Dr. Lesley Duffie graciously talks about the struggles of her last year and her duties as a health care worker.
OKG: Tell Us a little bit about yourself and your year compared to normal years?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: I was born and raised in a small town in South Carolina. I moved to Oklahoma City 4 years ago and enjoy living here. I’m a hospitalist which is a family practice or internal medicine physician that works solely in the hospital. When I entered medicine, I never really considered the possibility that I could be exposed to potentially deadly viruses. However, this year with COVID, that has become a daily reality. COVID doesn’t discriminate and I have signed more death certificates than any other year during my career. It has been so heartbreaking. We as a medical community have learned about this virus and how to treat it during this year than I would have ever thought possible.
OKG: In general (speaking for your profession) what do you want the general public to know?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: Speaking as a physician, I want people to act as though everyone you come across has COVID. This will help everyone to continue to socially distance wear masks and utilize good hand hygiene.
OKG: What have you been doing to maintain composure and balancing your personal life?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: I pray and know that God has protected me and my family my entire life. I have faith that He will continue to provide peace and guidance. I enjoy spending time with my immediate family and dogs also. I find that exercise helps to relieve stress however due to my daily exposure to COVID I feel it would be irresponsible to go to the gym, so I have stayed away since March. I do walk and do workouts at home though which really helps.
OKG: Do you feel like we as a state or as a national government could have made better decisions to help fight this pandemic?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: The medical advances we have seen during this year are remarkable. I doubt I see anything similar again at any point during my career. We have a wonderfully safe and effective vaccine as well as monoclonal antibodies for COVID that are nothing short of a miracle. The government has made all this possible. We are blessed to live in this glorious free republic. The founders of our country wrote the constitution so that the citizen is responsible for keeping his or herself safe. No one knows what’s right or safe for you more than you. I firmly believe that it is your job as a free citizen to keep yourself safe and best interests in mind.
OKG: Who have you been leaning on for support this year?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: God my family and my dogs
OKG: How do you stay motivated?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: My patients motivate me. I see them fighting for their life, whether it’s because of COVID or other medical issues. I want to always be available to do everything in my power so they can have the best outcome.
OKG: Have you been vaccinated? If so how have you felt?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: I was so blessed to be one of the first individuals vaccinated in the state. My arm was sore for 24-48 hours and I had a mild headache after the first dose. This vaccine is as safe and effective as any other on the market. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Consider what the world was like when there were no vaccines and think of how quickly our ancestors would be lining up to be vaccinated. They would be so excited and overjoyed! They would not have to suffer and possibly die from measles mumps Rubella, hepatitis B, etc.
OKG: Goals for 2021?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: I hope the Lord will let me continue to care for my patients and over time see COVID be another disease we have beat with mass vaccinations.
OKG: What has been the best thing about your 2020?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: The best thing for me is having more time to be with family. The world has been slower-paced especially at first. This has been the perfect opportunity to enjoy the real blessings in life.
OKG: First thing you want to do when Covid is gone?
Dr. Lesley Duffie: I want to be thankful for what we have learned, remember who we have lost and thank God for a second chance in a post-COVID world. I miss traveling and visiting my family in South Carolina.
Dr. Lesley Duffie’s favorite Quotes of inspiration for the past year:
Every good and perfect gift is from above,(A)coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,(B) who does not change(C) like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
"Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men." - John F. Kennedy
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Within the covers of the Bible are the answers to all the problems that men face. - Ronald Reagan