Keep the smize going!

Almost two years have passed since the first case of SARS-CoV-2 was documented on the other side of the world. Do you remember when we used to call it the 2019-nCoV? Since then, COVID-19 has ripped through our personal and professional lives, taking almost 5 million lives with it. Many of us were personally impacted by this pandemic. We have lost family members, we have said goodbye to our colleagues, and—despite our best efforts—we could not save all of our patients' lives.

The path to keep us all safe and healthy has not been a straight line. We have reviewed and adjusted ventilation parameters across our institutions. We started new projects to upgrade our buildings and to build new ones. We looked and re-looked at our personal protective equipment. We have built walls and put up plexiglass dividers. However, as collaboration flourished and new partnerships developed, we have started breaking down barriers . We built bridges. We found new and creative ways to stay connected, to stay human, and to keep providing the best care for life. With a smize! And we see them: hundreds of smizes, every day, all across our institutions...

A famous German philosopher—Friedrich Nietzsche—once said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Since then, many have argued that misfortunes and adversity do not actually foster resilience; it is care and love that get the job done, “because they nurture and strengthen your capacity to learn and adapt […] to later hardship” (Sphancer, 2010).

We witness this care and love every day: on the phone, in the hallways, and at the bedside. We see it each time you wash your hands. We see it each time you clean and disinfect equipment. We see it when you prepare our food, when you mop the floor, and when you greet our patients and their families. We are learning, we are adapting, and we have all the tools we need to build resilience and enter the post-pandemic era stronger and more connected than ever before.

As we conclude this national Infection Control (IC) week, your Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) teams thank you for your partnership, for your continued compliance with prevention measures, and for putting patient and staff safety first.

Oh, and remember, when it comes to infection prevention, don't cross your fingers... wash your hands instead.

Happy IC week and keep the smize going!

Your MUHC IPC teams