Medschool during COVID-19 Pandemic. Why I came back home.

Hello! ✌🏽

I know….

I dissapeared for this past couple of weeks, but believe me, it was for the best.

As you guys know, I am studying medicine abroad in the beautiful island of St. Marteen. I started studying in January and even thought I already consider the island my home away from home, after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the thought of being away from my family during this time became a source of stress, anxiety, and affected my life in a negative way.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE St.Martin, med-school, and I definitely LOVE the friends I have made there. I spent many days wondering if staying in the island was the best decision for my education and my family (I was thinking if going through two airports was going to get me infected and potentially my family), or if leaving was the best decision for my mental and emotional health. I mean, what better source of emotional support than family and pets, right?

The smallest member of the family. Shane🥰

At the end, blood is thicker than water, so I decided to go home. I spent two days packing all of my things, making boxes, donating food, saying good-bye to my friends, and cleaning my apartment (because I lived on-campus and eventually I have to move out); all while trying to take care of my emotional health. The day of the flight came and I have never felt like such a hypochondriac in my life. Maybe I was being a germaphobe but, I was aware of every person who sneezed or coughed, and every surface that I touched. I was so scared for my family, that I didn’t even hug them when they picked me up at the airport (even though all I wanted was to hug my mom all this time). I have been self-quarantined home and I haven’t touched anyone nor kissed them or hugged them.

At the Princess Juliana International Airport in SXM waiting for my flight.

Needless to say, I could not concentrate and study during those final days in St. Marteen. Thankfully, the school gave us two days without classes to organize ourselves. So I did fall significantly behind in my studies, but I was able to catch up when I came home. Where I could finally sit down and my mind was not overthinking all the time anymore.

Online med-school

In terms of med-school, the student body, professors, and administration are working towards providing the best education they can provide while some of the students are still in the island and some went home to their respective countries or states. The school gave us the opportunity to decide, whether or not we wanted to leave the island, while all courses, labs, Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course, and Team-Based Learning (TBLs) experiences will be recorded and taught online or remotely. They are also helping the students that are staying in the island, providing emotional support, and seeking information for the ones who need to leave the island at any given moment.

So I’m still in medschool but online and from my parents house in PR. Which I never thought was even possible to do. Now discipline plays and even more important role in my life. My daily routine consists of waking up, working out for 30-45 mins, showering, having breakfast, and finally watch all my classes for that day and practice as many questions as I can. I also do some quizzes, Anki, and take my breaks as I would do in my on-campus apartment. My breaks consists of listening to some music, dancing, spending time with my pets and family, and watching some Netflix every once in a while 😊.

And, of course, blogging 🥰

I am finishing writing this on my 9th day of self-quarantine. So ’till this day, I have not been able to hug my mom, but, like during hurricane Maria and the earthquakes (even though I was in St. Marteen in January), we are all fighting this together, looking for the well being of our family, community, and country. 🇵🇷

With my story all I want you to understand is that there are a million factors that could make a person travel back home, or stay in a foreign country; this is a PANDEMIC, some of us had never lived through a situation like this before; some of us have lived “end-of-the-world-like” events before, such as hurricane Maria and still have PTSD; and not everybody deals with huge events like COVID-19 in the same way.😷

For all these reasons, we should be understanding and kind to each other, check on our friends and family every once in a while, eat well, be active, and use this time to reflect and rest from our daily routines. Even though I’m still in med-shool and self-quarantined, I have established a daily routine to be able to do all these things and have a healthy lifestyle while it all ends. So, for all the students reading this, you got this, it is going to be difficult but, I know for sure, we all want our families to be present the day of our graduation and the only way to make this happen is staying home, practicing social distancing, and good hygiene.

This is my story with COVID-19 so far. Thank you so much for reading my blog.

We got this!

#quedateencasa #lavatelasmanos #pleasestayhome #washyourhands

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