Postcards from the edge #5

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Carol Atmore is a GP and Head of the Department of General Practice and Rural Health at the University of Otago. Until recently she worked on the Westcoast.

Reflections from the ranks of the morally conscripted

So its hopefully nearly at the end of lockdown, maybe over half way through, possibly not yet half way. And how will the lesser level be compared to now? And what is the unknown distance that lies ahead of us until a new normal emerges, different to the past. This journeylacks sure milestones. We say a strength of generalism is dealing with uncertainty, so that stands us in good stead.

At times such as this, the long established quid pro quo between clinicians and their communities comes into bright relief. The respect and reward is in exchange for the obligation to heal, knowing doing so may put us in harm’s way. I am reminded of Margaret Cruickshank, our first woman doctor, who succumbed when the great flu pandemic visited our long white cloud a century ago.

Our bubbles contain people dear to our hearts, some brandedhigh risk’. So we adorn ourselves with plastic, cotton and latex, to protect our loved ones from this unseen plague that we name corona. And we keep the Hippocratic faith, by curing sometimes, relieving often, and comforting always.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

Thinking of you all out there, doing it.

Carol Atmore

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