A Day in the Life of an SLP Amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 Reality

These last few weeks have been abrupt, anxiety-inducing and mind-boggling. As we find our footing for our new normal alongside COVID-19, there are BIG feelings within our homes and SLP communities. I want take some time to acknowledge the foundation of our woes right now. As an SLP, parent of three children (ages 5, 8, and 10) and (now) teacher, let us acknowledge our current roles and responsibilties.

The COVID-19 Schedule

Here was my schedule from Tuesday, March 24th:

7:30am Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, set up work space (in bedroom)

8:30am Team Meeting

9:30am Clinical Team Meeting, Children wake up

10:15am Teletherapy with 4-year-old (articulation)

11:00am Lunch my 3 kids

11:30am Go on Walk with 2 kids

12:00pm Teletherapy with 7-year-old (articulation and language), my 8-year-old needs me

1:00pm Teletherapy with 13-year-old (AAC, language), my 8-year-old and 4-year old need me

2:30pm Trial Tele-Assessment with my 3 children

4:00pm Teletherapy with 13-year-old (language), my 8-year-old needs me

5:00pm Grocery store run to get essential food items. Still no toilet paper.

6:15pm Dinner

7:00pm Family Meditation (for 4 out of 5 members)

7:48pm I wake up confused. I must have fallen asleep, and my husband took the kids out for a drive.

8:14pm Kids return, family movie, bedtime routine

10:00pm Provide support for SLPs through online platforms

11:11pm Read latest information on COVID-19

12:00am Send out Zoom invitations for sessions for following day

1:12am I cannot sleep. My brain cannot calm.

Emotional Spectrum

I’ll be honest. The emotional range I feel throughout the day is vast. I move from “grateful to have a job” to “overwhelmed to set up teletherapy” to “proactively adjusting to new responsibities” to “utterly exhausted” to “immense love for humanity” to “I. just. simply. can’t.” For my visual learners, I submit Exhibit A:

Thinking of you, SLP.

I shall conclude with the only thing that is bringing me solace at home and at work–which we can all acknowledge is the same setting. Connection is keeping my days buoyed. So, my heart is thinking of you, SLPs. Let us lean on one another during these COVID-19-times. Not as SLPs but as humans staying afloat alongside one another.


Written by: phuonglienpalafox

8 Comments on “A Day in the Life of an SLP Amid COVID-19”

  1. March 27, 2020 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Phuong,
    Thanks for helping SLPs feel seen during this time through the blog. I have been unemployed for a couple weeks now due to COVID-19 and I’m also in a state that has been on lock down for two weeks. I’m part of a writing group and this week we were supposed to do an “I am” poem. As someone who knew from day 1 of undergrad this was what I wanted to do with my life, spent 6 years working toward it, spent 2.5 years doing it to now have it not be a part of my daily life has been hard. Hope it’s okay to share.

    I am an SLP
    Communication Expert
    Health Professional
    Member of a team
    Shoulder to cry on
    Someone they can count on
    Big-hearted, curious and playful.

    I am unemployed.
    Am I needed?
    Am I helpful?
    Am I productive?
    Am I essential?
    Am I proud?

    I am questioning.
    Who am I without my job?

    I am still the oldest.
    I am still Midwestern.
    I am still a teacher.
    I am still a connector.
    I am still an advocate.
    I am still an SLP.

  2. Letty Wang March 27, 2020 at 8:13 pm #

    Phuong, you nailed it! This is exactly how it has been. Some moments of shock lasted longer initially. It’s almost like going through all the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance.
    As soon as we hit acceptance, we hit the ground running with work demands without having had appropriate sleep or food. No time for self-care. A whirlwind indeed!! I love ❤️ my job, my community, my school district, my colleagues, my family and my country!

  3. March 28, 2020 at 1:37 am #

    All facts! The mental rollercoaster is exhausting in itself. The boundaries of work and personal life are non-existent and the guilt of neglecting either one is daunting. May we all find the strength that lies in being unapologetic with our boundaries.

    • April 3, 2020 at 11:39 am #

      Love to you, Kayla. We shall honor and feel all the feels.

  4. March 28, 2020 at 7:21 am #

    I woke up at 4am thinking about speech packets that I need to get ready ready for Monday morning pick up….. that we decided to change from 2 weeks worth of activity to the rest of year – on Friday.

    Truthfully, as overwhelming as that sounds, I will gladly make packets for my students with love. I have been holding back all the feelings because I have a job to do. And I love my job.

    Positives: I was able to connect with parents in a new way. I’m excited for what this means moving forward. I’m learning how to use new technologies (but cannot wait to have a zoom-free day, haha). I have grown stronger bounds with my co-workers. And, my husband and mother continue to give me a safe space to just be quiet at the end of the day – no feelings hurt!

    Thank you, as always, for your support. ♥️

  5. March 28, 2020 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you. We are all in this together:-) One day at a time.

    • April 3, 2020 at 11:38 am #

      Better together :). Thank you.

  6. March 28, 2020 at 10:48 am #

    We all needed this blogpost, Phuong! I will include a link to it in our “COVID-19 Resources” shared folder for our SLPs. Thanks for putting words to the feelings so many of us are experiencing right now. Would it be okay for me to use the “Thinking of Our SLPs” graphic to share with our staff? I am finding that the SLPs who are parents of little ones and school age children are experiencing more big emotions than the rest of us. They have so much to juggle, as you know from personal experience. They need all the support we can provide!

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