So, where were we? Oh, yes, the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. I’ve cried so many times in the last year that I’ve lost count. I’ve lost count of how many dead people I saw. I lost count of how many colleagues left their work (or the profession altogether), and how many of them were in my office to cry along with me.
To make matters worse, the relentless assault on public health that started with the Trump Administration has not ended. We’re still getting phone calls with threats. We’re still having to get police escorts for some of us. People have had to be moved to the garage because they found all sorts of interesting stuff on their vehicles when parked in more public areas near our building, like notes and dead animals.
People who had little to no experience in public health, who were fresh out of school, were thrown into impossible situations and asked to do a lot. And they did. Unfortunately, they up and quit on us as soon as they did because, let’s face it, if you’re going to be used and abused day in and day out, you might as well get paid better. Consulting work with some company that has access to people who are really good at writing grant proposals, or are very well-connected in the government, pays a whole lot better.
Don’t get into public health or public service, or public service in public health, if you’re looking to get rich. Seriously, don’t.
As the pandemic is winding down in the US (for now), I might have more time to write, because, God, do I need to write. Boy, do I have things to write about. The things I’ve seen. The things I’ve done (and left undone).
Until then, I’ll see you elsewhere.
Or should I write “we” will see you elsewhere?