A New York doctor's story: 'Too many people are dying alone'

A New York doctor's story: 'Too many people are dying alone'A New York doctor's story: 'Too many people are dying alone'

As an emergency medicine physician in New York City, Dr. Kamini Doobay has always known that death is part of the territory when trying to care for the city’s sickest. But it hasn’t always been like this — patients hit the hardest by the coronavirus, struggling to breathe and on ventilators, with no visitors allowed because of strict protocols to prevent spreading the virus. “So often a patient will be on their deathbed, dying alone, and it’s been incredibly painful to see the suffering of family members who I call from the ICU, hearing the tears, crying with them on the phone,” said Doobay, 31. “Too many people are dying alone with absolutely no family around them,” she said. “This is one of the most horrific things.” A third-year resident, Doobay, who works at New York University Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital, said being among the doctors and other health care workers trying desperately to deal with the wave of sick and dying patients coming into city hospitals is “unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, it’s very chaotic, it’s overwhelming.” “I’ve never felt so physically and emotionally burdened in my life, I’ve never felt so deeply sad and distraught,” the New York City native said. While the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, it can lead to more severe illnesses, including pneumonia and death for some, like those who are older or have underlying health issues. The impact it’s had on the city’s ...
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