Back to News

How Is COVID-19 Affecting You? ISN Members Reply

As COVID-19 continues to have a global impact, the ISN reached out to its members around the world to hear about the crisis in their own words. Below are some first-hand accounts.

What has your experience been so far? ISN members are encouraged to tell us on Twitter or Facebook using #ThisIsISN and have your testimonial added here.

“During the quarantine period, my life has been frantic: taking care of children and homeschooling, increased workload, and living closely with the suffering of patients with COVID and their families; also participating in organizing the conversion of our Brazilian Congress of Nephrology into virtual form … quarantine for health professionals without time to look back…let’s keep going …” D. Machado (Brazil)

“While people were locked down at home, my hospital became busier. I had to balance working from home in virtual clinics at night with seeing patients in the hospital in the morning. I enjoyed my rest time with my wife and kids at home.” Ahmed Akl (Egypt)

“During this time, I realized that nature is more powerful than us and can easily get rid of humankind if it wants to.” S. Bek (Turkey)

“In this pandemic time, I work mostly from home completing my last month in nephrology training, spiritedly finalizing my Advanced CNC from ISN-ANIO, and excitedly retraining my rusty cooking skills.” R. Duarsa (Indonesia)

“Lockdown made me rediscover a) my neurosurgeon husband’s cooking and b) music and movies in my mother tongue.” U. Anandh (India)

“In these chaotic days, when you are overwhelmed by the context and the day-to-day exhausting work… there is nothing like getting home and feeling the love of your family, they heal everything.” A. Pastor (Peru)

“I was an intern when all hell broke loose with AIDS in 1982. Now, I’m a senior nephrologist on a COVID-19 service. Many lessons to be learned and relearned… don’t fear the virus, respect it. Move forward in a mission of service with humility, grace, and dignity for all.” K. Tuttle (USA)

Due to the critical COVID-19 situation, we were obliged to reshape our planned activities changing from face-to-face interactions to virtual ones. After brainstorming ideas between the teams, we decided to organize a set of webinars with useful information and exchange of personal experiences facing colleagues in our respective hospitals. Given the situation where Spain has passed the crisis, but the Philippines are in the middle of it, we believe that these webinars will give ideas and support to our Filipino colleagues in dealing with this situation.” E. Kondi (Spain)

Among my lasting memories of this strange time will be carefully passing food to my wife in the bedroom through a barely opened door while she was isolated pending swab results. She has been ‘query COVID’ three times now, but fortunately, she has never tested positive. The dog had a great time running between us (via the cat flap) as we competed for the affection of this furry fomite.” Brendan Smyth (Australia)

These days, finding the right balance between hospital assistance and home studies has become a hard task. I joined my children’s violin lessons to better cope with the uncertainty and anxiety. Additionally, I have strengthened ties with the ISN Education group to keep focused on a scientific view of the pandemic.” Augusto Cesar S. Santos Jr. (Brazil)

During this pandemic, I have realized that there is always a way to improve our health system. COVID-19 does not discriminate and does not look at race, sex, age, skin color, socioeconomic status, or educational level.  It continues to teach us that we are just humans and that in order to achieve change, it is necessary to teamwork.” Angie Aguilar Gonzales Lizet (Guatemala)

I am a nephrologist and involved in the care of COVID-19 cases too. Patients are developing oliguric AKI and proteinuria. Dialysis is affected as we are using alternate machines to keep a safe distance. I think the biggest challenge is that we don’t have treatment. My personal opinion is that we should do an autopsy on every mortality, which will help understand the disease’s pathophysiology in a better way.” Sourabh Sharma (India)

Biggest fear is the increased risk of transmitting the infection to loved ones.” Priti Meena (India)

I review most patients admitted to the isolation ward with my medical officers. The majority are asymptomatic, a few have mild symptoms, and I’ve had two with pneumonia, none with renal involvement. I am the only nephrologist working in the center. Three of my patients are diabetic and faced with the challenge of detailed investigations due to limited resources, for example, renal ultrasonography, urinary albumin creatinine ratio, shortage of manpower, including lab staff.” Osariemen Osunbor (Nigeria)

I am working as Head of Nephrology Unit in Makassed Hospital. Our hospital has a capacity of 300 beds as well as its tertiary hospital in Palestine. We prepared an independent department for COVID-19, but up till now, we do not have COVID-19 inpatients in our hospital. We prepared and trained the team well to deal with them.” Mohammad Bourini (Palestine)

Dialysis patients, as well as Nephrologists, are being affected in the dialysis unit.” Dr. Abu Zafor Md. Salahuddin (Bangladesh)

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled me to change my daily routine. I have started learning new skills from the internet. Reading non-COVID-related articles as much as possible!” Shubbarthi Kar (Bangladesh)

Being a nurse manager in a dialysis unit, having to plan dialysis sessions separately for positive, suspected, and regular patients, and planning optimal staffing, was challenging. This was also a period when, as teachers, we had to explore and experiment with various online modes of teaching for students. However, this season also allowed experiments in cooking, gardening, and quality time with family members!” R. George (India)

As a solo nephrologist in my hospital, which turned out to be a COVID-19 hospital, my working hours increased from 8 hours to 10-12 hours daily, 24/7 on-call, working every day including weekends, for more than two months. Even though I’m physically and mentally exhausted, once I’m back home, I have the full support of my family, and I thank GOD we’re all well and safe.” B. Bernieh Al Ain (UAE)

During this period, though we had a hard time at the hospital taking care of COVID-19 patients, I had a lesser number of regular patients to visit, less travel for work, no social meetings to take part in, and more time to spend with my family, cook, read, and rest. It felt like being on a dangerous vacation!” S. Ossareh (Iran)

Having teleconferences with my colleagues working from home has provided a ‘window’ into their personal lives, and I have enjoyed seeing their home surroundings and occasionally their children and pets.” J. Donner (Canada)

The ISN is proud to provide a platform for the international community to share resources, guidance and experiences in times of crisis. 

Become an ISN member today and support our work.

#Bettertogether #ISNFamily

Help us advance kidney health worldwide
Join the ISN Subscribe to ISN Newsletter
Back to News