Fight for Life
Even when the odds of eternity are nonexistent, and our actions are knowingly futile in the long run, time and again these plagues uncover the better angels of our nature. That’s because, ultimately, we obstinately refuse to relinquish hope.
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Explore This IssueJune 2020
We seize on our existential fear of mortality and transform it into a fight for life. It is a gradual, but inevitable, metamorphosis of despair into integrity. And just like that, we realize that plagues are really about courage and bravery and character.
I’ve witnessed the Robs, the Eileens, the Peters and Pamelas of the world who enlisted first for the battle, unconditionally, no questions asked. And the Kristens among us, who had left practice but were compelled to return because their inner voices told them it was their moral duty to help heal the sick. There were also the Rebeccas and the Rochelles and the Dis, who have gotten sick but immediately after posting their test results (with pride!) continued to work on their projects and to care for patients in need. And then there was the other Rebecca, who has done all of the above (and more) with grace and composure.
I’ve seen the most remarkable group of fellows, residents, students and nurses show camaraderie, dedication and valor each step of the way. And then there is each one of you, who made the impossible possible, whether by adapting to new technologies in a matter of days, coalescing around intellectual endeavors to help understand this challenge better, extending a hand to your colleagues or offering the comfort of your voice to friends, family and countless patients.
We should, therefore, find solace and assurance that the future of rheumatology and our collective endeavor is bright.
Cycle of Life
This is the time of the year when many commemorate resurrection, first revelations or a journey from slavery to freedom. And for those who avoid deities altogether, this moment is simply devoted to welcoming the cycle of life that spring announces. But these are certainly no ordinary times, for I now know that we will go through this experience with intense pain, irreparable loss and enduring grief.
However, and as Camus’ Dr. Rieux noted before: “[Very soon] our whole town will rush outside to celebrate a crowded minute, when the time of suffering had ended and the time of forgetting had not yet begun.”
Because in the end, we will have learned once again what the plague really means.