Among Those Disrupted By COVID-19: The Nation’s Newest Doctors

July 1 is a big day in medical education. It’s traditionally the day newly minted doctors start their first year of residency. But this year is different. Getting from here to there — from medical school to residency training sites — has been complicated by the coronavirus.

“We were all really freaking out,” said Dr. Christine Petrin, who just graduated from medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans and is starting a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Students “matched” — the term for finding out where they will spend their next several years training — in March, just as everything was shutting down because of the pandemic.

After getting the news of their placements, Petrin said, some of her friends were worried about being able to enter states that were closing their borders. They “just rapidly picked up and … Read more

In the Pandemic Era, Is It Safe to Go to Work?

A waiter wearing a face shield and mask to protect himself and others from the coronavirus serves diners at a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, on June 21, 2020. Photo: David Livingston / Getty Images

In communities across the country, businesses that have been closed for months because of the new coronavirus are reopening their doors. In California’s Napa Valley, you can visit some wineries by appointment. In Idaho, you can sweat it out at a gym while maintaining distance from your workout partner. In New York City, not long ago the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus crisis, you can once again get a haircut.Essential Coverage

The reopening of these businesses means that some workers have returned to work in service jobs even as new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge. Others, deemed “essential” workers because of their industries, never stopped. Is it safe for frontline workers to continue in or … Read more

Protesting in the time of COVID-19

We’ve known for a long time that racism is a deeply ingrained public health issue resulting in real, tangible health disparities. For people of color, racism results in unequal access to quality education, healthy food, livable wages, affordable housing, and medical care. We also know very well that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting our communities of color. Studies show that Black, Latinx, and Native American patients are much more likely to get infected and die from COVID-19 than whites.

Research also shows that Black, Native American, and Latino men are far more likely than whites to be killed by police, the murder of George Floyd being a vivid and unarguable example. How can we not pay attention, listen, and effect change? As people stand together and raise their voices, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means we need to do so safely.

I’ve worked on the COVID-19 wards, and I’ve seen how … Read more

Essential Worker Shoulders $1,840 Pandemic Debt Due To COVID Cost Loophole

Carmen Quintero works an early shift as a supervisor at a 3M distribution warehouse that ships N95 masks to a nation under siege from the coronavirus. On March 23, she had developed a severe cough, and her voice, usually quick and enthusiastic, was barely a whisper.

A human resources staff member told Quintero she needed to go home.

“They told me I couldn’t come back until I was tested,” said Quintero, who was also told that she would need to document that she didn’t have the virus.

Her primary care doctor directed her to the nearest emergency room for testing because the practice had no coronavirus tests.

The Corona Regional … Read more

Washington Begins Horse Trading over Next Phase of COVID-19 Aid

Negotiations in Congress over the next COVID-19 aid plan are expected to start after the July 4 break, and a package is likely to pass before Congress adjourns for the August recess. In total, we expect the bill to include up to $3 trillion in funding based on the House proposal, the HEROES Act. The Senate, House, and Trump administration proposals are starkly different, so the exact contents of the final legislation remain to be seen.  The main political pull is essentially between those who want the aid to be mostly about funding economic recovery and those who would focus on boosting medical care and public health.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said he would like the package to be $1 trillion, far less than the $3.4 trillion in the HEROES Act. McConnell indicated that it will include liability provisions for businesses — potentially including health care … Read more

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