Being a doctor was my greatest dream, but I was fully aware that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. When the pandemic hit, I was initially confident that we would be able to contain it fairly easily, especially, with the imposition of the first lockdown in March 2020.
My first experience of contact with the virus was a scary one. The patient was heavily pregnant and when the results came back, her only question was, “Is my baby going to be okay?” That was the moment that the impact of the virus truly dawned on me. All I could do was to reassure her that it will be alright. She was put under a ventilator shortly after, but thankfully, both mother and baby are healthy and safe now.
The biggest challenge I faced as a medical officer was the additional workload caused by the pandemic. Although doctors and nurses are no strangers to such work pressures, this was different. I saw the toughest nurses break down because the work was overwhelming, doctors in tears because they hadn’t seen their loved ones in weeks.
One of the most memorable moments throughout this pandemic was when I was under quarantine after being exposed to a positive case. One morning, my 5-year-old goddaughter walked past my room and said “Don’t worry, you’ll be ok because we’re good people.” The look on her face, her expression – it’s something I’ll take with me as a beacon of hope for the rest of my life.
Having seen the struggles of my colleagues and the toll the pandemic has taken on many livelihoods, I still hold on to hope that we will come to the end of it better than before. This requires all of us to come together. Right now, there are people who are still so nonchalant about the virus. This attitude must change.