Infectious disease doctor, Evangeline Thibodeau, on how the pandemic has made her a more compassionate physician, and how she adapted to the pressure of being an “expert” in the face of constantly changing information.
It has been a long two years. Correction: two-plus years. We’re all exhausted by the unending wait for this COVID 19 pandemic to be over. Our guest, Dr. Evangeline Thibodeau feels the same way. She’s a mom of three living in a small town on the coast of Maine. But Evangeline doesn’t have the luxury of turning off the news and forgetting about COVID for a few hours. She’s been in the thick of it all longer than most of us, and still is. She is the person that this small town turns to for guidance as everyone tries to live with this virus and adapt to a new normal. Imagine enjoying a Saturday morning soccer game at your daughter’s school as parents casually (or not so casually) ask questions like, “Is it safe for me to visit my parents for Christmas?” “Do we really need to wear masks?” No pressure!
Evangeline likens her role to someone who is flying an airplane while they are still trying to put the wings on. We talk with her about the challenges of being the “expert” while the information available is constantly changing.
Although she has every reason to, Evangeline doesn’t focus on the burnout. In fact, she’s grateful for the lessons that these past two years have taught her. When it is so easy to judge someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you, she has learned to be more understanding and compassionate. She has become resilient instead of exhausted. She has cherished the extra time with her family, and even tells us about a new sport they all learned together. . . and it’s not a sport that naturally comes to mind when you think about the great state of Maine! For Evangeline, the pandemic has been a reminder of why she entered the medical field in the first place: to treat people whose health is suffering with kindness, dignity and compassion.
If an infectious disease doctor in the midst of a global pandemic can find the silver linings. . . so can you. Tune in to hear more.
Episode Links and Resources:
Dr. Evangeline Thibodeau Bio: https://www.yorkhospital.com/providers/evangeline-thibodeau/
Maine Wedding 2020 “Superspreader” Event: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/09/15/maine-wedding-covid/
York, Maine Surfing Lessons: http://liquiddreamssurf.com/camps-lessons