What a difference a month makes.
I’ve been (mostly) by myself in my apartment since I got back from an away rotation out-of-state at a large medical center. The only time I’ve been around people in this past week was on three specific occasions.
Once, a friend brought me candy. She went for a quick run to the local dollar store and was kind enough to bring me back some Skittles & Starbursts. We stood outside my apartment, six feet apart, talking about how crazy things had become. She was missing her boyfriend who was with family out-of-state. She said I didn’t need to pay her for the candy; she was just happy for some social interaction. I was happy to see her, too.
This past Friday I left my apartment at 5:40am to go to the grocery store. It opened at 6am, and I figured it would be best to get in early and get out as quickly as I could. I made a point to smile to the people working there and tried to stay 6 feet away from everyone I encountered. It was surreal to see just how bare the paper aisle was. And to see so little meat available. And all the milk (except organic) was pretty much gone. But I got almost all that I needed. And I saw a classmate there, which was randomly nice.
This past Friday was also Match Day. The normal celebration was cancelled. Most everyone took to the internet to make up for the separation. Two of my good friends live in my apartment building, so we got together in the lounge downstairs to watch people’s Facebook videos announcing where their residency will be. Brain Twin got into his number one choice. I was, and am, proud of him. Many other fourth year friends also matched well. We were happy to see them so joyous, bittersweet though the occasion was.
I’ve spent the majority of this week studying or watching TV, both activities well suited to get my mind off the state of everything.
There is a drive through test site on my campus. Current students and alumni have been asked to volunteer to help run it. I think I will volunteer, after my exam in a week. Yes, we are still having exams, because we are still medical students, future doctors, and this will probably be a part of everyone’s personal statement next year. A pandemic will do that.
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