You have a phone call with them from outside the room. You only go in the room if you need to lay hands on the patient to do a procedure or something.
These people are going into the hospital, they walk into the ER. They are coughing or something and they don’t know, they don’t realize - I didn’t even realize - I mean I realized but I didn’t think of it. I knew that if he went in there that he would immediately be put into a room as a person under investigation but I didn’t think.
It happened so fast that I didn’t say ‘tell him you love him’, like spend 10 minutes in the car with him before you send him in. Like you’ve been living with him for weeks you’ve been exposed, take 10 minutes he’s not critically ill, take 10 minutes and talk to each other. Say what you need to say, tell him the logistic stuff, like whatever you need to do, do it. And I didn’t think to do that and I’m a physician. Like I knew that these people were being isolated and it didn’t occur to me. But somebody who doesn’t realize that, they drive their family member up to ER and that’s it. The people who die, they will never lay eyes on them again.
You know I think a lot about death, I’ve attended a lot of deaths as an oncologist, a lot like I can’t … I’ve been a doctor for 21 years and I’ve been an oncologist of 17 of those years, I can’t even begin to guess how many deaths I’ve pronounced. I’ve been a witness to death a lot of times.
And there are a lot of things that distinguish a good death from a bad death: like being free of pain and having, um, closed all your loops. Like not feeling like you’re dying with unfinished business on either side: on the part of the person who is dying or on the part of the survivors, sort of thing.