How COVID-19 Makes Doctors Feel Lonely
Healthcare workers are clearly at higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus. There are reports of hospital staff deciding to move out of their homes to protect their families from COVID-19. Pierluigi Viale, the Director of Infectious Diseases at Sant’ Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic in Bologna, is living isolated from his family right now and said, “Sometimes I stop by under their balcony and blow a kiss from the car. My son yells, ‘Daddy, be careful!’ And I go away with my heart in pieces. It is not easy to live this moment without them, without a hug. But it’s for our own good.”
The Harvard Business Review illuminated the fact that people with professional degrees (law and medical degrees) were the loneliest by far.
Scoring 25% lonelier than people who hold bachelor’s degrees, and 20% lonelier than people who have earned their Ph.D. Doctors, unfortunately, also have the highest suicide rate according to 10 years of research. That rate is over double the rate of the general population. This was all years before COVID-19.
This Pandemic has kept healthcare workers in a state of trauma for months. Their daily lives have changed drastically and routine day surgeries, replaced with respirators. As the country has gone on hold, their lives have only speed up. Healthcare workers, like many of us, have not had a chance to evaluate how we feel during this Pandemic. Patients are dying alone in their hospital rooms without their family members, and this adds pressure to medical staff and is a real worry for doctors and nurses. This trauma is only compounding what were already stressful work environments.
Pam Wible, a Family Practitioner in Eugene OR, says doctors can’t seek psychiatric treatment without jeopardizing their medical licenses.
“I know a lot of them,” Wible says. “They’re having to sneak out of town, pay cash and use a fake name to do it. Why are we putting these people in such a situation?” GeboCall Founder, Rebecca Davidson agrees and has said, “In many cases, success and carrying the weight of others amplifies the loneliness we’ve always felt.” That is why we’re here to listen. We are not therapy but some of our greatest allies are therapists who recommend our services. Doctors and nurses can call an Advocate from the comfort of their homes anonymously. The loneliness epidemic does not have to turn in to another pandemic.
If you know a nurse or a doctor, please share this information with them. You never know whose life you are saving.
Wishing you all The Gift of comfort,