“People die”: COVID-19 war front lines are in the media capital of the world

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“I don’t really care if I have problems speaking to the media,” said Colleen Smith, a New York emergency doctor. “I want people to know it’s bad, people are dying, we don’t have the tools we need in the emergency room and the hospital to take care of them and …” She paused, holding back his tears. “And it’s really difficult. ”
Smith was talking in a video that the New york times published Wednesday evening to accompany an article on Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, one of the medical centers hardest hit in New York’s rapidly metastasizing COVID-19 crisis. It was heartbreaking journalism, describing doctors drenched in sweat under their protective gear as they attempted to resuscitate people, patients found dead in their rooms while doctors helped others, or died in the emergency room. waiting for a bed. An anecdote describes a man in his thirties about to be intubated. “He was distressed and panicked,” said a doctor to Time. “I could see the terror in his eyes. He was alone. ”

Smith images, shot on his phone and edited by Time the producers in a captivating five-minute mini-documentary caught readers in the eye of the storm, giving them what the video described as “a rare insider’s view of an overcrowded E.R. in New York.” It all started with Smith who walked the audience around a room full of coronaviruses. “All the patients in this room, all the feet you see,” she said, “They all have COVID. ”

the Time had originally interviewed Smith for another story and decided it would be helpful to continue talking to him while the pandemic was unfolding. She was asked if she would be willing to document what she saw inside. “She sent us videos and photos of the hospital over the next three days, transmitting the ever-changing hustle and bustle to keep up with the flow of patients,” said Whitney Hurst, a senior producer who worked on the video, who quickly shot the TimeThe trend list of. “We knew we had unique access to Elmhurst and decided to dedicate the whole story to his powerful first-person account.”

For many Americans, the coronavirus pandemic has felt like a tsunami approaching the other side of the world. Even as we were inundated with news of unprecedented Chinese closings, overflowing Italian hospitals, deadly clusters emerging from Seattle to New Rochelle, the crisis still seemed distant, intangible, impossible to understand. Since this week, however, the wave has officially crashed to the ground. The increase in the number of cases and deaths, the shocking shortage of supplies, the teeming intensive care units, the rationing of ventilators, the desperate calls of nurses and doctors usually bitter – everything is happening here, right now particular in New York, now a global epicenter with 37,258 diagnoses and 385 deaths Thursday afternoon.

Media coverage is beginning to reflect this reality with grim and captivating dispatches from the front lines of the war against coronaviruses. “A patient was coughing so hard that he could barely speak,” Sheri Fink written in a separate story and photo essay for the Time, this one from inside the Brooklyn Hospital Center. “The young man was one of them, Dr. Yijiao Fan, 31, an oral surgery resident with no previous medical problems who tested positive for the virus. He had been isolated at home all week and thought he was better, but he started coughing up blood that morning. He was waiting for a chest scanner. He had no known risk factors other than perhaps the exercise of his profession. ”

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