Every Friday, my team at work gets together over lunch to discuss items related to our industry. Since the virus has encouraged all of us to work from home, these Friday meet ups have changed to discuss specific topics, and today was all about courage.
I can understand how people’s perception of what “courage” is can vary between individuals. For me, this pandemic has really opened my eyes to the industries and who is willing to make changes for the sake of surviving, and just doing what’s right.
As a healthcare designer, I am finding this particular time to be both rewarding, and frustrating. Rewarding in the sense that I can see the impact our hospitals are making, and the increase in conversations for infection prevention. Frustrating in that, I don’t think we thought about these things in time. There are so many amazing ideas out there for converting alternate care sites like shipping containers or motels to patient wards, but we just aren’t ready. The prefab containers may still only be in the prototype phase, and to bring our hotels and motels up to part, there are quite a few finishes I can think off hand that would need to be pulled.
Any soft fabrics like curtains would need to go. Carpet, although acoustical, is also soft and could harbor bacteria. Even considering the layouts of these rooms could be a challenge in how a patient could make their way to the restroom with any attached equipment.
But, though all of this, I have hope.
I am seeing industries change from building what they always have, to something completely different. And that’s where my quote about courage comes in:
So what does courage mean to me? It’s not being afraid to take a chance. The people that are embodying courage are not just those on the front line (they are on a whole other level) but those who are will to change what they have always known. And courage doesn’t have to cost anything. In fact, if we think of “cost”, we are narrowing our mindset to “upfront” while many of these instances of courage are a longer term investment; and in this period, could there be a dollar amount?