Mary is a woman of sixty years.  She is obese.  Originally from rural Alabama, she told me her aunt and uncle raised her, and they were bootleggers, making their own liquor.  By age fifteen, she was drinking this homemade hooch.   She never told me how she made her way to New York and New Jersey, where her kids now live, and where she once had a husband.  She is unsure ...

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Living the surreal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges us on multiple levels. As a physician, I feel the responsibility to understand the magnitude of the situation and implement the best measures to protect my patients, trainees, my family, and myself. I experience the fear of getting sick or losing a loved one and the sadness and frustration of seeing millions of lives affected by illness, desperation, isolation, and death. COVID-19 ...

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Our country, and the world, is beyond exhausted by COVID-19 and the utter chaos and destruction of lives it has caused. All people, including physicians, are being pushed beyond capacity. What do we mean, collateral damage? Originally related to war: the unintended result of a terrible, unprecedented event or action. We may not be in a traditional war, but make no mistake, we are in a war. Imagine – you have ...

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To suggest that the impact of the novel coronavirus has been nothing short of devastating – from a health perspective, to the economy, to basic social interaction – would be the most striking understatement of the decade.  Daily media viewing over the course of the last two months has seen virtually nothing but bad news – sickness and death, trillion-dollar relief programs, millions out of work, businesses lost, growing tensions ...

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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the structure of many people’s households has changed dramatically. Young adults who were away at college had to return home when schools closed, and many will still be at home this fall as schools continue to limit on-campus classes. Some people chose to move in with family after job loss strained their finances. And some families chose to temporarily move older relatives out ...

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I am exhausted. I’m a physician in the suburbs of Houston. The latest COVID-19 infection rates in the Houston area show a steep increase in rates since reopening in May. And it’s still rising. As an infectious diseases physician in the middle of this whole COVID-19 pandemic, and as a mom of 2, here’s why I’m tired: 1. Working almost every day (weekends included) since this March at multiple hospitals and in ...

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COVID. What is it to me? A sense of growing dread for primary care providers everywhere, whose patient panels read like a list of future dead. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, emphysema. The reality is most people have no idea how close to devastation our medical system is at most times. How many times was the hospital of my residency on diversion due to staffing or available beds? How many times ...

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As I reflect on Independence Day, I think of soldiers that sacrificed their own lives for others – present and future.  They knew what they were facing, and yet, continued to push forward.  They imperfectly led our nation through unprecedented waters with wisdom and perseverance. Today, we find ourselves in unprecedented waters - questioning our country, our leaders, our friends, and our doctors.  Breaking silence, I am answering the question, ...

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Now more than ever, children and adolescents need to continue receiving routine well-child visits and regularly scheduled immunizations. From the earliest onset of the COVID19 pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in the number of preventive health visits to clinical practices. Unfortunately, this new reality has led to many patients missing important immunizations and delaying critical developmental screenings that are recommended for the well-being of every member of our pediatric population. Parents and ...

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In polarizing politics, it seems that somehow the greater good often misses the very grain that comes together and makes it great — the people. After we blindfolded ourselves to a warning from China and then Italy, New York witnessed the grinding impact of COVID-19.  Merely two months later, many other states are showing unprecedented growth in cases.  Surpassing 2.5 million cases, we have officially unflattened the curve.  Our failed ...

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