5 Hospital Moments That Actually Made Me Happy Despite COVID

Shirlene Obuobi, MD


February 01, 2022

The past 2 years have been a roller-coaster ride of COVID surges, misinformation, and morbidity unlike anything seen in our lifetimes. As a first-year current cardiology fellow, medical training has been marred by a global pandemic that has left hospitals short-staffed and more than 800,000 people in the US dead. 

The experience has been nothing short of traumatic — and seemingly never-ending. 

2021 felt like it petered out: With Omicron on the rise, there was no room for a New Year's celebration and very little ability for me to feel the typical holiday cheer.

As someone who creates art to process my experiences in healthcare, I realized that much of my work in 2021 was bleak. Almost every joke was tongue in cheek. The joys of learning, of interacting with people — all of the things that drew me to medicine in the first place — had all but disappeared.

Hence, this comic series. 

It's true to say that in 2021, moments of satisfaction or gratitude were hard to come by. And so drawing this series was deliberate. It was a way to remind me of the days and times when I've felt renewed by my job instead of sapped by it. 

In the end, some things were consistent: My relationships with my patients and the hard-earned growth in my fund of knowledge are still what keep me going.

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