who is behind that mask?
CORONAVIRUS TO CONSCIOUSNESS
Perspectives from the Intuitive cardiologist.
6 weeks ago if we walked around the grocery store with a mask on we would be taking a picture and posting it online and writing up a caption “ what a freako”
If I had worn a mask at work, I would have been asked do I have a serious illness.
We have now normalized these behaviors of self protection adorning surgical masks or makeshift bandanas and blue gloves and roam around in public.
How long are we going to do this for? Is this here for the long run?
I was in the patient’s room the other day and we both were wearing masks and gloves ! Here is the crazy part after the visit I sat at my desk writing up my notes on this patient when it dawned on me.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MY PATIENT LOOKED LIKE.
One of the most fundamental parts of the healers journey when being in the room with the patient is to OBSERVE the patient.
I had missed out on the most important step. The very core tenant of healing is connection.
THERE WAS NO CONNECTION. Just too masked individuals exchanging conversation.
This was the most sterile encounter I had experienced. At least in the operating room I see the patient before and after the procedure without a mask on.
That patient will never know who Dr Bhatnagar was, even if I was standing in line next to them.
I can recognize them by their eyes, but seriously are we reduced to trying to recognizing people by staring into their eyes?
How long is this going to go on for ? Will I always walk into a patients room suspicious if they have a “deadly” disease that can hurt me or my family.
If so then why have I not been afraid of all the other times I saw patients and they “could” have had a disease that would have harmed me?
I dont have an answer to these questions. It was a moments reflection that had haunted me for days and probably weeks, and months to come as I Contemplate my relationships with my patients.
How would I value a friend on a zoom call or skype versus that in person ? Do I mistrust them too after all I do not have their coronavirus screening blood work to check if they are positive or negative?
When I see strangers in the street or the grocery store they will forever remain strangers as I will never have registered subconsciously what they looked like. Imagine entire catwalks of supermodels with masks on and never having seen their faces.
I think we are at the crossroads of an amazing opportunity to uncover our path as we go from suspicious mistrust, to embracing whole hearted connection and love towards another fellow human, friend, foe, stranger alike.
So now I will plan to show my face to the patient at 6 feet away before they leave the office, so they may at the very least know who this person was who gave them advice about their health.
So they know who they can trust in a mistrustful world.
I love you