Graduation day was June 26th 2020! I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly. I really thought it would take forever but it’s actually gone by in the blink of an eye.
There have been some really awesome moments over the past 3 years. I’ve made lifelong friends, learned to be a doctor and grew a lot as a person. I got married. Traveled. Had new family join the fold. And lived thru a pandemic! I can’t say thru yet because it’s not over but lived during is probably more accurate. And was a doctor during a pandemic was even more insane.
March 11, 2020 was the day that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and nothing has been the same since. Universal masking, social distancing and obsessive hand washing is now top of mind for many around the world. There are still some people not taking this seriously and flouting all health experts advice...but that’s a story for another day. With the pandemic declaration life as we all knew it changed dramatically. Schools and businesses closed. Millions of people lost jobs and the unemployment system was overwhelmed and left many people high and dry. Elder Care and Assisted Living facilities were shuddered to visitors. Toilet paper, paper towels, Lysol wipes and meat flew off the shelves at record speed. Many items still aren’t regularly back in stock or the cost is higher than pre-pandemic prices. Gas prices plummeted due to excess supply and limited demand. The airline and travel industries came to a grinding halt. Grocery store clerks, transportation workers and housekeeping staff were recognized for the hard work they do every day. Also, everyone FINALLY realized how critical teachers were—when parents were forced to “home school” their children!! Hopefully there will be some changes in recognition and compensation for these hard workers in the future.
It’s been a number of months since the pandemic was declared and people were urged to stay home and things are opening up again. Life is definitely not the same. There have been more than 22M infections, 170,000+ lives have been lost in the USA alone and the worldwide death toll is approaching 800,000. It’s a very dark time especially for the families who have been touched personally by this. The USA response to the pandemic has been chaotic, disjointed and politically charged.
In the midst of the pandemic, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officers. He was suffocated by a knee on his back and neck, for nearly NINE MINUTES...while in handcuffs, on video, while other officers stood by. For years, members of the minority community have been trying to make others aware of the injustices committed against them overtly, systemically, and in the form of macro & microaggressions in the USA. These cries have fallen on deaf ears for decades but after the death of Mr. Floyd, viewed millions of times--Americans and people around the world have taken notice. This murder could not be ignored. It was so callous and shook many people to the core. How could something so heinous occur in the USA in 2020 and we not do something about it? Enough is enough.
It's an election year and I really-really-really hope the American people come out on the right side of history. For now, we are all staying strong and doing our best. We will get through this with hopefully more compassion, appreciation, kindness and love for one another.
Protests in the midst of a Pandemic
The Class of 2020 has shown their resiliency through all that's going on. Elementary, Middle, High School, College, Technical and Professional/Terminal degree recipients have been innovative with how they chose to celebrate their success. People have held caravan parades, Zoom/Skype/Facebook Live parties, individual family celebrations and size restricted gatherings.
As part of the Class of 2020, it's definitely been bittersweet. While preparing to be a better doctor I was also working on being a better human. I’ve built a new network of colleagues that I'll be able to call on as we move forward in our careers. I added yet ANOTHER city to the list of places I've lived. And was adopted into the families of my coworkers...I'll be looking forward to the next Family Reunion!
As one chapter closes and a new one begins, here’s a little walk down memory lane with my co-residents.
The "Don't Rush" Challenge gave people a bit of excitement and a reason to get dressed up (still at home) to highlight various occupations, organizations, friend groups, etc. The Class of 2020 decided to join in on the fun!