Apart, but Together. Really?

Hannah Thiry

I drive around town and see school logo signs in people’s yards
They are for Duluth public schools throughout COVID: “Apart, but Still Together”
Students have never been more Apart, throughout all of history
No sports, no proms, no student organizations
Cyber-bullying has never been so severe and prevalent
Are we Really Together then?

I went into medicine for the patient care
I went into medicine for hands-on interactions within a patient’s health experience
I went into medicine to touch problems and concerns, feel edema, listen to heart sounds
I went into medicine to lend an empathetic hand, caring hug, comforting touch
COVID has largely changed this
Not only are we 6-feet Apart, students were removed from learning environments
Students were Apart from healthcare teams and patients
Are we Really Together then?

In a time of racial injustice, we are fighting both separateness and Togetherness
People are working toward Togetherness, but there are misunderstandings
People’s personal experiences never seem to intertwine toward Togetherness
We are torn Apart because of harsh words, hurt feelings
We are all A Part of a united nation, but we are feeling very Apart
Are we Really Together then?

It’s election year, yay
Polarized sides. Is COVID a red elephant or blue donkey?
Refusal to understand another’s perspective
Refusal to peacefully converse over differences of opinions
Refusal to even acknowledge another’s perspective
With tendencies to “Call-Out,” rather than “Call-In”
How do we embrace Parts of the diverse nation, when we are Apart from one another?
Are we Really Together then?

I’m a white woman in medicine; I’m Together with other women in medicine
I’m Together with the “Lady Liars”
But Apart from non-white women in medicine
I’m Apart from men and non-binary people in medicine
But I’m Together in their solidarity
Am I Apart, but Together?



Becoming a Doctor at the University of Minnesota Copyright © 2021 by Hannah Thiry. All Rights Reserved.