Strange Times

Indeed.  We are all adjusting to having this novel coronavirus, COVID-19 be such a huge part of our world and daily lives.  So much uncertainty and change. I just got another piece of that, when I received an email today with the heading of MRCBC Deployment Information.

As you may or may not know, I am a retired family physician.  I’ve been working with people primarily as a trauma therapist for many years, but I did the family doctor gig for quite some time as well.  A week ago, I (and most other healthcare providers in the state) received an email from the state licensing board stating that extra hands of a medical nature were likely to be required in the near future. Would I help?  I’ve kept my medical license current, so I didn’t have to do a rush job there.  I ended up contacting my local county health department and found out that there is a volunteer medical reserve corps, people who are available and trained to help in the event of emergency. This week I did the online trainings, FEMA courses, filled out forms, got background checked, all that fun stuff, and by yesterday was approved and accepted by MRCBC, the Medical Reserve Corps of Boulder County.

Today I got a phone call from a coordinator, and this afternoon will be reporting for my first assignment, which will be at a recreation center converted to a shelter for ill people without a home. Not sure of the details, but from what I’ve been told so far, my job will involve questioning individuals about their health and symptoms, and if they are too ill for this sick persons shelter, assisting in their being moved elsewhere.  Basically, we will be monitoring to make sure they are in the right place to recover from illness and not needing more intensive services.

I’ll know more after today.  We have an onsite training at 4:30 this afternoon and then residents will arrive starting at 6. It’s interesting to notice my reactions. Some excitement at being able to contribute, a little anxiety. I don’t want to get sick (as if anyone does) nor do I want to bring anything home. I also am aware that some boundary setting is going to be important. I will do what I think I can do safely while maintaining my own health.  I need rest as much or more than most.  No, I won’t work night shifts.  Early mornings, those are okay.

We shall see, and it’s interesting heading into a different arena. Time to go eat a combined lunch/dinner before I go off into this chapter.

26 thoughts on “Strange Times

  1. Bless you for volunteeting Steph and I am sure it will be much appreciated by the people you are helping. It is a fine balance between serving the greater good and protecting your health and the health of those you love. Stay safe and well, sending you a virtual hug across the miles 💞💜💞

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn. I will be careful. I suspect half of our orientation will be on that, and we are told that we will be questioning but not examining people. If they need transport, 911 in their special suits if necessary will be called.

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      1. Hi Pam, here are a few links, one is to an article about where I was yesterday and at the end is a link for volunteering: https://boulderdailycamera-co.newsmemory.com/?token=ZdCGcrznAm4TYefU%2fjiPIgMRgszXX1EG&product=eEdition_bc

        The second is a link to the colorado volunteer mobilizer, which does medical stuff, but also need non-medical volunteers: https://colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/volunteering-colorado-volunteer-moblilizer-and-medical-reserve-corps

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  2. Hi Stephanie ~Thank you for sharing this news about the Boulder Medical Reserve Corps. I am glad to see that there is activity to prepare our community and I am most grateful to know that smart, compassionate people like you are leading the way. Please do take good care of yourself! Virtual hugs from all of your Carleton College fans! Kristine

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that’s a big decision, good on you for stepping up. I can’t imagine how it feels in the US, with your appalling health care system- here in Oz we are just battening down the hatches now, and we have great FREE medical care… good luck & stay safe, G

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  4. Steph, that is a huge commitment. I’m in awe of all the frontline volunteers. I hope you in turn will be looked after by those coordinating this massive effort. In the UK for example, I saw that a nurse finished her night shift, went to the supermarket but wasn’t able to buy the essential supplies she needed.

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