Viral Times

“Boredom is the only real tragedy for a writer. Everything else is material.” So claims A.S. Greer. Boredom has never been an issue for me. The changes brought about by the Covid-19 epidemic, however, has certainly changed my daily life, as it has for billions of people around the globe. As a physician who falls into the high risk demographics of this disease, I decided to heed the advice of a good friend and infectious disease consultant, as well as the pleadings of my wife, and have stopped seeing patients in my hospital and office, opting for communication with them through telehealth. For those requiring in person care, my younger colleagues, whose practices slowed considerably by cancellation of all elective procedures, are more than willing to take up the slack. This leaves me with a lot of unstructured time, and the decision as to how best to deploy this unexpected gift.


I admit to a certain amount of trepidation when first faced with this challenging opportunity. Until now, medicine and the care of patients, along with the intellectual, emotional and social gratification tied in with this calling, suffused a significant portion of my world with meaning. Life is so ephemeral; I want to keep each moment special and significant. I don’t want to simply fill up my day with stuff that keeps the minutes from congealing. I had given a lot of thought in the recent past of how I wanted to apportion my time if I ever retired from medicine. This new reality of self-isolation is akin to a dress rehearsal for the changes I’m likely going to institute in the future.


I’m fortunate in having a wife who is wonderful in a myriad of ways, and whose company I truly enjoy. However, as she pointed out a long time ago, “I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch.” We make a good team, but we approach tasks with very different modus operandi. I recently heard a joke that said, “Do you know what you get when you spell Covid backwards? The beginning of divorce.” (A major spike in divorces was reported in China immediately following the epidemic.) As I plan my time, I realize the importance of together time, as well as time spent alone (and the emotional space we all need, even when physical constraints limit our territory; happily, we have a house with several rooms.)


Anna Quindlen observed in one of her books that the life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have. Aside from my annual lengthy Christmas letter and the Postcards I had written concerning some of our past travels, I hadn’t done much writing in the last thirty plus years. This seems like a good time to sort through my feelings and impressions of what is happening in our lives, and how this touches on the lives of those near and dear to me. I’ve decided to start posting again to my long neglected blog, Medico Musings. Those of you who are stuck inside, as we are, and looking for a distraction beyond harassing your pet with the laser pointer, check it out here at and feel free to leave any comments or observations. Maybe in this way, we can establish a virtual community to compensate for the physical one we are temporarily forced to abandon. I will try to post something here, hopefully daily, or as often as the Muse strikes me, until our schedules return to a pre-apocalyptic level. While here, check out some of my previous posts.


Be well and stay healthy,





This entry was posted in Covid-19, Health and wellness, Humor, Thoughts & Musings, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Viral Times

  1. Katherine says:

    I do so enjoy reading your writings. Thank you very much for sharing with me.
    Keep up the good deed!
    Stay safe.

  2. Nil says:

    Hi dear friends
    I loved every single word…as usual
    Love always and (sterile) big hugs to both of you

  3. James M Wern says:

    George, as beings created in the image of our Maker, we have the privilege of creating and recreating ourselves and you show me that constantly. I love that you are a lifelong learner and one who shares from the spoils of that process. Thanks for picking up the pen again. I look forward to reading your musings.

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