Friday, March 19, 2021

And so it begins . . .

For a year, the news has been reporting the reality and effects of Coronavirus throughout the world, and yet, thankfully Papua New Guinea, for the most part, had been spared.  It seems that has changed.  In the past month, there has been a significant increase in cases throughout the country, and for the first time since this started, we have had positive cases here.  


Thankfully, we have had a year to get ready, we have had a year to educate our staff and community, about what Covid does, and how to protect ourselves from it while still caring for folks, and yet I discovered that until it comes, you are never really ready.  The world has been doing it for a year, so we thankfully, have a year of data to help guide us, and the PNG government and WHO have given us various procedures and guidelines to help us navigate this.  Yet this week, we found ourselves, continually adapting – as new guidelines or instructions or procedures would come in, or we were faced with something we hadn't been prepared for, or as  the information we had shared the day before with our staff, was now outdated, and we needed to give them new information.  So this week was kind of busy, but maybe (maybe?) we have a plan, for a few days at least, before we have to change it? I am sure something similar has happened all over the world through the past year, but for us, we are just beginning.  


Thankfully, the majority of the cases we have seen are mild, very few have needed oxygen, which is a huge blessing.  I know that isn’t always the case, but we are sure thankful for that in these early days as we learn to navigate this for real.   We are learning how to live with this, how to live with masks, how to live with the uncertainty of knowing who might have it around you and choosing what decisions make sense for yourself or your family in these times.   We continue to educate our staff and community about Covid, enabling them to be safe as they care for patients or go out to the market.  Unfortunately, most of what gets reported in the news are the bad things about Covid, the negative outcomes, the effects it has on school or society, so naturally folks are scared.  Very rarely do you see something that tells you how many people have survived Covid.  While we need folks to understand this is real, we also need them to understand, the vast majority of folks will be okay when/if they get it.    


So, that is where we are – the early days of Covid at Kudjip.  Learning to live with it, knowing it is here on our station, it is in the communities around us, it is something we are going to see, or need to be looking out for in the patients we care for each day.  Pray for us as we learn how to walk this road.  Pray for fear to decrease, for peace to prevail, and for God’s love to be shown.