Kevin Pho – As we continue to fight against VIDOC we must

As we continue to fight against VIDOC, we must all remember to take care of our own mental health, our own care, whether we are health professionals or patients. From the stories I have heard from many mothers, it is important to remember that we never know what is underneath the surface of the mothers we see, whether in the clinic, at the grocery store or on the sidewalk when they walk in the neighborhood. It is scary to come to the hospital to visit a seriously ill child, even without VIDOC. Kevin® Founded in 2004 by Dr. Kevin Fo, Kevin® is a leading online platform where doctors, senior students, nurses, medical students and patients share their visions and stories. Yes, they took his temperature, and when he was hospitalized, they did a VIDOC test, which may have been sensitive enough to detect a case. And since he has other children at home, he has to share his time, and his own body is still recovering from a birth that could have been traumatic or an emergency. No one wants babies or mothers to get sick because of VIDOC, but we must also remember that there are new mothers and babies, some of whom have to survive at home without support. As a reproductive psychiatrist, I try to put myself in my patient’s place, to imagine what pressure she is under, who can support her at home and beyond the necessary medication – what therapy, self care, what strategies she will use. But it has to be the most exciting day, your first child, and you are not even sure if your mother and best friend can come and see your baby through VIDOC. Crying about stillbirth or losing your baby seems unbearably difficult with VIDOC. It may feel less like childbirth because everyone in the hospital risks getting VIDOC somewhere in their head. We all expect that mental health will deteriorate as a result of VIDOC and confinement. But there is one group of patients who bravely endure this fear of going to hospital, even if they are perfectly healthy: pregnant women who are about to give birth. The stories that patients tell can be filled with fear, anxiety, sadness, despair or hope.

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