Dr. Tina Q. Tan mulls over the need for self-care and the very real specter of COVID-19 fatigue.
I first want to extend an official welcome to the latest additions to the Editorial Advisory Board: Dr Candice Jones—a general pediatrician practicing in Orlando, Florida and Dr Amin Barakat—a professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Pediatric Nephrology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. Both these individuals bring incredible passion and diverse talent to the editorial board.
As the COVID-19 pandemic surges again across the country and new restrictions, travel bans, and stay-at-home orders are implemented‑ the specter of “COVID-19 fatigue” becomes increasingly apparent. As we all continue to work to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care to our patients, it is important to remember to care for ourselves. As cliché as it sounds, self-care and wellness are now more important than ever. I was recently reminded of this while attending a very busy inpatient infectious diseases service with a number of severely ill patients, including those with COVID-19 associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Working long hours with very sick patients day in and day out‑ getting little sleep, not taking time to eat, putting everyone else’s needs before your own personal needs, in addition to juggling other responsibilities is not sustainable or healthy. In the midst of the chaos, a friend reminded me that I cannot provide the level of care to my patients that I am accustomed to if I don’t take care of myself. Incorporating moments during the day to recharge helps to build resilience and allows one to work through challenges. As Mary Holloway said, “Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.”
As we move deep into the winter season‑ please stay safe and well. And as always‑ I welcome your suggestions‑ comments‑ and questions.
With warmest regards,
Tina Q Tan., FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS