Being a medical courier has changed my point of view of the pandemic. My perspective as a medical courier of the pandemic seems to have two faces in Madison, WI. One face knows this is a serious virus capable of infecting and killing people at its worst. Prepared individuals take action, take precautions, and abide by stay-at-home rules, as much as possible.
The other face is people who think it is not serious. Who think is a fraud, and perpetuated by those who may profit from its panic effect on regular people. Therefore some have even told those people wearing masks they are infecting themselves by wearing a mask. What? Are you serious? Yep.
Because of this, I’m sure there are other kinds of people in this mix. One cannot single out two groups as being the only types living here, and now. Consequently, there is a rainbow of people who occupy Madison and have varying degrees of movement around town.
As a result, people on edge are expressing aggression against others for even minor infractions; such as parking your car over the line in a parking lot and getting too close to their car. Once again, Are you serious? Yep.
Inevitably, confinement without some kind of outlet has repercussions. And people are lashing out at others, as they have no skill in dealing with such lack of human contact in a social setting. Activities helping you manage isolation or confinement may reduce stress.
What am I doing? In some sense, I am lucky. As a medical courier, I have a job that allows me to get out, drive around to clinics in Madison deliver, and pick up specimens, medical goods, and supplies.
In another sense, I am in danger. I handle possibly contagious material. Compromised items transported on a daily basis might be bags, envelopes, and containers. Vehicles I drive might not be cleaned properly. Therefore, contact with others already infected is more likely.
Furthermore, there is a certain amount of stress in doing this activity. Do I think about the possibility of infection? Yes. Do I worry about it? Yes/No. Because worry gets in the way. Therefore, it is best pushed out of the mind and dealt with at a later time.
Because I do not have time to worry. I worry in my sleep and dream tremendous dreams of being immune, being a carrier, infecting others, and spreading this virus in both cases. I’m not even on the front line like doctors and nurses, and other hospital workers who are in constant contact with those already infected.
Medical workers’ stress level is way off the charts compared to other occupations. A medical courier’s perspective focuses on one of our biggest stress factors; staying safe on the road, and avoiding accidents with other vehicles or pedestrians. This means, of course, we must always be vigilant.
Due to the unpredictability of people, a driver must be as safe as possible. However, all those other drivers on the road represent a challenge from a medical courier’s perspective. The driver in the left lane in front of you may have his turn signal on to turn right, which is fine. One never knows, however, if they are just going into your lane or make a sudden move to completely veer over to the right and go down the street perpendicular to you.
Therefore, there is the absolute possibility of him being T-boned, by you, or some other driver not aware of his sudden, unpredictable decision, as they go completely off the avenue unto another street. Being a medical courier has many hazards, and not all of them are in the coolers, insulated boxes, or travel cases used for safe transport in our vehicles.
Consequently, as a medical courier, in some sense, I am on the front lines too, but our situation is different because it has multiple factors of safety in play. Harry Truman said it best: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
I learned to cope with stress through a former engineer I worked for during my photographic career. Handle stress by focusing on the situation you are in and give it your total concentration. When the stressful circumstances are over with, then deal with the stress.
Furthermore, find a constructive method of dealing with stress. Shout your lungs out, go for a walk, do an intense physical workout, or close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position, take some deep breaths, and review the previous situation in your mind. Therefore, coping with stress in these times of major isolation, we must find ways to minimize the effects on ourselves and avoid ensnaring others in our frustration.
Blaming others, or throwing a net over them, and dragging them into your pain is counter-productive, and extremely damaging. Due to the nature of humans, people provoke others when stressed. From a medical courier’s perspective, this occurs because individuals are unable to find a satisfactory solution in their confined circumstances.
Analyze what brought you to such a state of mind. Find the triggers which set you off, and then figure out how to disarm your anger, frustration, or perspective. As a result, you will find yourself. We can control how we respond to various situations without violence, or blame, or guilt, or anger.
This will not take place in a matter of minutes, hours, or days. Consequently, because of this pandemic, there is plenty of time to learn how to cope with trauma, anxiety, and worry. Now is the time to take that first step.