April 29 – Be Grateful For Your Breath


You’re going to hear, “we’re trending down!”, or “it’s easing up.” Social distancing is working – we should have been doing it in the beginning of February.

You’re going to start thinking it’s fine to maybe start relaxing some of these rules.

You’re going to listen to your news (the one you think tells you like it is) and think it’s either overblown (it’s not), that the malaria drug is the answer (it really, really isn’t), or that we’re in Armageddon (we are not).

Truth – this is with us for a while.

Truth – it will come and go in waves.

Truth – life will not be normal with doing what you what you were doing 2 months ago.

Mild COVID-19 means mild pneumonia.

All the posts of how bored you are, or how much exercise your doing, or how hard it is to home school your kids are tough to see …

My patient today who is a teacher, that was 4 years younger than me, who’s steps away from not being able to breath for themself … on every kind of oxygen support one can have before a vent, who said, “Kevin, I’m so scared, can you stay here with me for a little bit?”, would love to be teaching your kids …

My patient today who is a nurse, who is fit as a fiddle, who 3 weeks ago was training for a marathon, who said to me today, “I … I … I’m having … I want to catch … my … breath,” who I sat with and had them close their eyes and together we visualized them running their marathon next year, thinking about the sun in their face and their breath powerfully moving them through the space…they’d love to be working out with you.

My patient who got sick the same day as me, who can’t get up to go to the bathroom because their numbers sink to the ground, who I put on a bed pan, who just by wiping themselves takes every bit of energy … who said, “I’m so hot and sweaty and uncomfortable, I don’t know how to get comfortable…” who I then asked if I could cool them down with a cool bed bath, who said, “you’re not worried about catching this?,” in which I responded, “I’ve had it, and it was bad, and I was hot and sweaty and uncomfortable, and short of breath, and scared,” I’m sure they would LOVE to be bored in their home.

The common theme is to be grateful for your breath. That I’m so lucky to have the ability to be cautious, but know that I have some immunity. That I can stay in the room, and comfort patients, and relate to their fear and worry. That I can touch them physically and not be scared.

So, remember this when you think it’s safe to go out, when you’re bored at home, or fortunate enough to exert your body physically without losing your ability to breathe. There’s many people who right at this moment are worried about their life. They aren’t worried about an apex, or if this is all bullshit, or when can we all just get a vaccine, or that this is an old persons disease. They’re worried if they’re going to survive.

Wash your hands.

Be grateful.

Stay the fuck home.