The outbreak of COVID-19 into a global pandemic has certainly changed our lives in innumerable ways. While the general public bears an understandable amount of stress and concern regarding this disease, the pressure being applied to the medical community is staggering. The call to danger is not new, of course, as medical professionals have always been asked to face both expected and unexpected dangers, but there is no modern analog in scope and impact with which to compare to what is being asked today.
This pandemic has exposed many stark realities about the machinations of the world and has realized the power that fear can exert over everyone. It requires an exceptional degree of mental, physical, and emotional stamina to engage and treat patients under these circumstances, yet a common goal connects all clinical practitioners, and always has. The obvious clinical collegiality on display every single day has been awe inspiring, as all hands are truly on deck.
Laboratorians and pathologists have unique knowledge of disease-causing pathogens and are likely being called upon by other practitioners for advice or insight into causation and therapy. In sharing each other’s experiences, in seeing clinical practice through another’s viewpoint, we are all better served. In this, I am reminded of the old medical maxim: nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
To those working together in the front, middle, and rear of this fight; your forthright and often selfless dedication to continue treating your patients and performing your duties is admirable. The laboratory will remain a life-blood conduit throughout this pandemic; a river coursing through a dry valley. It will require a cool hand and a brave heart to navigate, but please keep in mind another old maxim: there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
Thank you for your kindness. And for being strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
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