Hospitals and the New Surge

NOTE: The following came to me as an email. It’s purpose is to guide you to a series of columns or references, which may help to educate and enlighten the reader. ~ Editor

Omicron is not causing as much intense illness as other covid variants, but it is so transmissible that the countless cases being registered every day have placed a terrible strain on hospitals, doctors, and nurses all the same. This week, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces about the crucial role that hospitals and health workers continue to occupy in our lives.

In “A Doctor’s Dark Year,” Dhruv Khullar profiles a trauma surgeon in Boston as she reflects on the most challenging and emotionally taxing period she has ever faced.

In “The First Face You See at a South Bronx Hospital,” Zach Helfand writes about Maria Lopez, a hospital staffer who volunteered to greet (and console) patients in the busiest E.R. in the South Bronx. (“The hardest part of the job, Lopez said, is knowing that patients are alone.”)

In “A Bellevue Doctor’s Pandemic Diary,” Danielle Ofri chronicles her formidable efforts during the unsettling early weeks and months after the pandemic descended on New York City.

In “Texts from My Father, in Elmhurst Hospital,” Victor Zapana, Jr., describes how he communicated with his father, a Peruvian immigrant and war veteran, after he came down with covid and was hospitalized in Queens.

Finally, in “How to Hope: Lessons from a Children’s Hospital,” Chris Adrian recounts his experiences as a pediatric palliative-care doctor in Los Angeles. “Working with families over months and years,” he writes, “teaches you to hope that life reconstitutes on the other side of catastrophe, and that people can find joy in living again on the far side of unbearable loss.”

David Remnick
The New Yorker
January 9, 2022