Ooh child Things are gonna get easier. Ooh child Things'll get brighter. I sing these words to my one-year-old son quite often; I believe them. I’ll never lose hope. Hospitalizations hit greater than 90,000 yesterday, and the trajectory is frightening. This is not a political issue; it’s bigger than any one individual’s opinion. People will continue to die alone and say goodbye on FaceTime. Thank your grocery store worker and the cleaning person cleaning every COVID+ patient ...

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Recently, the FBI foiled an attempt to kidnap the governor of Michigan.  The entire story reads like a Tom Clancy novel: a group of disgruntled strangers meets and organizes through chat rooms online.  They conduct tactical training in the woods, do surveillance runs of the governor’s house, and even make plans to target law enforcement personnel and blow up a bridge to hamper any response to their attack. The individuals ...

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Imagine having lost your sole source of income in June in the midst of a global pandemic. This is not a unique situation; after all, the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on many families. And in the United States, life has irrevocably changed. But the worst is yet to come. Illinois is seeing exponential growth of patients with COVID-19, and winter is coming. With ...

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"In medicine, the guise of 'professionalism' is an example of how an oppressive system has led us to believe that we ought not to advocate for our rights. It would be 'unprofessional' to organize for a better health care system for both patients and workers. To work towards personal liberation, Boal ...

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It is Thanksgiving and, while many are counting their blessings, others are mourning the loss of family time, routine, turkey, big family gatherings, and football.   The Baltimore Ravens had to cancel their game today because of too many positive COVID-19 tests.  My logical question as a surgeon was, “So I guess they reschedule for 14 days when they all come off quarantine and isolation?”   My daughter, a college student, is ...

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The holiday season is when we would normally be celebrating with family and friends, all coming together to eat way too much food and watch loved ones open gifts. The reality is COVID-19 has caused us to alter our holiday plans, and this year’s holiday season may look quite a bit different. That being said, perhaps this is the year to appreciate the true meaning of the holidays – to ...

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Shimmying in his blinding white high-top Converse, the latest addition to his increasingly fashion-conscious wardrobe, Calvin, my 17-year-old son, bursts out, “I’m a good boy! I’m a good boy! I’m a good boy!” Puzzled by this uncharacteristic child-like repetition, I set my banjo down and take in his 6’ 1” frame as he dances in my direction. “What’s so hard?” I ask, wondering what temptation he’s averted this time and perhaps ...

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There’s nothing like the holidays and a new year around the corner to remind us that 2020 is almost over. This year let’s try to take nothing for granted. Especially since millions of Americans will soon sit down to a holiday meal with one or more loved ones missing. Those empty chairs are a reminder of what we have endured this year. Whether it be loved ones who are sick, ...

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The cold and flu season looks very different this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. When a person has a fever, sore throat, aches, and chills, they need to consider when to self isolate, when to be tested for COVID-19, when to be assessed in person and when antibiotics should be considered. Is it a common cold, the flu, a bacterial infection, or the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? In a recent article in the British ...

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In a world of unprecedented access to information and incredible connectedness, everyone is an expert. Public health has been one of the many victims of this phenomenon, yet it is the single most important strategy for managing the global crisis we are in. The problem with public health is that it is not particularly likable. That has not always been so. Public health used to be really sexy. As the germ ...

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I am a critical care physician. I am at the frontlines of this pandemic, in a state of "war" against an unseen enemy that has brought unimaginable destruction in its path. I arrive at work at 7 a.m. for my shift. I am in a state of hypervigilance. It is a chilly fall day, but in my hospital issue scrubs, I feel warm. I am ready for what is to come. I ...

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It started with diarrhea.  Then fever before the patient sought care.  The infiltrates were impressive.  A dry cough with paroxysms that were sometimes uncontrollable.   The rapid test came back negative, as did the send out PCR.  The patient returned from international travel two days before admission.  My index of suspicion was extremely high.  Yes, please keep the patient on enhanced respiratory droplet precautions because her viral load in the nasopharynx ...

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"I’m exhausted. As the pandemic rages on, the mental toll of dealing with COVID-19 has started to wear on me. As a practicing hospitalist in the Midwest impacted by one of the many hotspots caused by the meatpacking industry, I have spent a fair bit of time with this virus on the ...

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“Do you think we should prepare a will?” I vividly remember saying these words to my wife, also a physician, as we drastically saw COVID cases rise in early March 2020. Just months ago, we heard about the novel coronavirus now known as SARS-CoV-2 but did not grasp the world-changing consequences it would have. Living in Western New York, we were not immediately hit with a surge of cases like ...

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven of value in the COVID-19 pandemic and shows promise for mitigating future health care crises. During the pandemic’s first wave in New York, for example, Mount Sinai Health System used an algorithm to help identify patients ready for discharge. Such systems can help overburdened hospitals manage personnel and the flow of supplies in a medical crisis so they can continue to ...

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My son is a cub scout, and I am a den leader. Recently our den met outside and practiced putting up tents and learned how to build a fire. With efforts to stay distanced, every scout made his own s’more, and we had such a fun time. One highlight of the evening was letting each scout try to light the fire. We went through a series of mistakes with the matches, ...

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Mirroring the national surge of COVID-19 infections, this past week, I received a barrage of requests from patients seeking pre-travel COVID-19 tests. Despite urgent pleas from the CDC not to travel this holiday season, Americans seem hellbent on celebrating Thanksgiving the way we always do; around a table with family and friends. If COVID-19 is our mortal enemy, we are playing right into her hands. We are a stubborn nation ...

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"You have made difficult choices about your family’s health and safety already. Pediatricians help parents make these kinds of decisions all the time. The shared- decision model for practicing medicine encourages doctors like me to help provide information and counseling to empower you to make decisions. You’ve already made decisions essential to ...

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Our country seems to be spiraling out of control. The unending political discord post-election continues to divide our citizenry. The Presidential election is over, accept the results, and move on. There are much more serious issues to have our full attention and among them is the war against COVID-19. This deadly contagion has claimed over a quarter of a million lives in the United States and shows no signs of ...

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I asked nurses, technicians and secretaries where it was: the iPad for patients who wanted to speak to their loved ones. COVID didn’t allow visitors. A few days into our peak, it was likely this patient had COVID. They were gasping for air, but could still speak, somewhat. I was hoping to save them an intubation. I told them I may need to put them on a ventilator but assured ...

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