Editorial, June 2020
Things are really, really different since the last editorial I wrote, aren’t they? The COVID-19 pandemic has turned everything upside down. I hope you’re all safe and healthy, in terms of both physical and mental health.
As a CRPA member, I was disappointed when the annual conference was cancelled. While this was not unexpected, and it was certainly the right decision given the current conditions, I will greatly miss seeing all of my colleagues in person this year. I’ve been lucky enough not to have missed a conference since I joined the association in 2009, so this will be a first for me.
I’m writing this over the Easter weekend, which is usually time spent with family, some of whom I would see only a few times a year. The CRPA conference is very similar. Because it is such a small community, I consider CRPA to be another family. We all talk or email throughout the year, but the conference is our holiday dinner where we gather in person, catch up on topics both personal and professional, and generally eat, drink, and be merry. While we may not be able to do that this year, I’ll certainly be thinking of my CRPA family and hoping that everyone is well.
Work is also very different these days. Some days are spent working from home, while others are still in the office (our team maintains a small daily presence at the hospital). As part of the larger safety group where I work, our team has started getting more involved in personal protective equipment (PPE) for our hospital staff. The work and concepts are similar to those regarding PPE for radioactive work, but we’re working on a much larger scale. Right now we’re gearing up for some training and safety coaching, particularly for staff who may be redeployed to new departments and who may not have had to wear PPE before. It’s nice to be able to help out in whatever ways we can, and it provides opportunities to learn and practise new skills.
In talking about work, I recognize that I am privileged to still have my job. I know many people haven’t been able to work over the last while. Even if you’re not in that situation yourself, I’m sure you know people who are. There’s no doubt that people are struggling. Maybe it’s lack of employment. Maybe it’s trying to work from home with young kids in the house. Maybe it’s worrying about elderly parents, grandparents, or others who might be at risk. Or maybe the physical distancing is starting to take an emotional toll. I think it’s important to recognize this, and also recognize that everyone has their own coping mechanisms and distractions. Apparently, enough people are baking bread that news outlets have started running articles about why people are baking so much bread while social distancing. 🙂
Whatever happens, and whomever you meet, just remember to be kind to one another. And be extra kind to yourself. If you need anything, you can always reach out to your CRPA family.