Grinnellian Covid Experiences - Juliet Mushi ’05

“We had necessary conversations about what we each would accept for end-of-life care.”

June 24, 2020 — Juliet Mushi ’05 is an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine and is an attending physician in the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Yale New Haven Health System/Greenwich Hospital. She lives in Harlem, New York.

Juliet Mushi ’05
    Juliet Mushi ’05

My husband Grant and I had always talked about signing health care proxies and a living will, particularly after we had our baby Kanaeli last year. But in the busy-ness of everyday life, it always ended up on the bottom of the to-do list.

The beginning of the pandemic brought on a deep fear and uncertainty on my part. It was important to me that family members had clarity and certainty about our wishes. It prompted us to finally get those papers signed and have necessary conversations about what we each would accept for end-of-life care.

When it became clear that the situation in New York City was serious, we encouraged our child care provider to stay home with her family while earning her salary. That meant Grant took on primary child care responsibilities on top of having to work from home. Meanwhile, I was working full time at a hospital job.

It was challenging for both of us. We are both very career-oriented and have strong and independent personalities. But we learned again how to lean on each other during that time. We now celebrate date night at home every Saturday by ordering food, sharing our highs or lows from the week, and drinking divine cocktails made by Grant.

What keeps me going? Grant and Kanaeli, supportive check-ins from family and friends, the 7 p.m. cheer for essential workers, Afrobeats playlists, and meditation and yoga apps.

Read more stories about Grinnellians facing COVID-19 head-on.