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Why I Chose This Photo to Remind People to Stay Home During the Pandemic

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I was searching for a black and white photo of a baby’s foot. I wanted to make a meme with an arrow pointing to the baby’s second toe, and say “Be like this little piggy: stay home!”

I found a photo of a beautiful little foot of a baby with Down syndrome like my brother’s foot. The first toe has a wide space between it and the second toe.

I used this photo for my meme, encouraging everyone to stay home for the holidays, to stay safe.

I am a physician, grateful to have had a brother with Down syndrome for 67 years. I miss him every day. I am sure that the compassion he taught me led me to my profession. Caring for him, learning from him, listening to him and his gentle and compassionate ways made me a much better person. His hypotonia made his speech difficult to understand, so I really learned to listen. That has made me a much better psychiatrist. Listening is what my profession is all about.

Although he is now gone from this world, I carry the memory of him, and of all he taught me with me every day.

Be like this little piggy: stay home!

Getty image by Tatiana Dyubanova.

Originally published: January 2, 2021
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