Reading through all the messaging apps sometimes feels like a marathon. Muting, pinning, archiving and all these things are supposed to make things easier, but the volume of stuff catches up as soon as I figure something out. I can’t ignore them all together, as some of them might be important, like a vital life-changing e-mail from the prince of Nigeria.
While I was washing the dishes last night a patient’s name popped in my brain, and I suddenly got the feeling that she had messaged me recently and that I totally ignored it. I quickly scrolled through all the apps, and finally discovered that she had indeed texted me, 3 weeks ago. In fairness to me, she texted at 5:30 am on a Good Friday, so I must have just glanced at it and fell back to dreaming about an alternate reality where I was sunbathing in Australia while sipping mojito with a dangerously high alcohol content. I asked her what the text message was about, and luckily it wasn’t something urgent. She just wanted to ask how to schedule a follow-up consult.
Messages from pharmaceutical representatives pose a different set of challenges. On one hand the multiple, persistent messages can be very overwhelming, but on the other hand I know that they are just doing their jobs. As Smoketh and JP said, in this pandemic, we all need to maintain extreme patience and benevolence to the level of Mother Theresa. One tip, though, because we all have ultra-short attention spans: don’t start the messages with a very long Biblical quote, or a preamble that states, “In March 2020, it was reported that a virus that seemed to have originated from Wuhan, China started to ravage the world. COVID-19 has since then posed different challenges, specially to the medical profession. The hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, the society…”