In a volatile state where anxiety is so common among us, I wanted to take the time to share some light. While we sit in the comfort of our homes, scroll through social media and fill our stomachs, essential workers globally are standing on the frontline to assist people.
I’ve had the incredible opportunity to chat to two incredible and inspiring women one of which is a medical doctor and the other a COVID19 survivor. So let me introduce to you these lovely ladies!
First up is our beauty with brains who has a passion for medicine and modelling. She’s got a feisty go-getter attitude and her dancing feet definitely know how to groove to the beat. Meet the 32 year old doctor that is spreading hope at King Edward Hospital – Dr. Deodatt Du Plessis
Why did you want to become a doctor?
“It might sound cliche, But I wanted to help people, I wanted to be of service to my community and put something positive back. During studies and internship this became more personal in the sense that i wanted to help Females and children live a healthier, more protected and informed life, which inspired me even more to go into Obsterics and gynaecology. I feel in this field, I would reach that goal and I am able to make a huge difference in the way females think and feel about themselves and their bodies and their health and safety – especially the younger generation.”
What has life been like in the medical environment during this pandemic? Take me through your day.
“The dynamic of this disease keeps changing. Every day we get new information that we have to peruse and try keep up with.Currently each hospital and health institution has a specific protocol on how we deal with suspected and confirmed cases.In our hospital in particular we have established what we call ‘Covid Teams consisting of doctors and nurses from multiple disciplines who only work with suspected and confirmed cases, and these doctors will only work from 2 to 4 weeks at a time and then get replaced by a new set. This is done in an attempt to minimize the time of exposure to positive patients. This dynamic will change as the disease influences the health system, but it seems to be working well for us at the moment.
Every day is daunting, we never know what may enter through the hospital doors, It feels like you are sitting on a ticking time bomb, never knowing when this thing will erupt and cause extreme havoc.”
“Since I am in obstetrics and gynaecology, very little has changed in terms of our general tasks and patient load, we however do have to accommodate patient from other draining areas of affected hospitals at times when these hospitals have to get sanitised, which increases the workload even more.”
How important is it that we practice social distancing even in a stage 4 lockdown?
“Social distancing and adherence to Sanitizing protocols are still extremely important during this Stage 4. In order to make any sort of progress in terms of flattening the curve and decreasing the number of infection we need to stop spreading the disease, and the disease does not move if people don’t move, its that simple.”
” I believe South Africa is rich in natural resources and the will of the people of our country is so strong that we will always rise above adversity. Prioritizing social distancing will definitely have a positive impact on the outcome of the disease progression.”
What are you grateful for?
Our president – I commend him for acting swiftly and listening to health professionals. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to offer service during this time and earn and income when so many others are struggling. I am grateful to be in an environment where i am constantly exposed to the ever changing world and learn from that. I’m grateful that South Africa, even though our healthcare infrastructure is not the best, we have some of the best skilled doctors in the world. for this reason, if the general public can play their part, I’m sure we will be able to win this battle.
An inspiring woman filled with hope that as a nation we can overcome this pandemic. With a heart willing to help those around her I am so glad that the medical industry has someone like Dr. Deodatt.
Our next leading lady is a COVID19 survivor with an adventurous heart and a curious mind. She’s a 35 year old entrepreneur with a passion for kitesurfing and the ocean. She is the blogger behind Living Corona Positive – a blog focussed on spreading hope and her journey with the virus. (Give her a follow) This is Megan Smith. Megan was one of the first cases in South Africa and had contracted the coronavirus after an overseas trip to Switzerland.
What made you want to document your journey on your blog?
“We realised very soon after finding out that we had the Coronavirus that although so many people were being affected by it, no one really knew what it was like to have the virus. The reactions and lists of questions and concerns from our friends made us realise that it would be a good idea to make our experience more accessible to everyone navigating this time and so we started to document the process of our recovery on an Instagram account @livingcoronapositive and from there, it just took off and became a whole lot more than I’d expected.”
How did you manage to stay positive mentally during your diagnosis?
“I don’t think that it’s something I tried and focused on doing, it’s rather a state of mind that I’ve been working on all my life I guess and was ready to serve me when I needed it. That and the help of my family who are proactive and positive too.”
What are your tips for those who may be feeling anxious during this time?
Anxiety is such a tough one. I have had a fair dose of anxiety to deal with in my lifetime and I don’t think there’s any quick cure. Dealing with anxiety takes a lot of slowing down, breathing, cutting out negativity and then both understanding and acting on the terms we hear so often, “self-love” and “self-care”. It’s a journey of getting to know yourself as well as choosing to put yourself and your well-being first.However, for a more practical answer in these times:
- Figure out a routine that works for you and stick to it
- Get plenty of rest and try to avoid staying up late at night watching series
- Stay hydrated and try to avoid alcohol. Alcohol is the worst for anxiety!
- Eat healthily and fuel your body with nutrient rich food, avoid sugar, too much caffeine & junk food.
- Stay connected with friends and loved ones and do what you can to keep a positive mindset!
What was the most difficult part of your COVID19 journey?
“Definitely watching my Dad get as sick as he did. It’s the worst watching a loved one suffer and not knowing what to do for them to make them comfortable. We always knew he was going to be ok because we weren’t prepared to think otherwise but it was still so tough seeing him lose his appetite, lose weight, develop a sore back from being in bed for so long and also to watch his mood and vibe get so low when he’s normally a really happy and active guy!”
What are you grateful for?
Even before we went overseas, I was grateful for the time I was about to spend with my family. Life is so busy that I don’t usually see them as much as I’d like to. There’s a saying that says, “you attract what you’re thankful for” and those 2 weeks with the family overseas has turned into so much more. We’ve been roommates for almost 2,5 months now and it’s been great! I’ve never appreciated my family as much as I do now and if that’s my take away from contracting COVID19, it was worth it in a way for me.
And there you have it two powerful women using their voices and knowledge to spread awareness and hope regarding the COVID19 virus. I am grateful for both of these ladies who are truly trying to make a positive impact in the best way they can. A huge thank you to Dr. Deodatt and Megan on their contributions to this blog post. My blog has always been focussed on inspiring others and these women have truly inspired me.
If you are looking to spread some light or show a little appreciation to our healthcare and essential workers check out DaisyBox SA. Lee creates beautiful and special boxes filled with goodies of your choice so you can spoil someone. Her service is absolutely incredible and she always adds a personal touch to everything.
Gift your loved one something from Lee’s box.
We need a little more kindness, more love, more appreciation and a whole lot of hope. We will get through this guys. One day at a time. Stay positive and hopeful. We got this!