Finding kindness and resilience during a pandemic

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62 , No. 6 , July August 2020 , Pages 191 Editorials COVID-19

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a constant stream of information and news is being shared every day. The sheer amount of information can be overwhelming; every news channel and website is filled with data on the number of cases, number of deaths, number of ICU admissions, and number of government restrictions and guidelines. What the future holds may seem grim.

However, one thing that has struck me during this pandemic is how, through hardship, the positive aspects of human nature—kindness and resilience—shine through. It shows glimpses of hope in this challenging battle with the virus.

In this trying time, it is vital to treat everyone with kindness. We may not know what someone else has experienced during the pandemic. They may have lost their job or have a loved one affected by the illness, fighting for their life in the hospital. We’ve each had our own experiences, but one thing we can all aim to achieve is to spread kindness. I’ve learned about medical students whose clerkship experiences have been affected but who have chosen to use their time to help health care workers with groceries and child care. I’ve learned about restaurants providing and delivering free meals to thank health care workers. There are, of course, the health care workers who are going above and beyond to spread kindness to their patients—nurses setting up FaceTime for their dying patients to see family one last time, or doctors providing reassurance and care to patients who are fighting this illness.

We have learned that we are in this pandemic for the long haul. It has now been months since the first case in BC. However, the fact that we find the strength to physically and mentally cope with this crisis speaks to our resilience.

We have all made changes to our daily lives. Physical distancing and stay-at-home orders can feel isolating and, at times, even overwhelming. Fortunately, an incredible number of resources have been made available to help us stay resilient during this crisis, such as virtual counseling services, free online workouts, ideas for new hobbies to take up, or options for holding virtual gatherings. The current limitations have also given us the opportunity to cherish connections with our family and friends.

I am also immensely proud of my colleagues and other health care workers who exemplify resilience. They go to work, day in and day out, to keep us all safe despite being presented with unknown challenges, especially during the early days of the pandemic.

Not many of us, before now, could have said they lived through a pandemic. It has not been an easy journey, but I think we have all learned and gained a lot from this experience. We have learned things about ourselves. It has given us a chance to reflect on the present and what we often take for granted. I hope it is the acts of kindness and resilience that will be this pandemic’s lasting legacy. 
—Yvonne Sin, MD

Yvonne Sin, MD. Finding kindness and resilience during a pandemic. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 6, July, August, 2020, Page(s) 191 - Editorials, COVID-19.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

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