My Covid Epitaph

If I do not survive Covid

Please note the hopes we shaped before

The concerts, hikes and family feasts

Still on schedule, still in store.

 

I can write my colleagues’ tributes now

I hope you will be flattered,

How you toiled, co-authored, supported staff.

You smiled when it mattered.

 

But we will die. I’m sorry, friend,

That for us it could be

Sharply, while we labor on

Do you think that’s as it should be?

 

In the hallways, exam rooms, and clinics

Doctoring amid pain and tears

Shared mission, on-call nights, holding,

Kind gravitas calming our fears.

 

What I left of me at the hospital

Created a void we sensed elsewhere

Keying our door, scratching sweet Maggie

In my lap, iPhone, my comfy chair.

 

They bravely passed with no regrets.

We salute them now

We loved, respected and mourn them

But whom did I fail and how?

Michael F. Bierer, MD, MPH, FASAM is an internist and addictions specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project. Dr. Bierer is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Consultation Team and faculty of the Addiction Fellowship. At Massachusetts General Hospital, he is part of a large primary care practice that has been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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