus has spread like wildfire, quite literally. It has been a combination of unfortunate timing and lack of preparation. At the onset of COVID-19 in the United States, many people had spring break trips planned and refused to abandon them even when the severity of the pandemic started to break news. Many universities began to cancel study abroad trips at this time, but nothing was done at the federal or state level to restrict travel and large gatherings until a few days later. A recent video went viral showing college students refusing to cancel their trip to the beach in response to COVID-19, citing reasons such as “just trying to have a good time” and “whatever happens, happens”. These outliers are what I like to call “COVID-iots”. Statistically speaking, we are the age group that is least affected by this. But the majority of us millenials/Gen X’ers do not sympathize with them. We are not the problem, we are the solution. Now more than ever, there’s an astronomical need for healthcare professionals. Millennials are now just entering the workforce. That means we are the next generation of healthcare workers. From my PT class alone, I see 61 other individuals who are more motivated than ever to offer their contribution to the world. We all joke with each other about this grueling situation that we are facing together but when it comes down to it, we all handle it with the utmost seriousness. All of us are being vigilant about social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve, for the sake of our patients, our friends and our loved ones.
I see light at the end of this tunnel. This extended period of social distancing can get boring, but also hosts the potential for individuals to pick up some healthy habits. As we shift into spring, take advantage on the rare occasions that the Pittsburgh sun uncovers underneath its infinite clouds. Vitamin D is essential if we want to stay sane. Personally, I have been trying to stay active by running or biking alone outside, catching up on much needed sleep, and taking care of myself (I’ve discovered a newfound passion for flossing). Use this free time for self care. Put your mask on first before helping others. Facetime with loved ones who you cannot visit. After all, social distancing does not equal solitary confinement. Partake in some social media challenges, make tik toks. No one will judge based on your screen time.
Never in my lifetime did I expect to experience a pandemic. Hospitals are ground zero. Antarctica is now arguably the safest place in the world. Nearly every aspect of our lives has been altered because of a stupid microorganism. But I know all of these protocols are implemented for the greater good. As citizens of the world, we have a duty to our neighbors to be responsible in the coming weeks in who we interact with. Healthcare workers, thank you for your bravery. Sacrificing your health for the benefit of others is the ultimate display of altruism.
In conclusion, stay away from others. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth. Stop buying all that toilet paper. Don’t be a COVID-iot. Thanks for attending my TED talk.
P.S.: Please stop calling it the “Chinese virus”. Viruses do not have an ethnicity.
P.S.S.: With spring comes seasonal allergies. Do not be alarmed just because someone sneezes.
-Sam Yip, SPT