As we all know, this past week has been nothing short of WILD for our country.
To start off, we were gifted with a new president who will lead our country out of the nightmare that we have been suffering in for the past four years! Not only that, we were also gifted with a new vice-president who has made history by being the first woman, first African-American, first South Asian, and first person born to immigrant parents to be elected as the vice-president of the United States! 🤩
It is simply amazing to witness what we as a country were able to pull off when we decided to be engaged in the electoral process and make our voices heard about what direction we want our country to pivot towards. The fact that there were more voters who participated in this election than in any other election in the history of the United States of America clearly highlights just how strongly the citizens of the country felt about this administration's performance these past few years. It also highlights just how effective voter outreach efforts can be when there is A TON of money and focus directed towards these efforts. Like I don't know about y'all, but I was getting multiple text messages per day asking me to either donate to a campaign, to help with phone banking, to remind friends and family to vote, or a combo of all of the above. As annoying as these messages could be, I was also very impressed at how dedicated these grassroots organizations were about reaching out to voters and ensuring that we not only remembered to vote, but that we also were given countless opportunities to help them reach even more people to increase overall voter participation across the country. I made sure to do my part by blasting information about voter registration and early voting across my social media platforms for the past several months, as well as organizing a two-month long voter registration drive at the primary care continuity clinic that I've been working at throughout my residency training. This was by far the most engaged that I have ever been in an election, and it feels amazing to know that my efforts, combined with all the incredible efforts of SOOO MANY change agents across the country, helped to make a monumental and historic difference in our country. Every vote was critical in determining the outcome of this election, a fact that I will always remember as I continue my efforts to increase voter engagement in future elections.
While President-Elect Biden may have overall captured more votes than his opponent, it is not lost upon me that just about half of the country still voted for Donald even after everything we have gone through as a nation throughout his time in office. I can't even begin to describe all the tragedy, pain and despair that the majority of us felt (myself included) throughout these past four years. The weight of these nightmarish years had burdened me so much that once the election was called on Saturday, I literally felt twenty pounds lighter and became overcome with joy and hope, feelings that I had not experienced to that degree in such a long time. While I'm well aware that the new leadership is far from perfect, I also know that they will bring about more normalcy, stronger leadership, and a much stronger sense of pride to our country once again. Plus, with them in office, we will be much more likely to further progress and move forward as a nation as opposed to trying to regress back to the old days of America like this current administration has been desperately trying to do.
That being said, it is very troubling and frightening that over 70 million people still identify with and support the divisive rhetoric and painful policies set forth by the Trump administration. It really sickened me to see how he was winning states left and right during the first couple days of the election. Like, even with all the lies he's told, all the racism and xenophobia he has propagated, all the danger that he has put us in, all the lives lost in the pandemic as a result of his disastrous response to it, (the list goes on and on and on), people still had THE AUDACITY to vote for him. It is just straight-up maddening. To me, this has gone way beyond politics for some time now. It has been beyond politics ever since the White House was given to him. This has been deeply personal to me, just as I'm sure it has been to the vast majority of you all. This has been about morality, that of which he had simply threw out of the window even before taking office. I still distinctly remember the despair I felt four years ago after watching him obtain the electoral votes needed to win the presidency, even though Clinton won the popular vote by over two million votes.
Ever since then, I've had to learn to deal with the constant despair, frustration, anger and pain I felt on a daily basis and transform it into helpful and meaningful actions. Thank God we didn't have to go through a repeat of that sickening November night in 2016. I really didn't know what I would do if we had to go through another four years of the nightmare. To be honest, I don't know if the country would have been able to handle it. Biden has talked about wanting to unite the country, but as divided as we are, I truly don't know how feasible it will be to do so. Trying to unite with someone who is not only perfectly fine with the oppression of my people and other minority communities, but also supports someone who takes pleasure in engaging in actions that can destabilize the country doesn't seem that natural to me. But that's just me, you are more than welcome to have your own opinion.
Man, I spent so much time on this post reflecting on how I felt this past week about the election that I haven't even updated you about the other stuff in my life yet. As you may remember from my last post, I am currently on my allergy/immunology elective and it has continued to be a chill and lovely experience. I've spent the majority of my days in allergy clinic, where I've helped evaluate and manage various kinds of food and environmental allergies, eczema, and potential disorders of the immune system. The sharp contrast of my experiences in this rotation as compared to the experiences of my ICU rotations is quite stunning. The pace of allergy clinic and the NICU/PICU is literally like night and day. Also, you would be surprised at just how huge the body of research in allergy is, not to mention all the research being done in immunology. The two fields are very interconnected, more so than you may realize. Allergic conditions are literally caused by the actions of the immune system, so it makes total sense that the two fields go hand-in-hand. I've had a good time meeting and treating the kids that have come through clinic, and I've both reinforced the knowledge I already had about some aspects of allergy/immunology and learned a lot of new things as well. Last but not least, I had a lot of fun working with the fellows and attending physicians on this rotation. They did a great job of making a compelling case as to why choosing to practice in this specialty was a great career choice to make.
Outside of my clinical responsibilities, I've had more free time on my schedule this rotation, which I've used to spend more time with loved ones as well as to continue figuring out what my next career steps will look like in the next couple of years. So many possibilities, so little time. I also got the chance to give a morning report to the faculty and residents in the program last week, in addition to the medical students rotating through pediatrics. The morning report was mainly me presenting an interesting case that I had come across at some point in my residency training and having the audience work to figure out what disease process the patient ultimately had. After presenting the disease process and the management plan that we ultimately came up with for the patient, I then talked more about what the condition was, how to evaluate patients for it and how to effectively manage it. It was a great experience and helped me build up confidence for the next presentation that I will inevitably have to give at some point in the future.
I am now on a week of vacation and best believe, I will be taking my time in enjoying every second of it. I then have one more day of my allergy/immunology elective on Monday before transitioning to a six-week rotation of inpatient hematology/oncology.
Now THAT's going to be a doozy. 😅
I'll go ahead and bring this post to an end so that I can continue enjoying my well-deserved time off. Thank you for reading and I hope that you all have a glorious week!
To everyone who exercised your right to vote, thank you!! Never forget the power that your vote and your voice holds; our collective voices have the power to make substantial changes in this country! ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿
“There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane.’ They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you.” – Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
– Black Man, M.D.