Dr Nakeya Dewaswala-Bhopalwala reflects on her experience on the frontline against COVID-19

Nakeya Dewaswala-Bhopalwala is an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Miami Palm Beach Regional Consortium, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, and a cardiovascular disease fellow at the University of Kentucky. She is also the creator of Medicawesome, a website designed to be a resource for students in medical school.

Reflecting on her journey and experiences over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Dewaswala-Bhopalwala writes:

The beginning of the pandemic was a difficult time for all of us. There was a lot of uncertainty about the infectivity of the virus and the precautions we needed to take to prevent us from getting sick. This caused fear among many healthcare workers, but most of us continued to work, despite the risk of catching the disease. We all had different reasons behind why we chose to do so. For me, it was my faith. This gave me the strength and bravery to continue serving my patients. 

The saddest part about the pandemic was the loneliness it brought. Most patients died alone with no family around them. I remember helping one of my patients talk with their family through a video call from my phone a few hours before passing away. They were able to relive old memories and say their goodbyes, an opportunity that many do not receive because of the sheer number of patients at the hospital. The family later thanked us for arranging the call for them. It was a heart-warming experience, and I am grateful for that moment. We witnessed many such instances throughout the pandemic where humanity shone through and brought out the best of us, despite the stress.

Dr. Dewaswala-Bhopalwala receiving her Covid-19 vaccine
Dr. Dewaswala-Bhopalwala receiving her Covid-19 vaccine

As a healthcare worker, I am fortunate enough to have received the vaccine, which has a 94% efficacy rate. Although we must continue to wear masks and take precautions, it does feel like we are one step closer to the end of the pandemic. I am grateful to my community for the support I received in various forms throughout my journey. I continue to treat patients with kindness and compassion, and take pride in the fact that I am a part of the Dawoodi Bohra community.

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