Read: Analysis by PPF-PA Healthcare Worker

Article photo and heading "There is No Outside"

I WORK AT A NEW YORK SAFETY-NET HEALTH SYSTEM that serves poor folks who are mostly Black and brown. The primary-care clinic where I am a resident closed two weeks ago: like most major hospital systems throughout the US, the hospital has put a stop to all non-acute care, aside from telemedicine. Most of the primary-care doctors and other subspecialists who’d normally see patients for routine checkups have been drafted onto the frontlines, into the emergency rooms and hospital corridors of what professionals call “the inpatient setting.”

Until recently I was at home as a back-up, waiting to fill in when other residents got too sick to work. While I waited, numerous friends checked in on me—some of them even sent me masks in the mail. A number of those masks, like the ones solicited by my brother and gathered from his friends, are real N95 respirators. They’ll do some good for me and my fellow emergency room workers as our system continues to fail us and our patients. My sister made cloth masks, and those I hope never to need.

There is little certainty about how things will look inside the emergency room by mid-April, when mortality is projected to peak—much less in a month’s time. To read the full article, click here.

Leave a Reply