Hearing my phone ring woke me up from the short nap I was taking. Looking at the screen, the caller ID read, “Dr. Felix”, reluctantly, I swiped right, already guessing what will be the new update. “Dr. Kate, there is an emergency in the clinic now”, with that, He dropped the call, not even interested in what my response would be. Working as a health practitioner looks like living a fulfilled life to everyone except you. You get your rest periods interrupted, go months with meager amounts, that’s if you are paid and spend your life looking like a savior to people who always troop into the hospitals. I hurriedly changed into my work clothes and headed for the clinic. Just as I jam the door to my new one bedroom apartment, I sighted my neighbors’ children playing in the compound, poor things; the lock down has sentenced them to staying at home and I have to come to terms with their noise whenever I am home. I have heard their parents lament about how hard it is to take care of them with the stay at home rule one time we were all having a chat under the mango tree at the extreme left of our spacious compound.
“Good evening aunty,” they all chorused as they sighted me.
“Good evening dearies, I can see you are enjoying yourselves, “I responded, not willing to engage in further discussions.
“Yes aunty, Ike told us you are a Doctor, is that true?” One of them asked
Whichever of them is Ike I don’t know but I responded anyway.
“Yes, I am. Anybody wants to be a doctor here?”
“Me aunty! Me,” all of them chorused, as if waiting for the question.
“Alright, you all can be anything you aspire to be. I need to run along now. Bye-Bye”
Getting to the hospital, I could feel the tension in the air. Rumors are going round that a patient who was just brought in is exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19.
“What measures have been taken so far?” I asked Nurse Aisha who was briefing me on the situation of things,
“He is in the emergency ward and we are carrying out others tests to rule out Malaria, Typhoid and Tuberculosis, but his condition look very terrible, I am afraid he may not have much time”.
“Has NCDC been contacted yet”
“Yes, but they insist we carry out the test first”
“Alright, let me have a word with Doctor Kelvin, keep me posted on the situation of things”
Different thoughts kept flooding my mind as I marched to Dr. Kelvin’s small office. It is sad that we do not have a testing centre for the disease in the state and even sadder that we do not have the facilities to protect ourselves and treat the patients. If only someone had told me that I will be putting my life on the balance by going to read medicine.
“Hey Doc,” I called as I opened the door to Doctor Kelvin’s office.
“Hey, have a seat. How are you?”
“Fine, what is happening?”
“Well, we may just be having our first COVID-19 case in the state. The patient is having difficulty breathing and running high temperature”
“Has he been isolated?”
“Yes, he is in a separate ward in the emergency unit”
“Can I have the patient’s detail?”
“Here” Doctor Kelvin said, handing me a file.
“This looks really terrible,” I said, glancing over the details.
Just then, Nurse Aisha came in, holding the test results.
“The results are out!” She announced handing a paper to Dr. Kelvin.
Doctor Kelvin glanced through the paper nervously and then looked up with a smile on his face.
“It’s a case of chronic pneumonia”
Hearing that, I sighed.