In Our Own Way

Hi, everyone. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during this scary time. It’s kind of difficult to decide what to write about during times like this.

Should I write about something COVID-related?

Do I stay on-point and write about something writing-related?

Do I write something entertaining to take people’s minds off COVID-19?

Or do I say fuck it all and blow this popsicle stand?

I have to hang my head and say that for the past few weeks, it’s been the last option.  All of us have had to deal with changes, and in my case, I happened to start a brand new job right smack in the middle of a pandemic. It’s difficult starting a new job to begin with. You have so many new things to learn and it’s always overwhelming. But because the office was going to be run differently than normal, I had to learn things an “alternative” way, which just made everything more complicated. It was a lot for my poor, tired little brain.

I had just come out of a very toxic work environment, which, upon my departure, became utter chaos. See, I worked at Elmhurst Hospital, which overnight became the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. I was told by my former co-workers that the place had become a war zone. From there, I went almost immediately into my new position, running the office of a mental health clinic, with very little guidance and a different kind of chaos.  (Read HERE and HERE if you’re interested.)

It was a difficult transition, but I was glad to have gotten out of the hospital just in the nick of time. A part of me, though, felt guilty for leaving my co-workers behind. They were stuck there in that disaster, struggling to hold it all together. But there was nothing I could do except be there for them (virtually, of course).

Still, decisions had to be made and changes had to be implemented. At my family’s insistence, I stopped taking the train to work (which had become a very scary prospect on multiple levels) and began driving in to work, something which I had never done in my entire life (and if you’re from NYC, you understand why). While traffic was lighter than normal, parking was a problem, since no one was going anywhere. I worked that out, and I settled into my new job. Of course, once things go back to normal (and they will), I’ll have to relearn some things and re-adjust to how I’m doing things now. But I’m not complaining—I know that I’m lucky to have this job right now while so many people have lost theirs. And to those people, my heart goes out.

All this is to say, we’re all facing very different times, all in our own different ways. I hope all of us stay strong and hold on until this is all over. Stay safe and stay healthy.

2 comments

  1. I am so glad you elected to go for a new position before the pandemic struck hard. I was just reading an article about the health profession and post traumatic stress and it was heart breaking. The vestiges still cling to me and make me so sad for all the health care workers being pummeled by this pandemic. I pray for them as well as for the sick and dying. It is a horrible and frightening time for all humanity. I alternate between being frozen in fears to hope and back again. It’s a see-saw with no real end in sight. I don’t see things ever being quite the same again – at least not in the foreseeable future.

    Please stay well and stay safe.

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  2. Om gosh. Elmhurst General was bad enough back in 1960 (my first girlfriend was locked up in its adolescent psych ward). I’m incredulous that’s where you were working — and at the toll it must have taken on you. I hope your former co-workers all made it through with their lives and health and that when your new job settles down you can be happy and fulfilled in it.

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