From the Associate Dean

From the Associate Dean
On the brink of the autumnal equinox, we find ourselves not only at the end of another week but also of a long summer.  We welcome the return of cooler weather, yet the change in the weather also brings new concerns about increased viral transmission with more time spent indoors for dining, recreation, work and […]

A Faculty Meeting Place

Below are submissions from faculty sharing personal experiences, stories, poems, photos and videos in the Time of COVID-19, Racism and Racist Violence

Entered the nurses and doctors temperatures still fine

For another perilous day against the invisible foe 

Their eyes smiled so welcoming as they looked at the patients

But the bead of sweat on their heads and their masks deceived them 

Their plastic hands were cold and glasses were fogged

They washed their hands, but not their fears

Was the chill they felt a fever? Was that cough the start?

Lying awake until the birds awoken them  

Temperatures must be checked again.

By, Dr. Tahir Rahman, Psychiatry


So I am trying to be hopeful in the face of my fear. I realize these are early days and this may be months away but here are some words I wrote to calm myself.

It Took Some Time

It took some time
But out it came
Life again
It followed pain

It followed days
Of staying in
It followed days
Where news was grim

It came when all
The people tried
To flatten curves
To save more lives

It started slowly
Coming back
A little ease
A little slack

From the fear
That gripped us all
When Coronavirus
Came to call

It didn’t come
Back all at once
But little things
Built confidence

Even then the
Flowers bloomed
Even then there
Was the moon

Some got lots
Of extra time
With kids or pets
Or Valentines

Others worked
So much more
To heal the sick
Or stock the stores

But then came days
When news improved
Collective sighs
A lighter mood

Again we’d greet
Our friends with hugs
Again we’d kiss
And fall in love

The life that froze
When all was closed
Came back again
It always does

By: Andrea Denny, JD, MSSW

Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core Leader, Knight ADRC (April 13, 2020)


Here is my “mental gymnastics” that I do before going on duty in the Emergency Dept in this time of COVID.  I channel my “inner baseball player”.

After all, in a full 9-inning game, a baseball player steps into the batter’s box at least three times to try to get a hit.  And, if the batsman did not BELIEVE they could get on base, why would they step into the batter’s box?  That is a hazardous place to be.  You can get hit by a pitch!  OUCH!

However, every batsman has to recognize that they might have to step out of the way of an errant pitch.  They have to BE CAREFUL and MINDFUL of the HAZARD (& quick to react).

Also, at least a few times a season, the batter gets hit by a pitch, in which case they rely on their protective gear to save them from serious injury.  My “Personal Protective Equipment” or “PPE” is my protective gear, and every COVID-19 positive patient whom I see and come near is a bit like being hit by a pitch…but not hurt badly enough to be unable to play the next day.

I mentally rehearse various routines before I report to clinical duty, and when the time comes, I step into my “batter’s box”, my ED duty station, in the full belief that I can “get on first base” (provide great medical care) without being put out of the game by being hit and injured by a “wild pitch” that is represented by the potentially infectious COVID-19 patient.

COVID-19 got deeply personal right off the bat, as a friend and colleague survived an ICU stay here at Barnes that began in March, and he has now been released to home after being intubated and then on ECMO life support for more than a week.  But, it is possible to respect the disease without being paralyzed by fear of it!

By,  Dr. Gary M Gaddis, Professor of Emergency Medicine


Pandemic Haiku:

THE HOSPITAL

Outside all seems calm

Inside: screened, masked, and nervous

Now I take the stairs

By, Dr. George Van Hare, Pediatric Cardiologist

Gardening is my main pastime outside of work. In spite of the virus, or maybe to spite the virus, the flowers are looking beautiful this spring.

By, Bess Marshall, Professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Office of Faculty Development (March 28, 2020)


The world is under attack by a virus that, as of now, cannot be controlled. Yet, happily, spring has arrived, reminding us of nature’s beauty and resilience. As we share this photo of Graham Chapel, we invite you to send us photos that represent your spring-time experiences and we will publish them in our newsletter and blog. Please send JPEGs along with captions. As Dean David H. Perlmutter, MD, said in his message to our community this week, “This is a frightening time for our city, our country, and our world.” Yet, as we work in concert to fight this enemy, hope springs eternal.*

*From Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

By, Karen Dodson, Professional Development Manager, Office of Faculty Affairs (March 27, 2020)

Submit your Reflections, Stories, Poetry, Photos and More

If your submission requires specific text formatting, please send to us via e-mail (vaningerk@wustl.edu)

For the most up to date official University information please visit: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)