As the voice at one end of the COVID-19 Telephone Hotline, I reflect on the countless conversations I was part of as I listened to personal stories, detailed histories, assessing and determining who met testing criteria. I was indeed humbled.
I quickly realized how equally vulnerable we all were when it came to the defenselessness of this novel virus.
Initially, I was quick to think and say … “can you believe they asked…”, “can you believe they think…”, “can you believe they want…” in response to what sounded like irrational questions, fear-based demands and lack of understanding after answering the same questions repeatedly.
However, it quickly became evident to me that my loved ones were asking similar questions, sensing the same uncertainties, and living like the world was on the edge of impending catastrophe.
I needed a new approach. I needed to table judgment, criticism and lack of sensitivity and imagine what this new world was like for the callers at the other end of the phone. It was then that I could be a better voice on the COVID-19 Telephone Hotline. Given the voice of patience, care and reassurance, fear was minimized, and calm was often possible.