Hit alarm clock, brush teeth, shower, put on clothes, eat a bowl of Lucky Charms, watch television and internet-surfing, instant ramen noddles.
That is my quarantine schedule for four months but it feels like a year worth of time.
Do not ask about my appearance or hair: I have been wearing sweatpants and over-sized shirts with crazy-cat lady hair style.
I switch on the television as I situate into the lazy boy chair.
“Good morning America,” the woman grinned. “The pandemic has brought many of us together from all sides of the pole.”
“That’s right Rita,” the blue-greyish suit man said. “We have seen small businesses volunteer making PPEs like masks and face shields, restaurants converting kitchens into meal prep centers , people donating their time to deliver meals to elders and homeless communities.”
“Today, we have a heart-warming story that involves a daughter of two ER doctors has a message to the front-liners,” the woman smiled.
“I think it is appropriate message for all of the front-line workers.”
“Absolutely. Here is the video called ‘Thank You All’.”
My eyes glue on the 32 inch flat-screen. How could this happen?
Hello Youtube, my name is Joanna Bennett and I am a second-year student at New York University (NYU).
Holy fuck, I am on national TV.
Last two weeks, I wrote a journal entry about my parents serving the front-lines--Dr.Bennett and Dr. Bennett are ER doctors at New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. Though venting out my feelings on paper helped, I have constant worry for their safety and, now, I am posting my feelings on the web as an alternative. I do not care if I look vulnerable, stupid, or whatever. Right now, I believe we have the right express our weaknesses without judgement.
I haven’t seen either of my parents since March 13th and haven’t FaceTime since Tuesday. It is stupid that I miss the simplest things like their faces, voices, and reassuring words. I should understand my parents are serving the greater good yet, the selfish side, I do not want them to be there; they have a higher likely of getting COVID and PPEs are falling short.
Probably, for many of you, do not understand having doctor parents. Don’t worry, I didn’t understand it before either until now. Being a doctor or any health professional means more than a paycheck, status, or respect, it is the ultimately form of humanity--kindness and sacrifice.
I am going to say this again: to all of the doctors and nurses, your act of bravery and undying kindness will withstand time as history will remember you as the best face of humanity has to offer.
Do not give up on the battle--the whole nation is relying on your strength, diligence, patience, and magnanimity to win against the enemy. Working on 12 or more hours shifts, sleeping on hallway floors, holding a co-worker, hugging a dying patient are all acts of humanity that will NEVER be forgotten.
I grab a tissue from the box on the table stand.
The other night, I saw a video on Youtube; it was a nurse, her name was Heather, was telling her story with an ICU COVID patient who was in severe condition. The patient was afraid of dying and afraid of leaving behind a two-year daughter and a wife.
I will need more tissues for this one.
Upon confirmation from the doctor, the individual didn’t have much time to live. Nurse Heather held his hand from 11 am to 12:15 where, unfortunately, became his passing. A gesture such as holding hands represent the compassion that every one of our healthcare providers have.
Mom and Dad, Dr. Bennett and Dr. Bennett, I love you. We do not see each other at all, but I have these three words beating inside of my heart.
Continue the battle fight everybody. In the video, I clutched my hand into a fist. Millions of Americans are here. I patted my chest area. With you.
I cry in the lazy boy, knowing I look like a mess.
Unlike before, social distancing has become the normalcy. A gesture like a hug, a hand shake, or holding hands is excluded and is taken for granted. We have, indeed, do not appreciate the things we have, the things we can do. I challenge everyone to use our social media abilities to send the following emojis: a heart, hand, or PPEs like a mask, glove, medical suit. Doing so will let the front-liners know we do care.
“It has worked,” the news woman said. “Within 72 hours, Medical Inc and Hospital Co, companies located in New York, has send 105,000 gloves, gowns, eye protection, and N95 masks to hospitals across the region including New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.”
“Also we have receive a video from Dr. Bennett and Dr. Bennett,” the man said with a smile.
The video showed mom and dad wearing full body suits with eye protection, N95 mask layered with a surgical mask, and gloves.
Joanna! Sweetie, everybody in the hospital has seen your video! Can’t believe you are actually on national TV!
We thought your moment would come with your New Times #1 Best seller book.
Very funny dad.
Megan, the head nurse, said your video has been blowing up in Facebook, Instagram…literally across the country and world! Our daughter is a celebrity Deborah!
Sweetie, you have done so much! All of our staff are very appreciative of receiving the medical supplies! Your planned worked and so does your encouraging words.
In the background, four doctors and two nurses waved. Thank you Joanna! You are a blessing to us!
A mixture of relief and happiness cradle within me.
Joanna, your mother and I LOVE you so much. Never forget that. In the front-lines, you are constantly on our minds. You represent hope and motivation and we can’t be any more prouder than that.
Your father and I entered medicine for a reason: to serve those until their last breath. Also sweetie
Both of my parents held up their hands up. Remember
I held up my hands. I will never forget.
Our physical distance is far, the human touch is never far.