That’s a wrap!

December 31 2020 -January 11 2021

To ring in the new year, Jamie and I worked three consecutive shifts again. Hopeful that COVID would magically disappear with the end of 2020, we were left disappointed, as case numbers continued to rise while bed numbers shrank. A dull hum of baseline stress seeped into the entirety of each day at work, as it seemed inevitable things would unravel more. 

Selfishly, we could not wait for our two week break from work at the end of our contract. I think we both started to feel burnt out, and I had to keep reminding myself that what we were seeing on a daily basis was not normal, because we were getting so used to it.

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Goodnight, 2020.

December 17-30, 2020

“Hi, Bijan, I’m calling from the staffing office. You and Jamie will be floating to the covid floor today.”

It’s the phrase we heard over the phone at 6AM for the next three days as we returned to our work after some time off. By the end of day three my poor nose felt like it was going to fall off from the N95 respirator glued to my face for 12 hours each day. The saving grace was that Jamie and I were going through it together (being sent to the same floor each day), helping each other out when the other was overwhelmed with their group of patients.

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Stay at home, but get outside.

December 3-16

It’s been about 2 weeks since our last post. Let’s catch up.

We returned from our epic Big Sur tour and worked 6 of the next 8 days, making up for the eight days we had off for our trip. The in-between days off were spent hanging with friends and checking out other areas of SB we hadn’t been acquainted with yet. At the same time, Governor Newsom sliced up the state into 5 regions for Covid management purposes, and SB was lumped in with its big brothers LA and San Diego in “Southern California.” So on December 6th, SB and the rest of SoCal were placed on a stay-at-home order, and we had to say “see you later” to our favorite wineries, breweries, and restaurants for at least three weeks.

There are worse conditions in which to spend time under shutdown mandates, though, and we rolled with it.

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Central Coastin’

November 25 – December 2

For Thanksgiving, Bijan and I had requested 8 days off from work, in the chance that we would be able to fly home for the holidays. Unfortunately, flying home was not in the cards this year, so we decided to use the time to travel up and down the California coast instead.

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Local Expeditions

November 9 – 16

Before Bijan and I went to San Diego, I was still wearing shorts everyday and enjoyed temps in the 70s. It felt like when we returned from our trip, the weather had changed to fall. We needed jackets in the morning and at night, and we started driving to work because it was too cold for us to enjoy biking. Now we understand when Californians say it’s a different kind of cold. We found ourselves talking about how cold it was when it was 55 degrees even though we are used to temps below freezing in New England. Maybe it’s because we are expecting it to be warm, that it effects us differently!

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“This land is your land…”

October 30-November 8

Friday morning I woke up at 5:30, showered and dressed for work in my usual routine. One thing was different, though. Today was the only day on our schedule I’d be biking to work without Jamie. She’d work the following day (Halloween) while I took my turn hanging with Charley. Other than that, we’ve been fortunate enough to share the same work schedule, affording us plenty of opportunity to get out and see some cool stuff.

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Sequoias & Sierras

October 20 – 30

Now working full-time again, Bijan and I’s free time to adventure has been cut down to 4 days per week. We are not going to lie and say that work is a piece of cake, because it’s not. It’s hard and stressful most days. We can get through it, though, and justify the stress that it gives us by taking full advantage of the days that we have off.

Whether its a day trip to somewhere that is close to Santa Barbara or a few-days getaway, we always make sure we have something to look forward to. The first month or so of a new travel assignment is always a difficult adjustment, but it does get easier towards the end!

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Back to reality. ish.

October 12-19

Typically, when starting a new job, you can probably think of the first week like “syllabus week” was in college. Sure, classes are back in session, but no one’s fretting. Still got a week to get situated.

It’s not so much the case with travel assignments. The contracts are short term, and thus the onboarding and training are expedited. One day getting a general orientation for the hospital and a tour of the different units (we’d be working in the float pool and needed to know our way around), one day to crash-course the new electronic health record (Epic, in this case). We hit the floors on Wednesday to begin our first day back in the clinical setting since our last day on the prior contract, September 3.

The commute to work couldn’t be easier. Hop on the bikes, take the first left at the end of the block, and a mile later, we’re at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH).

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“Home is wherever we are if there’s love here too”

October 8 – 11

Bijan and I spent our last few days before starting work, exploring our new temporary home – walking and biking around our new neighborhood to get to know the area. We figured out we are situated in the perfect location. Most places we will want to go around town are walkable or bike-able including work, downtown cafes/restaurants, and the beach! I find myself listening to a lot of Jack Johnson lately, it feels right being so close to the beach with all of the tropical plants, beaches and warm weather.

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