Tuesday triage, a cold evening by the sea. Emotionally challenging due to 2 patients. One a young man, disheveled, clearly suffering. He had deep wounds from cutting, huge bandages on one arm, and new cuts on his chest, begging for help. He has a psych appointment for three days later but is clearly in distress NOW. He laid his head on my plastic table and started banging his head. He wanted to go to Mytilene for a psych doctor but had no paperwork to validate this and I cannot give him papers to leave the camp. He said his wife had it on her phone. I asked him to bring his wife over, she came looking really stressed and with 3 young kids in tow.

The patient then started to cry a bit and said he beats his wife and kid when he feels crazy and cannot help himself, I ask a translator to pull the wife aside and ask if she is safe? I was able to get him into the psych doctor in the clinic as an emergency and went to talk to his wife through a translator. She did not want to be separated from him and said that he is really a kind man but since “the bomb” has had this mental problem. What to do? Who can help? This poor man has been so traumatized. He is not at fault and yet we have to protect his wife and children. I don’t know how this was resolved. I turned it over to the psychiatrist but it stayed with me all night. Worrying about the trauma to his children and wife. And him. Will he end up in a jail cell????

Then I had a woman come to triage with a cough, runny nose and loss of smell. I advised her to have a covid test. She resisted strongly and I had to insist. She reluctantly went for the test. Twenty minutes later as I was heading to the toilets I saw her arguing with a Greek officer as she was forcibly taken to the isolation center. I saw she was given and old sleeping pad, a bag I assume, with a blanket and the clothes on her back. It was horrifying. Knowing this woman is already feeling sick will now be cold and uncomfortable on the hard ground and ALONE. We are trying to improve these terrible conditions and waiting for several days for the coordinator to get things moving there.

A sleepless night in the comfort of my bed thinking of these 2 people and knowing there are many more in similar situations.