Saturday, November 12, 2016

What's This Week Been Like For You?

I’m sure we all have an opinion about the election outcome; most likely, a strong one. I was following with intense anticipation as a Canadian. I am utterly despondent with the result. The day after, I met a friend for coffee and together we tried to process the reality. It felt much like the morning after 9/11, where we knew we were facing a ‘new world’ and an uncertain future. 

Our national public radio station’s coverage was filled with interviews with Americans relaying their uncertainties about the future. One gentleman felt a sense of betrayal by his neighbours; that he did not feel he really knew his city as he thought he did. I know that some of you are heartbroken, as I am. Others may be elated, or at least satisfied with the outcome. Some of you may feel conflicted. Still others may be Republicans who feel dismayed that Trump was their candidate. Maybe none of these captures your sentiments. I know many people are struggling to talk to their children about the outcome. Many American citizens and residents of colour and other vulnerable populations are especially worried about the “Trump effect” on their children, and perhaps some of you are seeing its effects in your daily life in medicine. In Family Medicine, it's not uncommon for some patients to bring up political topics, but I try to stay pretty balanced and general.  Personally, I found inspiration here, which cites this great article about talking to your kids about the result. Reading personal accounts and opinion pieces by those who are processing the results thoughtfully is helping me deal with the result. 

I realize that politics in general, and this election in particular, can be polarizing to discuss, and I know this blog does a great job of being a safe space. A refuge from the constant barrage that was so consuming during this campaign, perhaps. I think we can maintain that safe space by respectfully sharing our own personal experiences, fears, and worries. Because no matter your political stripes, I think it’s fair to say that the months ahead are uncertain for the United States, and the world.  

I have great faith in the American people, and the American system, to uphold their democratic values. I believe that most people are decent and that political and social tides ebb and flow throughout history. Let's help one another navigate the best way forward for our families, communities, countries, and the world. 


  1. THANKS so much for writing this. As mothers, we need to be aware of the effects the negative rhetoric can have on our children's developing minds. As physicians, we need to be aware of how afraid many of our patients are right now. Last year, my Muslim patients were afraid to walk outside, for the very real risk of harassment. Now? Good lord. Everyone's looking over their shoulder. We need to create a safe space, and be a source of comfort for our children and our patients.

  2. Last week was like being on one of the biggest emotional roller coasters of my life with ultimate descent into Hell. But I'm recovering. This is a positive, wonderful post thank you:)

  3. It has been really, really hard. I'm trying to regain my faith in humanity again. And wearing a safety pin to work.

  4. How has this week been for me? What a hard question, to be honest. So many potential answers. It's been so many things. As a queer woman of color, and as a mom--I have a lot of identities to consider (intersectionality really complicates things...).

    I've felt...angry, sad, disgusted, betrayed, tricked, afraid (for myself and my children). Disappointed in my country. I've felt energized because *nothing* will ever take away my resolve to fight for justice in this country, *nothing*. I've felt angry that people who are not POC are suddenly wearing safety pins (with some people expecting a pat on the head for that but yet these issues are NOT NEW, so I've thought "Where have you BEEN? We have been fighting these battles for decades and you are just now noticing!" while at the same time thinking--THANK YOU for finally saying something and for joining us as allies. I've felt separated from my white friends, who are experiencing this differently than I am, so I cannot share my authentic feelings (especially rage) with them--it's too hot of a topic right now. All in all, so many feelings--hoping to put more of them into action as the shock of it all wears off.



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