COVID-19 broadly impacted the world in 2020. If you want, you can use this space to describe how COVID-19 has impacted your preparation for the application to dental school to this point.
My preparation for applying to dental school has been adversely affected by COVID-19, in particular, by the effects that getting infected had on my sister. I live with my mother and sister in Tijuana, Mexico, and only my sister has become infected. However, she has long labored against mental health challenges, and the tension and stress of this horrible year, coupled with the fact that she was infected, took a significant toll on her mental health. This past July 2020, she attempted suicide. It was nerve-wracking for me to take her to the nearest hospital in Tijuana, where most hospitals were already at maximum capacity with COVID-19-infected patients.
My mother and I forced my sister´s door to find her unconscious, with her head, hands, and feet swollen because she had taken 30 pills from her psychiatrist’s prescription. Desperately we called the ambulance, but they never arrived. The neighbors, my mom, and I took her to the hospital, where thankfully, she could get her stomach cleansed before it was too late. The doctor told us that her airways could have collapsed if we had waited a little longer. Since this incident, her life has become calmer and more stable, and I am most thankful.
This event has strengthened my patience and empathy, and I have become exceptionally patient and caring concerning those who suffer from mental health challenges. Being there for my sister has helped empower her to reach out for help instead of locking herself in and venting her frustrations. I have learned a lot about mental health from my sister´s ordeal, and I feel strongly that it makes me a better human being and will also make me a better dentist: patient, empathetic, and understanding.