Sangeeta woke up early on Sunday. Her bed felt empty, which meant her husband and dogs were already up. Her husband greeted her with a cup of hot tea and a morning kiss. Sangeeta went outside to soak up the sun and breathe some fresh air. It was hard for her to believe that yesterday she was putting out many fires. From her co-workers’ concerns to her boss’s demands, Sangeeta had to come up with a plan to fight coronavirus.
Everything was about to change. Sangeeta had to ensure the safety of not only her co-workers and patients, but her family as well. Her dogs sat by her feet as she sat herself down to work. She opened her laptop and formulated a work plan: doctors will see X number of patients, extra surgical masks will be stored and locked away, and sanitation stations will increase. Then, she came up with a family plan: Sangeeta will enter the house through the basement and shower in the bathroom down there, she will put her work clothes in a separate hamper that only she can touch, she will disinfect the basement before coming upstairs, she will not hug her daughter nor be within 6 feet of her (same goes for her husband), and she will sleep in a separate room.
After finishing these plans, Sangeeta began to think about life before coronavirus. She thought about how she took advantage of every little touch and hug from her family. She thought about how hard it will be to see her daughter and not physically show her affection. But, Sangeeta knew her daughter would understand. Hot tears began to take over her eyes. She fought them away because this wasn’t about her selfish needs. This is bigger than me, she thought, bigger than all of us.
It’s about saving lives. Her daughter constantly reminded Sangeeta about how strong and prepared she is to handle coronavirus. Her daughter told her to go “be the superhero, mom. I’ll do my part by practicing social distancing and taking care of the house. You worry about your patients.”
Sangeeta became a pulmonologist because it was in her blood. She had to do something that helps others. It wasn’t a duty, but a calling to become a doctor. Sangeeta didn’t become a doctor for the money or glory. She didn’t become a doctor for the thanks or appreciation. Sangeeta became a doctor because that was her destiny. Sangeeta did not plan to be a superhero. It just happened. Now, her community needed her more than ever. She had to put herself in harm’s way to save others. It’s not a choice, but an instinct to be there for her patients.
Now, its Monday morning. No husband or dogs with her in bed. No waking up to hot tea and a kiss. Instead, she wakes up to several emails and messages from people concerned about coronavirus. Sangeeta takes a deep breath then summons all her strength to get out of bed. After reassuring her elderly parents on the phone that she will be okay, Sangeeta walks to her car. She’s ready.
Nikita wakes up after hearing the garage door close. It’s 7 am, which means her mother is leaving for work. Nikita goes to her bedroom window and sees her mother walking to her car. The wind is blowing strong, making her mother’s lab coat fly up like a cape. As her mother approaches her car, she looks up at Nikita from the window. Nikita makes eye contact with her mother, gives her a soft smile, and waves to her.
Sangeeta sees her daughter waves to her from her bedroom window. She blows her daughter a kiss then gets into her car. All Sangeeta can think about on her driver is her daughter’s strength. As Nikita sees her mother drive away, all she can think about is her mother’s strength.
“Thank you, mommy,” Nikita whispers to herself as she lays back in bed.