From short and sweet AI, I’m Dr Peper.

I’ve interrupted my podcasts in the last few weeks in order to do what my first passion is, be a physician and care for patients as we’ve experienced a COVID surge in my area. I’ve had to be available 24/7 to provide care to my patients, discuss things with nursing staff and facility staff and speak with families about their loved ones.

The families, they are very worried, scared, not being able to see their mother or father who are living in these facilities but are on lockdown. Patients are in their rooms eating, meals in their rooms, not able to come out to participate in activities in order to protect them and keep them safe from the COVID virus.

It’s been a very humbling and sad few weeks as many of my patients have died. My team and I at these facilities have worked to make sure that in these, that in unwanted and really complicated situations, they have the best death possible and are able to pass away in what is essentially their homes being taken care of by caregivers who know them with hospice services available to them.

But despite all these efforts, they do end up dying without their families being present. They die separated from their families. They don’t die alone. The caregivers and nursing staff are there which um brings some comfort to know. And there are many, many people working very bravely and very difficult jobs to ensure the safety and try keep these frail, vulnerable residents safe. So all my time and attention has been my patients in the past few weeks but before all this crescendoed in just a short time, I was working on a podcast about an AI researcher known as, um, called Geoffrey Hinton. He’s someone in the field of artificial intelligence who is known as the godfather of AI. And there were similar resonating themes from what I was learning about him and his life and what we’re experiencing now.

Things such well, mainly perseverance and dedication and believing in what we’re doing. And this will become more clear when I’m able to record and release that podcast. But it does, um, help to know that at all times people have had to deal with difficulties and we are defined not by our successes, but how we deal with the difficulties and the fortitude we’re able to find within ourselves when things aren’t going well.

And I would say even more so, I’ve been thinking day after day of a scene in the Hamilton musical called Valley Forge and there’s a song where Alexander Hamilton is getting so frustrated trying to help the army and the revolution and George Washington and not receiving any aid from the Continental Congress or other merchants and George Washington tries to counsel Hamilton to be calm but the song ends on a very somber note, which I think is very applicable and plays over in my head on these days when I’m signing so many death certificates and the song lyrics say that we’re gonna fly a lot of flags half-mast, and that’s what we, in this country, are doing now. It’s a battle.

It’s a fight against an invisible, um, enemy. But what I’ve seen of the people dedicated to doing what they have been trained to do and what they’ve dedicated their lives to do. I, I see it that we will pull through to the other side of this. And I know we will learn from this and be more vigilant and more ready the next time, so that so many people do not die.
From short and sweet AI. I’m Dr Peper sending you all my best thoughts, be well and stay safe.

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