Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
It was the beginning of my week. I was in a parking lot — a lot I hadn’t visited in weeks — in the middle of nowhere, trying to catch my breath as the sun shined and the air was dry and clear. The parking lot wasn’t a big one, and it was a lot of work parking and walking from the lot to my car. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to the hospital. At least not today.
And that was the first day I knew something was wrong. While sitting on the porch as it had been that morning, my mom said something that made her look right at me that day.
She said, “You’re not supposed to be here today, you know.”
I looked at her and said, “Yeah?”
She repeated herself, “You’re not supposed to be here today.”
“Is that because of the hurricane?”
I knew she was right. I knew what she was talking about.
Hurricanes aren’t exactly hurricanes. They’re tropical storms that are not as severe as hurricanes that hit the Atlantic. They aren’t super storms like Superstorm Sandy, and they are less intense than the Hurricane Matthew that hit the East Coast in October.
But they can have their effects and their effects can manifest in different ways. They can wreak havoc on the people and places they go through. That’s what happened earlier this month when Hurricane Matthew hit.
What happened as a result?
The people of Florida and parts of Georgia and Alabama had to do without power. Thousands went without running water. Millions were without electricity. Many areas lost their water treatment plants and had to buy bottled water. And then there was the disruption of the school district because the schools were closed to deal with the damage.
But most devastating of all, because of Hurricane Matthew, thousands of people lost their lives.
The death toll of Hurricane Matthew is currently at 18 people, with hundreds of others still reported missing.
I was fortunate. I came into the office to get a routine test done after being off work for two weeks. At the same time, I